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This document about when a tournament director should allow a player to play up in a higher division than indicated by their rating, originally published by the NSA in the late 2000s, remains in effect. Note that the ‘cross-tables’ referred to here are the official rating results posted originally on the NSA server, now on this server, not those found at our partner domain cross-tables.com.
With the more frequent posting of cross-tables beginning in 2005, the question of which rating a director should use when assigning players to divisions is often asked. Our policy continues to be as follows.
Directors have the option of either using the most up-to-date ratings based on newly-posted cross-tables (as brought to their attention by the affected players, and not necessarily having the director taking the proactive step of checking all players ahead of time -- although that is permissible certainly, but in our opinion, going far beyond what's called for), or using the beginning-of-the-month Official Ratings List.
It is advised that directors decide ahead of time and advertise which method they prefer, and stick with it, so that players know what to expect. For some tourneys it is more advantageous to use one, and for other tournaments the other is more preferable. It mostly depends on tourney format, number of players, director's time constraints... etc.
If a director is using recently-posted cross-tables, but is not actively researching every recent tournament result for every player's most up-to-date, they are advised to set a time deadline after which they will NOT respond to queries for ratings adjustment based on up-to-date cross-tables (an hour before the tourney, 2 hr., a day, etc).