Frequently Asked Questions about HRCA Programs and Classes

Where do I register for class?  Through each separate company’s website, or through HRCA?

You will always register through HRCA.  The company links are provided only for you to find more information about the curriculum before choosing your offerings through HRCA.  At the top and bottom of the HRCA Program and Class page on our website, you will find a registration link.  This is where you will register for classes, NOT at the company website!

Do I have to choose classes for the whole year now, or can I wait until later to sign up?

Registration deadlines are a week prior to the start of each class session.  You are welcome to sign up for all of your season choices up front (for example if you want to spread out your payments more), or you can wait and register before the deadline for each program’s start date.  Only a few classes for our more advanced students allow new registrations after classes have started, so don’t miss the registration deadlines.  Fees may be prorated.

If my class ends in March and I’m in the competition club (HRSCC), as well, or if I don’t start training until winter, will I have to quit club activities when my class ends or wait to start competing until my class starts?

No!  HRSCC members are required to train a minimum of 20 hours during the season, choosing from one or more of our classes to meet that requirement.  Regardless of when you take those classes, HRSCC activities run from September to June, and you will be on the roster for the entire season, beginning to end.

Is there still a wait list?

The answer is sort of, but not like before!  In the past, HRSCC (the youth competition club) was our only offering, with integrated training and competition.  The in-person single-night format resulted in a wait list of 80-100 kids at any given time.  Our classes are now offered separately and are open to the public.  The only “wait” for class is if you miss a registration deadline and have to wait for the next course start date.  We have start dates for our various classes in September, January, February, and March, as well as our summer programs in June.  If you miss a class start date, there may be weekend workshops that are suitable, and we also have a private coaching roster available on the website.  You may also contact us to request a discounted ChessKid Gold training account for your child to get a jump start on learning chess while waiting.  For the Tuesday night competition program, you may “register” for the “wait list,” which is now simply an indication of your desire to pursue competitive chess, as opposed to taking classes for academics, life skills, or casual enjoyment.  We will accept your child into HRSCC as soon as they are able to play complete games of chess according to the rules and can compete even at a rudimentary rookie level.

Do I HAVE to play in tournaments?

No!  HRCA brings the life benefits of chess to people of all ages and abilities in our region.  Not everyone wants to learn chess for the purpose of competing.  Systematic study and practice of the game achieves the most benefits, and studies show that competitive / tournament players achieve more academic benefit than casual players.  But our new structured classes will greatly improve the academic and life benefits aspects of your training even without competition.  Some kids (and adults!) simply are not competitive by nature or suffer from anxiety, and we want chess to be enjoyable for all!  Feel free to register for classes, with no pressure to play in tournaments.

I don’t live in or near Hampton Roads, but I see your classes and programs are all online this year.  May I enroll?

No, unfortunately not.  Because we are a non-profit subsidized by our donors on behalf of the region we serve in southeastern Virginia, we cannot pass those cost savings on to people from outside our normal operating area.  The only exception to this rule is alumni students who move out of our area — they may continue online programming until and unless it is no long offered and we return entirely in person.

Why do classes cost money if HRCA is a non-profit?

Non-profits have to meet operating expenses like any business, with the difference being that the vast majority of our revenue is piped directly back into our programs, with very low overhead.  If you were to research chess training of this caliber around the nation offered by for-profit centers and companies, you will see that HRCA currently offers our programs and services at 10-20% the price of a for-profit company.  HRCA does offer FREE programming to target populations, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, and at-risk youth.

What if I can’t afford classes or programs?

We turn no child (or adult!) away for inability to pay.  We offer needs-based financial assistance through our Joan H. Schlich Memorial Scholarships.  Simply indicate on your registration form that you are seeking financial aid, and we will get you an application.  Funds are not unlimited, but we will strive to ensure that every student has access to training and other opportunities through our organization.  Scholarship applications are reviewed by a scholarship committee, with awards announced at least a week before the start of class.  The entire process protects the privacy of the applicants.

Additionally, EVERYONE has access to payment plans to spread fees out in equal monthly payments at no additional charge.

Do you have a multi-child discount?

Yes.  We serve a number of large families and understand how expensive activities can become.  HRCA offers family caps on fees.  After your first three children, all other children are FREE for the competition club and minimum training requirements.  For large families still struggling to pay, see the above question.

Do you have a certified Chess Merit Badge (Scouts BSA) Counselor on staff?

Yes, we do!  There is never any fee to earn your chess merit badge in a group or as an individual through HRCA.

Keep checking back here for more FAQs as we add them!