At the National Chess Congress they have a few sections for lower rated players that have no cash prizes, just trophies. Many kids play in these sections, but because they're not scholastic tournaments there will also be low rated adults in the sections. (Note: I may gripe about losing to 10 year olds, but at least their ratings are 4 digits. I'm not sure if I could cope with having a rating under 1000 and playing and losing to children with such ratings.) The other thing about these sections not being scholastic, is the neurotic chess parent can hover near by, thus making the tournament director's job much harder. I think my favorite scene in "Searching for Bobby Fischer" is when the tournament director locks all the crazed parents in the cage. My tournament director fantasy is to be able to do that to crazed mothers and fathers when they get in my face.
As I was walking out of the tournament room after my fifth round loss there was a big argument going on between the father of a little girl in the Under 1000 section, the opponent of the girl, players sitting at adjoining boards, other spectators and the poor tournament director. And people wonder why spectators are not allowed near the players at the national scholastic championships. As much as I did not like losing another game, I much preferred being able to leave the room to mark up another zero, then have to make a ruling on what was happening in the Under 1000 section.
The last thing I heard the father say was something to the affect of, "You're grown men taking advantage of a little girl." I asked the director later what that was all about. The girl was crushing her opponent and had mate in a few moves. The opponent was shaking his head and muttering. The girl thought he was resigning and reached out to shake his hand. He interpreted the extended hand as a draw offer, and promptly accepted. That was not her intention, but that's how it came across. I guess the other players seated at the adjoining boards felt that was what happened. The father felt the opponent was taking advantage of her youth and inexperience by claiming a draw in a hopeless position. However the director did rule that it was a draw offer. Not having heard what the witnesses had to say or what the player herself said, I can't really say whether or not the ruling was right or not.
Fortunately her tie breaks we better so she did come in first any way. It would have sucked to have not won the section because of that error. It also would have sucked if there had been money and she ended out with less because she was in a tie for first instead of clear first. (BTW the under 1600 section was won by a 7 year old who got $3,000.) Hopefully she learned not to offer or accept a handshake without hearing "I resign" from the opponent.
I've had more then one kid ask me what my intent was if I stopped the clock, said "Good game", and extended my hand. My adult opponents accept my resignation in that manner. The kids want to see a tipped king, or hear "I resign." Though recently a tipped king was not enough for one of my young opponents. He still asked me what I meant. I know he knew what a tipped king meant, but I think he just wanted to make sure that it wasn't a big j'adoube that was disguising a stealth draw offer. That's not my style, but I'm sure the kid must have been burned once with what he thought was a resignation, but actually was a stealth draw offer. It's better to be safe then sorry.