The 2010 NSC Town Hall Meeting
place on Monday, August 9, 2010
from 8:30–10:30 P.M.
Although we welcome inquiries
throughout the year, this is a good opportunity
to talk about NASPA in a public forum.
As stated, our time is limited and we want to ensure that
everyone is heard from, please note that we will have a maximum three-minute microphone time. If you have a complicated question to ask, please come prepared to phrase it as concisely as you can.
- 1 Panel Members
- 2 Meeting Minutes
- 2.1 Chris Cree, Executive Committee
- 2.2 Dallas Johnson, Cochair, Tournament Committee
- 2.3 Jan Dixon, Chair, Rules Committee
- 2.4 John Chew, Chair, Web Committee
- 2.5 Mary Rhoades, Chair, Club/Director Committee
- 2.6 Rebecca Slivka/Scott Smith, Cochairs, Technology Committee
- 2.7 John Robertson, Chair, Canadian Committee
Representatives from several of NASPA’s committees
will be on hand to answer your questions. Booked so
far are the following:
The following are not able to attend but have submitted reports,
and John Chew will take questions on their behalf:
Minutes for the Town Hall Meeting will be posted here
after the event. In the meantime, here are opening remarks
from the committee representatives involved.
Chris Cree, Executive Committee
- has overseen the work of the Advisory Board and other committees
- fielded hundreds (thousands?) of general inquiries about NASPA
- continued to negotiate with Hasbro
- renegotiated liability insurance coverage
- filed a first tax return
- kept the association’s financial books
- sought and received legal advice concerning the association’s affairs
- recruited committee members
- held smaller Town Hall meetings monthly (?) across the continent
- researched venues for the 2012 National SCRABBLE Championship
(more to follow)
Dallas Johnson, Cochair, Tournament Committee
- Sanctioned over 500 events.
- Reviewed in excess of 1,300 emails to the committee.
- Reviewed and acted on 7 incident reports.
- Reviewed and acted on a complaint stemming from a director’s decision to bar a player from an event.
- Discussed changes to 200 mile driving distance requirement, and developed new guideline for calculating driving distance using Google maps.
- Considered reducing distance restriction in highly populated regions (no action to date).
- Discussed circumstances warranting an exception to 8-week sanctioning lead time requirement.
- Modified sanctioning requirement for ORT events to 6-weeks, with no exceptions to notice requirement.
- Initiated sanctioning of Local Club Tournament (LCT )events (beginning September 1, 2010), with 10 day advance notice required without exception, and established the following criteria for sanctioning: 1. Must be sponsored by a sanctioned NASPA club; 2. No more than 1 event per club, per month; 3. Open to all NASPA members in good standing (subject to size limitations of venue).
- Initiated sanctioning of Team Challenge or Championship (TCC) events (beginning September 1, 2010, with transitional exceptions), with 6-week advance notice required without exception, using the same criteria as for Open Rated Tournaments (ORTs), except that entries may be restricted based on rating or geography.
- Discussed confidentiality guidelines regarding incident reports and witness statements.
- Discussed creating an online tournament sanctioning tool for directors to use.
- Drafted guidelines for sponsorship of tournaments.
- Drafted a statement on accommodation of disabilities at Scrabble tournaments.
- Received and acted on requests for accommodation.
- Coordinated with the Director’s Manual committee to update the sanctioning guidelines for 1-day tournaments.
- Coordinated with the Club and Directors Committee to review guidelines for minors serving as directors and to discuss responsibilities of directors for keeping order at tournaments.
- Fielded various questions from directors, including:
- Rating all local club games during a month as a single LCT (not permitted)
- Barring or placing special requirements on “no show” players (permitted within reason)
- Americans with Disabilities Act requirements as they apply to disabled Scrabble players (must provide reasonable accommodations)
- NASPA policy on non-discrimination and prohibition on gender-exclusive events (may not discriminate based on gender)
- The ability to forbid changes to tally slips once submitted (contrary to tournament rules)
- Allowing a player who has been inactive for a long time to return to play in a lower division (not permitted)
- Allowing a player who has improved significantly since last rated event to leapfrog other players into a higher division (not permitted)
- Standards for advertising of Scrabble tournaments (ads should comply with community standards of decency)
- Dealing with a “no show” player on the second day of play (remove from event pairings)
- Holding rated invitational tournaments (only Team Challenge or Championship events may restrict entries, and restriction must be on approved standards of rating or geography)
- Whether or not a NASPA-rated event can also be rated by WGPO (events can be rated by any outside organization the director wishes, if that organization’s requirements are met)
Jan Dixon, Chair, Rules Committee
- rewrote the entire rule book
- added an index
There were several rules changes, most notably the rule regarding blank declaration. Many others were simplified and/or clarified.
John Chew, Chair, Web Committee
- Maintained NASPAWiki, including
- pages for all committees
- pages for all committee members
- Breaking News
- Press Releases
- Developed an online membership payment system
- Developed an online membership renewal system
- Ported the rating system from John’s laptop to our main server
- Implemented substantial turnaround improvements in rating events
- Implemented a database for tracking upcoming rated events
- Began moving the NASPA website to a higher-performance dedicated host
- Developed a large number of member, director and committee services
- print your own membership card
- submit account payments
- submit profile photos
- edit profile photo
- view current Bulletin
- add new members
- list current members
- submit rating data
- edit director, member or calendar databases
- list accounting records
- view championship registrations
- Developed a new, streamlined NSC registration system
- Developed in-house accounting tools
- Developed and supported better data exchange with cross-tables.com
- Began documenting all committee maintenance procedures
- Continued to develop graphics related to NASPA’s corporate identity and events
- Provided technical support for our website users
Mary Rhoades, Chair, Club/Director Committee
Our committee has:
- Received fees for sanctioning two clubs in Hawaii but have not certified the clubs yet since they don’t have certified directors.
- Administered 27 director tests to new directors and assigned mentors.
- Retested two who failed the first time and they passed the second time.
- Fully certified 7 directors whose mentors approved their readiness.
- Administered 3 director tests to already-certified directors for purposes of critiquing the test
- Certified 15 new or formerly NSA clubs.
- Counseled numerous club directors wanting advice or regarding conflicts.
- Committee investigated incident report between player and club director and upheld club director. Although player kept complaining, when I told him he could take it to the AB, he stopped.
Rebecca Slivka/Scott Smith, Cochairs, Technology Committee
- has been evaluating SSL and game clock phone apps; our preliminary conclusion is that it’s too hard to guarantee that a particular SSL app is correctly configured to authorize their official use by players, and that the clock apps they’ve looked at so far interact poorly with use of a device as a phone
- would welcome volunteer testers for such apps
John Robertson, Chair, Canadian Committee
- set the size of the CC at six members with provisions for minimum and maximum regional representation
- established the length of terms for CC members at three years, with two members' terms expiring on December 31 of each year
- established annual CC elections (and their regulations) in which all Canadian NASPA members can participate
- organized the 2009 CC election (which was unnecessary because the candidates won by acclamation)
- established the qualification rules for the next Canadian Championship tournament, and for the Canadian team at the next World Championship tournament and Causeway Challenge tournament
- established John Robertson as the financial liaison for Canadian NASPA members who wish to pay their membership fees in Canadian dollars.