NASPA offers several different categories of certification for its officials. The criteria for certification are set jointly by the Tournament Committee and the Club/Director Committee. If you are interested in becoming certified, please follow the detailed instructions for director certification.
|Tournament/Club Director||F||yes||yes||21+||May direct tournaments and clubs.|
|Club Director||C||May direct clubs.|
|Tournament Coordinator||P||May organize and have sanctioned tournaments, and hire directors to work at them.|
|Apprentice Director||A||no||May direct a tournament or club under the supervision of a mentor director.|
|Young Adult Apprentice Director||A2||18–20||May direct a tournament or club under the on-site supervision of a mentor director. You must currently be at least 18 to become an apprentice.|
|Youth Apprentice Director||A1||<18|
|Assistant Director||S||no||any||May act online on behalf for a director without full Internet access.|
1These codes are used in the membership database.
2You must pass a test to obtain this certification, unless grandfathered.
3You must finish an apprenticeship under a mentor director to obtain this certification, unless grandfathered.
4Click on the certification title for a more detailed description.
Until 2009-07-01, the organization responsible for certifying tournament and club directors was the NSA. It did so using an open-book written test with a pass-or-fail result.
If you were an active tournament or club director certified by the NSA as of that date, you are granted the grandfathered status of Tournament/Club Director. However, the NSA’s records of director certification were incomplete, so if you believe that you qualify for grandfathering but have not been certified, please contact Mary Rhoades.
- A certified director must be a member in good standing of NASPA. A director can lose his/her good standing through a disciplinary process, or by having an overdue account with NASPA.
- When significant changes are made in Official Tournament Rules and/or Director’s Manual, directors may be required to retake the director test as a review at no charge. This can be done by email.
It is important for all NASPA directors to remember they are also NASPA's public representatives. NASPA is Hasbro's official organization to promote competitive club and tournament SCRABBLE play.
Accordingly, directors should only promote competitive SCRABBLE play through NASPA and no other organization except in the case of advertising, in which they should identify them as a NASPA club. In exchange for these services, directors have been granted exclusive territorial rights for their clubs and tournaments by NASPA.
The first responsibility of NASPA directors is to represent NASPA in a professional, moral, ethical, fair, welcoming and encouraging manner.
The second responsibility of a NASPA director is to perform the duties of a director in order to provide more, not fewer, opportunities for all players to participate, which is why entreating anyone to renounce his or her NASPA membership is unacceptable as it decreases the opportunities available to them to participate in competitive SCRABBLE.
While NASPA directors may belong to multiple organizations and play in events for multiple organizations, they may not become club/tournament directors of another organization, recruit members for an organization other than NASPA, or entreat players to renounce their membership in NASPA.
Any director who does not abide by the policies can have his/her director's certification revoked by NASPA.
NASPA has no qualms with its directors...
- running or assisting with School SCRABBLE events because School SCRABBLE is the bailiwick of Hasbro, and NASPA has a working relationship with Hasbro.
- running or assisting with WESPA tourneys because NASPA has a working relationship with WESPA.
- running or assisting with any SCRABBLE-related fund-raisers for literacy or charities. (Note: anyone organizing such an event should contact Hasbro for permission to use the SCRABBLE trademark.)
- running or assisting with non-SCRABBLE events because, well...they’re non-SCRABBLE events.
Resources for directors
Here are some resources for directors to help them do their job. If you need something that isn’t listed below, please let us know and we’ll add it.
There is an online group (naspa-tcd) where sanctioned directors discuss questions and issues with other directors, including hearing what they have to say about all facets of organizing and running sanctioned NASPA clubs and tournaments. We encourage you to join it.
See also the Player Resources page for scoresheets and other player-related forms and links.
- Services and software
- Contact the Tournament Committee to add or update events on the Tournament Calendar (use the Tournament Listing Request Form to submit your initial tournament listing request). Consult the Scheduling Information webpage for relevant information about tournament sanctioning.
- Download Software for word adjudication and tournament management
- Submitting tournament results
- Downloadable forms
- Blank slips (posted 2010-09-20)
- Blank/Challenge slips (older version)
- Combined score/blank/challenge slips (revised 2010-09-25), also available in two-page version for two-sided printing and in two-player team version revised 2014-02-17
- Online Incident Report Form
- Printable Incident Report Form (requires Acrobat Reader)
- Contestant Scorecards (single-sided): 8 Rounds, 9 Rounds, 10 Rounds, 16 Rounds, 17 Rounds, 18 Rounds, 19 Rounds (other scorecard designs can be requested on one month’s notice)
- Membership Application Form for gathering data offline to enter later into the online membership application system.
- Score sheets
- Word Judge Test
- Key publications
- Newcomer's Handout ("Top Ten Things" from Mary Rhoades)
- Other informational notices
- Tournament checklist
- Directing SOWPODS tournaments
- Accommodating players with special needs
- List of Accommodations granted by the Tournament Committee
- How to implement a Friend of the director (FOTD) policy
- How to pair a round-robin event
- Which rating to use when assigning players to divisions
- NASPA Liability Insurance Certificate to share with venues that require insurance coverage
- Verify a player’s membership and/or rating (note that cross-tables only lists players who have played rated games; first-time players will be flagged as “Check with NASPA”):
- Member search An interactive search for any NASPA members (does not currently include information about suspensions).
- Rating search An interactive search for any rated players (shows rating and expiry; flags suspended players).
- Member list (restricted to certified NASPA directors) A concise listing of all current NASPA members eligible to play in tournaments (with their ratings and membership numbers), in alphabetical order by last name (includes also new members who haven’t played in rated tournaments yet; excludes members who have not paid yet or whose membership has expired; excludes players currently under any level of suspension). Tip: save or print a copy of the output from this application so you can quickly verify any player’s eligibility even when you are not online.
- Rating list A long listing of all living players (with their ratings, rankings and membership expiration dates) that have ever established a rating with NASPA or the NSA, in alphabetical order by last name (includes rated players only; includes also rated nonmembers and past members; indicates players who are suspended).
- Under the terms of international agreements, certain players may be entitled to complimentary NASPA memberships for the purposes of playing in tournaments. Please consult that page for further instructions on accepting overseas members in rated tournaments.
- If you are unable to use the above to determine a player’s membership status, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To purchase a NASPA membership for a player, go to Member services and look for “Add New Members” or “Renew Member” in the Director section. As a director, if you have more than one kind of payment to make (membership, renewal, participation fee, etc.), you can choose to defer payment so that you only have to enter your credit card information once. If you need to collect membership information offline at a tournament or club, you can use our old Membership Application Form to record the data you will need to type into the online form. Overseas players may inquire about reciprocal memberships under international agreements; if you're not sure what to do, email email@example.com.
- Players under suspension
- Player Accommodations
Tutorial on Processing Memberships or Renewals
All tournament players, whether a newbie or someone with a rating who hasn't joined NASPA yet, must join NASPA in order to play in your tournament. Here are some scenarios that might apply to your tournament:
1. You are gathering entries for your tournament and you look on cross-tables to see if they are members. Cross-tables says "check with NASPA". You check on the NASPA member database, accessible by clicking on "Member Search" on the sidebar. If they have a member number in the NASPA database, they are good to go. Occasionally a membership does not show up on Cross-tables right away but will already be listed on the NASPA database.
2. You are gathering entries for your tournament and you agree to let someone join NASPA at the door. If you know ahead of time that one or more people are going to do this, go to Member Services and click on the “Add New Member” button in the Director section. Fill out all the membership information and then choose “Payment with your next tournament’ participation fee” payment method. Your players’ memberships will be activated right away, and a charge will be placed on your account with NASPA, so that it will be totalled with your participation fee after your tournament.
3. You are checking in players the day of the tournament and you have a walk-in who is not a member.
Check to make sure that all of your players are listed on the NASPA site as members. Rating data will not be accepted if any players are not members. Ask nonmembers to fill out printed membership forms, then activate their memberships as in case 2 above. If you have players who say they have recently mailed membership checks to NASPA, do not pay that portion of the amount shown owing; it will be removed from your director account when their checks clear. If their checks do not clear, you will be liable for their membership fees and will not be able to run a tournament until we receive full payment.
By “director account” that simply means there will be a list of directors and what they owe for the new members and your “account balance” will go away once you have paid. This does not go on your credit card when you submit your results.
You also have the option of authorizing the membership monies to be charged to your credit card, which you might do to help a club member join NASPA when you do not have an upcoming tournament.
4. A tournament entrant says he has joined NASPA. Ask what his membership number is. If it starts with AA followed by 6 digits, you're fairly sure he joined NASPA and not the NSA. Occasionally people join the NSA thinking that it will entitle them to play in NASPA-rated tournaments.
We are continuing to compile a director list and a Club roster. If you are a director who has not yet submitted information about yourself and/or your club, please download our director questionnaire and submit it to Mary Rhoades.