The players for the MD Sweet 16 are selected using two methods:
- The eight highest rated players based on their published March US Chess ratings.
- The eight players with the highest number of Varsity Points (see below)
- The maximum number MD-Sweet-16 Varsity Points (VPs) a player could earn in each tournament is determined by the strength of the field. Each player in the field adds a number of points based on their rating:
- 8 points: Expert+ (2000+)
- 4 points: Class A (1800-1999)
- 2 points: Class B (1600-1799)
- 1 point: Class C- (1599-)
- Note that when Varsity Points are being calculated, the player’s unofficial rating will be used, if it is more current than the player’s official rating.
- All tournaments will have a a maximum value of at least 10.
- Players earn Varsity Points based on their final place in the tournament. They earn 1 + (the maximum number of VPs ) - (the play's place). To be more formal, if we say that VP is the maximum number of points, EP is the number of points earned and P is the player's final standing, then
- EP = 1 + VP - P
- If players are tied in the final standings the value of P is the average standing of all the players with the same score. For example, if two players are tied for second and third then their average standing is (2+3)/2 = 2.5.
- Varsity Players who do not meet the residency requirement count toward determining Varsity Points, but they do not count in the Varsity-Points standings for MD-Sweet-16 qualification.
- After the weighting system has been applied & the total # of Varsity Points at stake has been tallied, the following formula will be used to determine the allocation of Varsity Points at a particular tournament:
the # of Varsity Points allotted to each player who is not tied with other players = the total # of Varsity Points at stake + 1 - (the place the player finished).
- If a player were to compete in only 1 round of a MD-Sweet-16 Qualifier because of an alleged emergency, & if the player’s emergency-exemption claim were not to be approved either on site by the Chief Tournament Director, or subsequently by the MD Chess Scholastic Director, then the player will earn Varsity Points for the single round in which the player competed, only if the player has already competed or subsequently competes in all scheduled rounds of the Varsity section of at least 1 MD-Sweet-16 Qualifier during that qualifying season.
- A Class C- or unrated player will be permitted to play in Varsity under only 3 scenarios:
- 1. The Class C- player's official US Chess rating is 1550-1599 (≤ 50 points below Varsity's floor of 1600), and/or if the Class C- player's unofficial US Chess rating either is 1550-1599 (≤ 50 points below Varsity's floor of 1600) or is 1600+.
- 2. If there were an odd number of Varsity players, then MD Chess would invite a Class C- player to play up in Varsity, because having an even number of Varsity players would prevent the lowest-rated Varsity player from not being paired (& having to receive a full-point bye) in Round 1.
- 3. If a player does not have a US Chess rating but does have a sufficiently strong rating from a foreign (or any other) organization such as FIDE, then the Chief TD may exercise the discretionary power of assigning the player an appropriate US Chess rating for the purposes of section qualification & pairing.