The 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship will take place on August 9-13, 2014 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202. This webpage is updated regularly as additional details become available.
For continuously updated results from our event once it gets underway, please visit the LIVE COVERAGE section.
Online registration is available as of late December. A list of registered players is available on this website and on cross-tables.com. The rest of this section describes in detail the various terms and conditions of registration, most of which are also discussed on the registration form.
Registration is open now, and will close on July 30, 2014, after which players will only be accepted if they do not make a division odd.
To play in the NSC, you must (1) be a NASPA member, and (2) have played in an officially sanctioned SCRABBLE tournament to earn an official tournament rating. If you live in the United States or Canada, that rating should be a NASPA rating; if you live elsewhere it may be a WESPA rating or other comparable national rating.
If you meet these criteria and prefer to play using the international Collins (CSW) lexicon, you may do so. If at least 20 players register in each of the two planned CSW divisions, players will compete separately in an open division and in one for players whose qualifying NASPA CSW rating (or equivalent as determined by the organizing committee) is less than 1400. The qualifying NASPA CSW rating is the highest tournament rating attained at the end of a NASPA CSW-rated tournament which finished during the period August 1, 2012 to July 30, 2014. (If you had a NASPA CSW rating prior to this period, but did not play during the period, your qualifying rating is that unchanged rating.) The CSW divisions will be NASPA and WESPA rated.
If not, then the TWL division(s), numbered 1–4, in which you may play depend on your rating as follows. If you do not have a NASPA rating, you must play in Division 1, the open division. If you do have a NASPA rating, then your division eligibility is based on a Qualification Rating (QR), which consists of the highest tournament rating attained at the end of any NASPA TWL-rated tournament (or segment of a split-rated tournament) which finished during the period August 1, 2012 to July 30, 2014. (If you have a rating, but do not play during this period, your QR is your unchanged current rating.) If your QR is 1800 or higher, you must play in Division 1. If it is in the range 1400–1799, you must play in Division 1 or 2. If it is in the range 1000–1399, you must play in Division 1, 2 or 3. If it is below 1000, you may play in any of the four divisions.
Player division assignments will be reviewed after July 30, 2014 to ensure that everyone is registered in the correct division. If the division in which you registered is not one in which your QR permits you to play, we will move you up to the lowest permissible division. If this new division is Division 1, you will be required to pay the difference in entry fees before checking in at the Championship.
If you are thinking about travelling from overseas to play in this event for the first time, please read our 2014 NSC for Overseas Visitors page.
Again this year, there will be at least one separate division of players using the Collins lexicon at the National Scrabble Championship. Provided that at least 20 players register for each division, two Collins divisions will be offered.
Your division eligibility is based on your Collins Qualifying Rating (CQR), which is determined in one of three ways, depending on your rating status.
If you do not have any sort of rating at all, you must first obtain one at a regular tournament before competing in the Championship.
If your CQR is 1400 or higher, you must play in Division 1. If it is 1399 or below, you may play in Division 1 or 2. If fewer than 20 players register in either division, the two divisions will be combined into a single Collins division.
The Collins division will be run using NASPA rules, except that the Collins lexicon will be used and the challenge penalty will be 5 points per word. The Collins division will be NASPA and WESPA rated.
As announced at the 2014 National School SCRABBLE Championship, this year’s NSC will feature a Youth Division.
This division is open to NASPA members born after August 31, 1999. It will play 12 rounds on August 9–10 in the same playing room and at the same time as the regular adult divisions.
Participants will compete in two-player teams according to School SCRABBLE rules, rated in NASPA’s School SCRABBLE rating system, using the OSPD4 lexicon (+ GEOCACHE and inflections). The entry fee is $25 per player, trophies will be awarded by age category and for best school, with other prizes to be determined based on registration.
Players must have a teammate in order to play, but do not need to have one at time of registration. If you need help finding a teammate, we will match you up with others who are also looking for teammates.
We welcome additional questions about this new event, and will respond to them in this section.
Online registration opened on May 14, and will close on July 30.
The base entry fee for Division 1 and the Collins Division is $175; for Divisions 2–4, $150.
Youths, defined as those whose 18th birthday is after July 20, 2014, may pay $50 to play in any division.
The above fees will be increased by $50 after May 31, 2014. For example, a Division 1 player signing up on June 1, 2014 would pay $225.
Players accepted after the close of registration on July 30, 2014 must pay a $75 late penalty. For example, a youth signing up on August 1, 2014 would pay $175. Acceptance of registrants after July 30, 2014 is not guaranteed, and will generally only be permitted if it does not cause a division to be uneven.
Players not staying at the host hotel for the duration of the event must also pay a commuter/facility fee of $20 per day ($100 maximum). The commuter fee does not apply to those local to the Buffalo area. Verification of status as a hotel guest will be performed at registration/check-in and throughout the event. Players staying at the host hotel for only part of the event must pay the full commuter fee, and may then apply for a refund of $20 per day stayed at the host hotel (to a maximum of $100) after the conclusion of the event, by providing the Championship Committee with hotel confirmation number and dates of stay.
Fees payable are computed based on when (Central Time) funds are received in full. If you are not paying right away online at the moment when you register, please be sure to allow enough time for your mailed payment to reach us.
To change divisions after you have registered, please email the organizing committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Division changes are subject to the following conditions:
If your rating rises above the limit for the division in which you registered, you will automatically be moved to the lowest division for which you qualify.
If you paid your tournament fees by credit card, any credit owing to you will be issued to your card; otherwise, we will mail a check to your membership address as shown in your member profile. No refunds will be issued after the refund deadlines described below.
All refunds are subject to a cancellation fee of $15.
If you decide you need to cancel your registration, we will refund your entry fee (and commuter fee, if applicable), if you so request by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on July 30, 2014.
By registering for the NSC, you agree to abide by the NASPA Tournament Rules and Code of Conduct, and agree to comply with the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship Terms and Conditions. In particular, some games at this tournament, probably the highest Division 1 board without a Gibsonized player, will be annotated live. If you refuse to play a designated game with annotation, you will forfeit it, and may at the director’s discretion be assigned a spread penalty of −200 points.
A Minor Release and Consent Form will be required for all players under age 18 as of July 30, 2014, and may be downloaded and submitted in advance, or executed by a parent or guardian at registration.
Please read our Player Bulletin, and check it again for last-minute updates before you travel to the event.
Participants in the 2014 National Scrabble Championship are responsible for bringing all equipment necessary to play in the tournament. If neither player in a game has equipment available for their game, a double forfeit may be imposed.
The Championship Committee reserves the right to modify the above to account for unforeseen special circumstances.
See also our Google Map.
For information about airline discounts, please consult the player bulletin.
The official event hotel is the Hyatt Regency Buffalo at 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14202 (phone: 716-856-1234). Players registering through our group link are eligible for our special rate of $129/night (single or double occupancy; plus tax) at the event hotel; those who live outside of the Buffalo area and do not either book a room at the host hotel or book a room within our group block at one of the other hotels listed below, will pay a $100 facility fee to contribute the cost of the venue space.
Complimentary in-room wireless internet is included in our group rate. Hotel bookings at our group rate are subject to availability within our group rate block of rooms, and must be booked before July 17, 2014.
The Hyatt is immediately adjacent to the Convention Center, and is connected to it by an indoor walkway, with elevators available for players with mobility issues.
Our room block at the Hyatt is completely sold out, including additional rooms that were secured at a slightly higher rate. We are no longer accepting waiting list names, as there is no reasonable possibility of accommodating those already on the waiting list. Additional rooms outside our block, not necessarily including any negotiated amenities, may be available at the Hyatt at market rates.
We have added overflow rooms at The Lafayette Hotel at 391 Washington St, and at the Comfort Suites Downtown at 601 Main St. As of May 23, 2014, there is no remaining availability in our group blocks at these hotels. Some additional rooms may become available, in the event of cancellation.
We have made arrangements with the following additional hotels. No commuter/facility fee for booking at any of these hotels within the group blocks.
Holiday Inn / Buffalo - 716-886-2121 - We have 50 rooms available at $129/night (plus tax) - call and mention National SCRABBLE Championship for group rate. Rate includes free parking, free wi-fi throughout the entire hotel, shuttle service to/from convention center (pre-book to guarantee availability), an outdoor, heated pool, and a full service restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. Cancellation penalty applies after 7/14/2014. Must book by 7/15/2014.
Best Western- 888-868-3033 - We have 10 rooms available at $129/night (plus tax) - call and mention National SCRABBLE Championship for group rate.
Hampton Inn - Downtown - 716-855-2223 - We have 10 kings at $159/night (plus tax). This rate includes free parking, free breakfast and free internet. Call and mention National SCRABBLE Championship for group rate.
Courtyard by Marriott - 716-840-9566 - We 15 kings and 5 queen two-bed rooms at $159/night (plus tax). This rate includes free internet, but parking is $12/night. This property is only 2 weeks old, so if "new" appeals to you, this might be a good choice. Call and mention National SCRABBLE Championship for group rate.
We are in contact with all nearby hotels and will update you, if we are able to secure any additional properties.
The Hyatt Regency offers valet parking at standard hotel rates (currently $23/day). Hotel guests may also make use of the self parking lots in the vicinity of the hotel.
There are a number of self parking lots available to both hotel guests and commuters to the tournament. For a map of available lots, click here.
Daily parking rates at self parking lots vary. Based on the best available information, rates begin at $4 per day. To search for parking rates, visit BestParking.com and perform an address search using "153 Franklin Street" for the address.
Buffalo offers hundreds of restaurant options, with something to suit every taste. Explore the area's eateries at the Food and Dining Guide provided by www.visitbuffaloniagara.com.
Here are two articles about the Buffalo dining scene:
Niagara falls tour bus transportation will be coordinated at the Activities Director's desk. Date(s) will be scheduled based on the level of interest.
The Buffalo Bisons minor league baseball team has home games vs. Norfolk on August 11, 12, 13, and 14.
Old Falls Street Kids' Club offers fun activities for children each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday beginning at noon.
The Mummies of the World Exhibition at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Mummies of the World is the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts in North America. This compelling collection, presented with reverence and dignity, includes ancient mummies and important artifacts from across the globe including ancient Egypt.
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens provides a place for safe, meaningful play and discovery as children of all ages and abilities explore the wonders of the plant world and the importance of eating healthy. Get to know some of the many tree species in the South Park Arboretum with Kristy Blakely, Director of Education.
Side by Side by Sondheim will be presented at the [www.musicalfare.com MusicalFare Theater]. Shows at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, August 8 and 9.
Seneca Niagara Casino is offering a high-energy show, with unique and renowned street performers from Las Vegas will perform outdoors along the pedestrian bridge over Seneca Square and near the 4th St. entranceway to the casino resort. Performances will alternate on the half-hours between 6PM and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as between 1PM and 5PM on Sundays, weather permitting.
Additionally, Steely Dan will perform at Seneca Niagara on August 8.
Shakespeare in Delaware Park is offering free performances of The Comedy of Errors at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays.
[www.queencityferry.com Queen City Ferry] offers a water ferry service between Buffalo's inner and outer harbors. Round trip takes about 1 hour.
The Erie County Fair runs August 6-17.
The Spirit of Buffalo offers two-hour cruises on a classic 73 foot topsail schooner.
Templeton Landing offers Buffalo Brew Wednesdays, from 6-10 p.m. Sample local brewers, and enjoy local specials.
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival runs through August 10.
The VIP Brewery Tour is offered on Thursdays at the Hotel Lafayette.
Comedian Rich Vos is at the Helium Comedy Club on August 9.
Old Falls Street features classic rock and dance bands on Friday nights from 7-10 p.m.
More information on activities will be provided in your player packet.
If you need a roommate and would like a listing here, please contact the Championship Committee and specify your requirements: male, female or either, smoking or nonsmoking, etc. We will put a listing in this section. If you already have a room, please include in your email what nights your room is reserved. You can list your email address or phone number. Several people successfully found roommates for the NSC this way.
IMPORTANT: When you get your roommate, please contact the committee so we can remove your listing.
If you need a ride/rider to or from the tournament, and would like a listing here, please contact the Championship Committee and specify your requirements. You can list your email address or phone number.
IMPORTANT: When you get your ride/rider, please contact the committee so we can remove your listing.
The nearest international airports to the tournament site are as follows. Note that airports with IATA codes beginning with Y are on the Canadian side of the international border, and that travel time does not include highly variable border-crossing delays.
|BUF||Buffalo Niagara||00:15||10 mi|
|IAG||Niagara Falls||00:25||20 mi|
|ROC||Greater Rochester||01:10||70 mi|
|YHM||John C. Munro Hamilton||01:15||120 km|
|YYZ||Toronto Pearson||01:30||150 km|
|YKF||Region of Waterloo||01:50||170 km|
|YTZ||Billy Bishop Toronto City||02:00||160 km|
There is a group agreement set up with Buffalo Shuttle When you set up online or call in, please make note of the code SCRABBLE. This lets them know that you are part of our group. They will group as many of you together as possible to ensure we get the best rate. For one passenger it would be $30.00. If they can get 5 or more, it goes down to ONLY $10.00. Please note they do pick ups at the airport and train station. Don't miss out on an excellent chance to save on your transport to and from the tournament.
Buffalo Shuttle also does group shuttles to Niagara Falls. Ask them about these daily trips!!
Toll Free 1-877-750-2550
To play in the first round on Saturday morning, you must check in between 10:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. on Friday, August 8, 2014, at the NSC registration desk in the Convention Center lobby outside the playing area. You may ask a friend to check in for you by proxy, if you cannot check in in person. If possible, please email us at email@example.com to notify us in advance of proxy arrangements. If you check in by proxy, but do not show up to play, then neither you nor your proxy will be permitted to check in by proxy at future events. If you do not check in before the desk closes at 7:00 P.M., you may join the championship in progress as soon as it is convenient for the pairings staff to add you back in; this may not take place before Sunday morning. No refund will be issued to latecomers.
When you check in, you will be given an announcement sheet. This is to reduce the number of announcements that have to be made on Saturday morning, so that the event can get underway quickly. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the announcements and tournament schedule.
Players arriving early may wish to play warmup games at local clubs
The Toronto SCRABBLE Club meets regularly at 4169 Bathurst Street, south of Sheppard Avenue West. See the club website for more information and directions; out-of-town visitors play for free.
The Buffalo SCRABBLE Club (No.456) meets on Thursday evenings and would like to invite any players in town early for the NSC to attend our club meeting and a buffet dinner on Thursday August 7.
The club members will provide a potluck style dinner beginning at 6:00 pm followed by our regular 3-game club meeting at 7:00. The evening is free of charge for visitors. We would appreciate an RSVP by Wednesday August 6 from players planning to attend so that we can set up enough tables.
The club meets at the Kenmore Baptist Church, 10 Wardman Road, Kenmore NY 14217. The church is just east of Delaware Avenue about 5 miles north of the NSC hotel/convention center in downtown Buffalo. Buffalo Club members can help with transportation for those players without cars.
To RSVP or for more info, directions, or to request a ride, please contact Joan Tondra: firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-847-0391.
The Mississauga SCRABBLE Club meets on Thursday evenings at 7:15 P.M.
This schedule for the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship may be modified to add new events, or possibly to change room locations. Also, until about a month before the event, it should be considered an early draft, with only the times for registration and the main event to be set in stone. Once the event begins, please check this schedule for changes at the beginning of each day.
For those arriving early in the region, see also the preceding section on local club meetings.
Unless otherwise indicated, all events take place at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center at 153 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202.
Bob and Andi Schoenman, creators of Protiles, honor Rose Kreiswirth's memory. Rose was an expert Scrabble® player for over 30 years and cherished the game for its educational values. An accomplished player, Rose was as well known for her sense of fairness and her congeniality as she was for her competitiveness. The Rose Award will be awarded each year at the National SCRABBLE Championship to a female player who, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the fierce competitiveness and compassion that we remember Rose for. Thank you, Bob and Andi Schoenman!
If you are interested in donating prizes to events at the championship, please email us at email@example.com.
For information about sponsorship opportunities at the championship, please contact Chris Cree.
Full details about cash prizes, and anticipated merchandise prizes, will be posted on the prize table once they are available.
The NSC will be paired using tsh along the lines of past events, including Gibsonization on spread. After an initial phase of fixed pairings based on pre-event ratings, the top contenders are paired with each other, and everyone else is paired Swiss. These two groups, contenders and noncontenders, are paired with minimal repeats. For example, if there is no way to pair the contenders without at least one repeat, then they will be paired with one repeat.
The maximum number of contenders is 12 in Rounds 1-28, 8 in Round 29, 4 in Round 30 and 2 in Round 31. The contenders are further divided into a subgroup of leaders and non-leaders, if this can be done without increasing the number of required repeats while maintaining at least four players among the leaders. Leaders are paired by repeatedly having the top unpaired player play the lowest-ranked player that can catch up to them. Non-leaders are paired Swiss.
For further information about this pairing system, please refer to the section on Chew pairings in the tsh documentation.
Volunteers are needed to help prepare the playing room for the tournament.
Volunteers are needed to help with registration and check-in.
10:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M.
12:30 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
3:00 P.M.-5:30 P.M.
5:30 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
We will need at least 10 laptops for adjudications. The laptops will need the latest version of ZYZZYVA. Please be sure the correct word list is in operation and disable your screensaver in the playing area during games.
We need about 15 Clean and Pack volunteers to help collect and box NASPA tournament supplies to be shipped back to the storage facility after the awards ceremony on Wed., August 13, 2014.
Following is a list of those who have volunteered, but do not yet have a specific assignment:
Only vendors of merchandise licensed by Hasbro will be provided with vendor space and permitted to display and/or sell products inside the tournament venue (which includes the playing room, after hours room, meeting rooms, and any other function rooms or prefunction space used by NASPA during the event). Licensed vendors are subject to prior approval by NASPA, at its sole and absolute discretion.
Other vendors who wish to sell products must do so at their own expense from their own rented space (hotel room, meeting room, etc.), subject to any applicable regulations. NASPA accepts no liability or responsibility for such vendors or their activities.
This page will be updated as the event draws nearer. If you have urgent questions about the event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.