New/Prospective Teams and Coaches

Welcome to the Northern Illinois Chess League!

Who/What is the NICL?

The Northern Illinois Chess League is an IHSA Chess conference that currently spans the North and Northwest portions of Illinois. Our member teams range from Antioch, IL to Sterling, IL. Our member teams participate in a Fall tournament (currently the Sterling Invitational), a competitive season (where each team plays each other team in their division) which determines season standings, and a spring conference championship tournament. Several member teams also participate in chess activities in their community, helping to spread the sport of chess.


How does my team join the NICL?

In order to join the NICL, a prospective coach should contact the NICL Head of Conference (contact info found here) who will then send out information about the prospective team to the existing conference coaches. New teams will be asked to join provisionally as a candidate team; this means that the team will not be added to the official schedule, but is asked to participate in matches wil other NICL teams. The team is then welcome to play in the conference tournament in January. The NICL teams will help the new team schedule matches during the playing season. After a successful season of full participation, the new team could then be placed on the schedule for the following season.


What if I need help starting my team?

NICL coaches are definitely willing to give assistance wherever possible, so try contacting a nearby coach. The Illinois Chess Coaches Association is another place to turn for help. The ICCA has many resources available to help new teams get started. Check out their page designed specifically for New Teams and Coaches.


How do I contact NICL Coaches?

You can find our contact information here.