Frequently asked questions

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Here is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA). Please check to see if your question is answered here before you contact us.

General questions about the Association

  1. What is NASPA?
    NASPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation incorporated in Texas. It has an exclusive license from Hasbro to administer competitive SCRABBLE play in the United States and Canada.
  2. Who is in charge of NASPA?
    NASPA is formally governed by its board of trustees. Its day-to-day management is in the hands of its Executive Committee, which delegates most tasks to its Committees. Decisions of working committees may be appealed to the Advisory Board; AB decisions may be appealed to the EC; EC decisions may be appealed to the board of trustees.
  3. Do players have a voice in how NASPA works?
    Yes. Players who have the time and energy to devote to volunteering for one of NASPA's Committees can have the most direct impact on our future by helping to develop our policy. Others are encouraged to either contact the committee in charge of their concern, or their Advisory Board representative for general concerns.

The rest of our topics are listed alphabetically.

cross-tables.com

  1. What is cross-tables.com?
    Cross-tables.com is a partner website developed and maintained by Seth Lipkin, providing a wealth of statistical information about the history of official SCRABBLE play in North America.
  2. What does it mean when it says "Check with NASPA" next to an unrated player's name in a tournament roster?
    It means that cross-tables.com does not track information about unrated players, and you should use the regular membership tools to verify an unrated player's membership status.

Finance

  1. Is financial information available for NASPA?
    You may view NASPA's Form 990 on our Financial Reports page.
  2. Will there be executive stipends, will the members decide them, and will they be published?
    NASPA reports its budget in accordance with statutory requirements governing nonprofit corporations. Executive stipends, if any, are determined by the board of trustees. As of 2013, there are no stipends as such, but NASPA is reimbursing some expenses necessary for its operation, and disbursing approximately $2,000 per month in consulting fees.
  3. When will NASPA start spending its capital reserves?
    While it is important for the organization to maintain reserves for unanticipated liability or expenses, we have already been allocating resources for various publicity activities. We are proceeding cautiously and will announce additional plans as soon as they are available.
  4. Will NASPA spend its capital reserves to subsidize prize pools at major events?
    In general, no, because we believe that this would lead to the very top players being paid better without an increase in overall membership. We would rather spend money on reaching out to a broader group of potential players to encourage them to join the association.
  5. Can my tournament sponsors make a charitable donation through NASPA?
    No, we are a 501(c)(4) corporation, not a charity.

Membership

Benefits

  1. What do I get with my membership?
    You get access to member-only sections of the website, the right to participate in official tournaments, the right to volunteer for or stand for election to our committees, and the right to have your club and tournament accomplishments officially recognized.
  2. Do I get a printed membership card?
    We will not mail them out to you, but you can either print your own using our online tool or ask us at special events like the National SCRABBLE Championship.
  3. Can I buy member-only publications such as the OTCWL from WordGear as a NASPA member?
    No, because Word Gear went out of business on July 1, 2013. You can buy the OTCWL from Merriam-Webster customer service though, and will need to provide your NASPA ID to do so.
  4. Are newcomers allowed to attend one open rated tournament before joining as members?
    No, but they will have an option to purchase a 6-month trial membership for US$15.

Joining and renewing

  1. How do I buy a NASPA membership?
    The membership page says how to pay online using a credit card to activate your membership right away, or submit your data and follow up with a check to have your membership activated when we receive payment.
  2. My credit card is being rejected, but I'm sure it is valid: what should I do?
    As explained on the Payment page, we do not have control over the format in which our bank expects you to enter your address; please be especially careful about using the standard abbreviation for your state or province, and entering it in the correct box. These are the two most common “errors”.
  3. I'm a tournament director and I need memberships for some players so that my upcoming tournament can be rated. What do I do?
    Click on the Member Services link in the navigation sidebar, then click on Add New Members in the Director section. Fill out the membership information for your players, then choose “Payment with your next tournament’s participation fee” as your payment option.

Life membership

  1. Do life members in the former NSA get life membership in NASPA?
    No. The NSA and NASPA are two separate organizations. Life membership in NASPA costs $20/year of age up to age 80.
  2. What proof of age do I need to show to obtain life membership?
    You can send us a copy of government-issued identification showing your date of birth, or show it to any NASPA-certified Director and ask him/her to attest to us on your behalf.

Member profile

  1. How do I change my NASPA contact information?
    Click on the Member Services link in the navigation sidebar, then Edit Profile.
  2. Why did I not receive my National SCRABBLE Championship prize winnings?
    NSC prizes are paid by check mailed to the address given in your member profile; check to make sure that it’s up-to-date.

Membership numbers and passwords

  1. What is my membership number (NASPA ID)?
    You can look it up in the member database.
  2. I don't have Internet access; will you mail me my membership number?
    If you cannot ask a friend to look up your number, you can call us and we will look it up for you.
  3. Can you send me a password to log onto the membership services section of NASPA?
    No, but you can send it yourself by going to the membership services page, entering your member number and clicking on “Email me my password”.
  4. My current email address is not in the member database, how can I receive my password?
    Contact the Membership Committee to have your email address updated in the database.
  5. How do I change my password?
    Go to the Member Services page, then click on the “Change Password” button at the bottom of the page.
  6. Can you set my password to XXXXXX?
    No. You can change it yourself by clicking the “Change Password” button at the bottom of the Member Services page. If you don’t remember your password, enter your member number and click on “Email me my password”.
  7. I tried entering my NASPA ID and password but keep being told “'re trying to connect to an unknown session. Please log on again.”
    We use “browser cookies” to keep track of sessions at our website. If you see this message and use AOL as your ISP, make sure that you are using Firefox as your browser and not the default AOL browser. Otherwise, make sure that you have cookies enabled in your browser preferences.

National SCRABBLE Association

  1. What happened to the NSA?
    It transferred many of its duties to NASPA in 2009, and went out of business in July 2013.
  2. What happened to Word Gear?
    Word Gear is out of business as of July 2013. If you are interested in ordering the official word list, NASPA members may do so from Merriam-Webster customer service. All other Word Gear products are no longer available.

Newsletters

  1. Does NASPA have its own newsletter?
    No, but NASPA has a bulletin which appears periodically and hopes to appear more regularly as time goes on.
  2. Where can I find the NASPA Bulletin?
    Click on the Bulletin link in the sidebar of any page.
  3. My friend doesn’t have Internet access, but is a NASPA member. How can my friend read the NASPA Bulletin?
    Although the NASPA Bulletin is protected by copyright, you may print it for your own personal use and for the personal use of other members. Registered directors are encouraged to do so for their players.
  4. I know someone who does not have Internet access and does not go to clubs or tournaments. How can they read the NASPA Bulletin?
    NASPA is an association for club and tournament players. If a person does not want to attend clubs or tournaments, they will not be interested in the NASPA Bulletin.
  5. When will the next issue of the Bulletin be published?
    We are working toward a more publication schedule and thank you for your patience.

National SCRABBLE Championship

  1. When/where is the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship?
    August 9–13, with mandatory registration on August 8, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in Buffalo, NY.
  2. Can I book my return flight on the assumption that things will wrap up at their usual time?
    There is a small chance that top players might need to stay a little later, but it will be business as usual for everyone else.
  3. Will there be two Collins divisions at the 2014 NSC?
    Maybe, if attendance continues to increase. We'll make a decision about this in early 2014.

Ratings

  1. Where can I find a list of NASPA members and ratings?
    Please consult the NASPAWiki article about ratings.
  2. How are state / province rankings computed?
    These ranking lists are updated automatically whenever new ratings are computed after a tournament.
  3. A player is listed in the wrong state. How can that be corrected?
    Each player should be able to log in to the member services as described above and update the address in his or her own profile. The new state will be used the next time the state rankings are computed.
  4. I haven't played in a tournament in many years, do I have to use my old rating or can I start over?
    Once you have received a rating, you must use it in your next tournament, no matter how long the time has been. Players are responsible for notifying the director if they have ever played in a sanctioned tournament and received a rating (and to ensure that the director has their correct rating/name on record).
  5. I have a WESPA rating but no NASPA rating; what happens at my first NASPA Collins tournament?
    Your Director may at his/her discretion place you in a division based on your WESPA rating, but your initial NASPA rating will be computed as an unrated player.

Records

  1. I think I have set a new record, who do I tell?
    Read the instructions at the top of our Records page.

Tournaments

  1. What do I need to do to play in a sanctioned tournament?
    Be a member in good standing, satisfy any qualification criteria for the tournament (most have at divisions to accommodate all players), complete an entry form and submit payment to the event organizer.
  2. I want to organize a tournament, what do I need to do?
    Contact the Tournament Committee to submit details for the tournament you wish sanctioned.
  3. Is my sanctioned tournament covered by NASPA’s liability insurance policy?
    Yes. See the Directors section of Member Services, here.

Volunteering

  1. How can I help?
    If you would like to volunteer with any of NASPA's activities, thank you! Please contact a member of whichever NASPA committee interests you to see how your skills can best be put to use, or check our Help Wanted page. If you have suggestions that you do not want to help work on, you can still send them to any committee member, but they will get implemented sooner if you can help us.
  2. How do I edit pages on this website?
    If you are a NASPA committee member, then you may request from Web Committee a username and password to log onto the website. Do so and follow the instructions for editing NASPAWiki. If you are not a committee member, please ask one to make your changes.

World SCRABBLE Championship

  1. When/where is the 2013 World SCRABBLE Championship?
    It was announced in May 2013 that the event would be renamed the SCRABBLE Champions Tournament and held as part of the Prague Mind Sports Festival on December 4-8.
  2. How do I qualify for Team U.S.A.?
    Through the 2013 World SCRABBLE Championship US qualification system.
  3. How do I qualify for Team Canada?
    Through the 2013 World SCRABBLE Championship Canadian Qualification System.