== [[National SCRABBLE Championship]] ==
# <span class=q>When/where is the [[
2015 National SCRABBLE Championship]]?</span><br />August 1– 5, with mandatory registration on July 31, at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, NV. # <span class=q>Will there be two [[Collins]] divisions at the 2015 NASC?</span><br />Maybe, if attendance continues to increase. We'll make a decision about this in early 2015. # <span class=q>Why was the [[Pairings Committee]] not consulted about the adoption of a playoff format in 2015?</span><br />The mandate of the Pairings Committee is “to evaluate and certify pairing algorithms for tournament use”. The bracket pairing format has long been certified for tournament use, and has been used previously in a number of other tournaments. So there was nothing for the Pairings Committee to do in this case.
# <span class=q>Who decides the format of the NASC?</span><br />The NASPA [[Championship Committee]] is charged with organizing and running our annual championship tournament. The Championship Committee makes hundreds of decisions with respect to the organization of the NASC. The Championship Committee functions much like the organizers/directors of other NASPA tournaments, choosing a venue, negotiating terms, setting entry fees, establishing division cutoffs, determining pairing format, etc.
# <span class=q>
Why is the membership not consulted on changes to the NASC?</span><br />The [[Championship Committee]] has always sought feedback from players at the conclusion of every championship. We consider the opinions of our membership very carefully when making plans for future tournaments, and believe that we have improved on the tournament year by year. Some of the changes to the NASC that have arisen from member feedback include: offering the option to play in the Collins lexicon; offering multiple Collins divisions; modifying the cutoff for the Collins division; modifying the cutoff for TWL Division 1; shortening the Qualifying Rating period; adding a staff/directors Early Bird; adding ancillary events like a Lunch Bird, Trivia Contest, and Tag Team Tourney; and offering a Youth Division.# <span class=q> Why will there be playoffs at the 2015 NASC?</span><br /> While many players have been happy with the traditional pairing format used in the recent championships, there have been some criticisms of that format. Some have argued that it requires the division leaders to play very strong competitors over and over, while those who have a worse record early in the tournament have the opportunity to employ a “Swiss gambit” to make a late surge and secure a higher place in the tournament having faced less stringent competition. The new pairing format came about in part because of its success at last year’s SCRABBLE Champions Tournament. But a secondary factor in choosing this format was the ability to address the concerns expressed by some of our membership. So, while we didn’t conduct a poll of the membership on the pairing format , the choice of this format was responsive to concerns raised by NASPA members. In the same way that we have committed to allowing our members to play in their preferred lexicon, we want to provide our players who favor this format an opportunity to experience a championship paired in this way. # <span class=q>Are playoffs unfair?</span><br />Every pairing format has advantages and disadvantages. And every tournament must foreclose the opportunity for some players to win or place highly at some point during the event. For those reasons, any number of pairing formats can be fair to the participants. What is of critical importance is establishing the pairing format in advance, so that the competitors have the ability to know what is required to win or place in the event.<br>Initiating the playoff bracket after round 21 means that the competitors will already have played the equivalent length of 1½ typical weekend tournaments. Some players may be shut out of the championship bracket based on the luck of the draw during one or more games. But, that is simply the nature of SCRABBLE play. Luck is a factor in our game.<br>Those who are excluded from the championship bracket still have the ability to compete for 9th place and lower, and also have the ability to compete on a game by game basis to test their skills against each of their competitors in the final 10 games. At every championship, there are players who are mathematically eliminated from 8th place and above at the end of round 21. Those players have always continued to play and give their best, regardless of their place in the standings. Similarly, with the bracket format, each player will give his or her best in each game, seeking to improve rating or standing in the tournament, and most of all, drawing enjoyment from playing SCRABBLE games at the biggest, most significant NASPA tournament of the year. # <span class=q>Will there always be playoffs?</span><br />We will solicit particular feedback from our attendees after the 2015 NASC. We will consider carefully what our members have to say about the advantages and disadvantages of this format, and will use that information to determine the pairing format for the 2016 NASC.
== Other SCRABBLE Entities ==