Why did my recent MCC games miss the Supplement ?

A common Question that's asked is:  "Why didn't our event make it into the new supplement? or more commonly,  "Why didn't my games from last month show up in the new official ratings"

The explanation is that while we submit our results almost immediately after the last round, there are a number of delaying factors and deadlines that are out of our control.   Every even numbered month, a new "Ratings Supplement" is physically printed as magazine with over 200 pages of ratings that have changed since the last issue.  This is sent out to TDs (Tournament Directors) all over the country.  Because it is paper based, it has to be delivered to the printers well in advance of the day its ratings must be used in tournaments, which is the 1st of the even numbered month.  This results in the ratings being "snap-shot" somewhere around the 1st or second week of the preceding month. 
If we use as an example the February 2003 tournament, lets see what how the timing on everything taken together works.
    Last Round of the event was February 25th, 2003. 
    Report goes into the postal mail on Thursday the 27th. 
    USCF logs the fact that the report was received by them on Monday, March 3rd.
    The Report is sent to the finance department to verify fees are correct based on number of players, games played, memberships collected and a number of other possible items.
    Report is sent to the ratings department and the event is placed in a stack according to the ending date of the event.  This is to try and ensure that all events are rated in the correct sequence.
    A delay of about 1 to 2 weeks then occurs.    This is to allow for the fact that TDs have up to 7 days to file a report.  Remember, it also has to make it through the Finance department after it is received and then be put into the correct date sequence in the to be sorted stack of events. 
    If there were any very large events or scholastic events with a large number of new members, processing of the event will be slower than a small event where all the ID numbers pre-exist.
    On March 19th the MCC February event was rated.  This is 16 days after it was received.
     If we look at the delay from received to rated for all of the regular events in 2002 and January of 2003, we see the following:
        14, 16, 18, 11, 5,  15, 11, 8, 32, 7        There are three unusually small numbers in the list.  The two smallest ones, 5 and 7 both happen to be for events that ended in the middle of the month.  I suspect that this fact is what led to the significantly shorter delay, but that is really just a guess.  Keep in mind that there are many events from around the country flowing into the USCF each week to be rated.  The USCF knows when most of them are supposed to have been concluded because most major events and many of the smaller events around the country are listed with the USCF.  The USCF is monitoring those for having been submitted and if they have all the events that they were expecting in hand, they can pretty much proceed  with little delay as there isn't likely to be a small unlisted event that is going to come in late and also happen to impact the ratings of the events they have in hand.
    Getting back to the particulars for the February event.   As stated before, the event was rated on March 19th.  Since TDs need to have the supplement in hand sometime before the 1st of April, if you allow three weeks for printing and mailing, the rating information for the supplement will have to go to the printer on about Wednesday the 12th.
Given the fact that the MCC events usually end on the last Tuesday of a month, we generally, continue to miss the deadline for the next supplement.  This means that generally, the games you play in February, April, June, August, October and December will not show up as part of the very next supplement but as the following one.
What is the real impact to you then ?   Well,  its good and bad, depending on how you've played and what's important to you.  If you've been playing badly and your rating should be dropping, then your may be stuck in a higher section that you would like to be in for a longer period than you'd like.  On the other hand, if your rating is supposed to be going up, you may get to play two more months in a lower section than you otherwise would be allowed to. 
The good news is that if you want to know what your rating really is, you can check on the web.  Ahh, but on the web they only update every other week.  You might then think then that you could always find your current rating with only a two week delay after you played!   Sorry, but the delays are the same except you might just miss out on the last web update and have to wait until about two weeks after they get around to rating the event.   In our example case of February 2003, the official supplement for April was posted to the web on about March 18th.  The supplement doesn't include the February event which was rated on the 19th and the web does not show the change in rating due to the event being rated either.    I know that this has all happened because the crosstable was sent to us electronically in email on the 20th and was posted to the MCC web site on the 20th.  Presumably, the next update of the USCF website should indeed show the changes in the MCC players due to the February event.
An artifact of viewing your rating on the web is that even though MCC players will see a more up to date rating on the web site after the listing of the April supplement rating, the event that caused the change in their rating will have actually occurred before the supplement date yet it appears after it.

As if all this weren't odd enough, MCC players who play in weekend events are subject to another quirk.  If the weekend tournament finishes before the last round of the MCC event, it will be rated before the MCC event, even though most of the games they may have played at the MCC occurred before the weekend event.