2017 North American SCRABBLE Championship

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NASC 2017 t-shirt

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. ONLY MINOR CHANGES TO THIS PAGE WILL BE MADE.

Live Event Coverage will be available throughout the event.

The 2017 North American SCRABBLE Championship will take place on July 22-26, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70113. This webpage will be updated regularly as additional details became available.

Live Event Coverage

Live Event Coverage will be available throughout the event.

Registration

Registration for the 2017 North American Scrabble Championship is now open.

A link to a list of registered players is updated automatically with each new registration.

Eligibility

To play in the NASC, 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.

TWL Divisions

If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to play using the Official Club and Tournament Word List 2016 (TWL), you may do so. Four TWL divisions will be offered, divided by Qualification Rating (QR), with unlimited play-up available. If your QR is 1800 or higher, or if you do not have a NASPA rating, you must play in Division 1. If your QR is in the range 1400–1799, you must play in Division 1 or 2. If your QR is in the range 1100–1399, you must play in Division 1, 2 or 3. If your QR is below 1100, you may play in any of the four divisions.

Your QR 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 from August 6, 2016 to July 12, 2017 (the start of last year's Championship to the close of registration). If you have a rating, but do not play during this period, your QR is your unchanged current rating.

Player division assignments will be reviewed after July 12, 2017 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 automatically move you up to the lowest permissible division.

Collins Divisions

If you meet the eligibility criteria and prefer to play using the international Collins (CSW) lexicon, you may do so. If your Collins Qualification Rating (CQR) is 1500 or higher, or if you do not have a NASPA rating, you must play in Division 1. If it is 1499 or below, you may play in Division 1 or 2. If there are fewer than 20 players registered in either division as of July 5, 2017, the divisions will be automatically combined into a single division.

Your CQR is the highest Collins tournament rating attained at the end of a NASPA CSW-rated tournament which finished during the period from August 6, 2016 to July 12, 2017 (the start of last year's Championship to the close of registration). 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. If you do not have a NASPA CSW rating, but have a NASPA TWL rating, your CQR is your TWL QR. 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.

If there will be two divisions, player division assignments will be reviewed after July 12, 2017 to ensure that everyone is registered in the correct division. If the division in which you registered is not one in which your CQR permits you to play, we will automatically move you up to the lowest permissible division.

Information for International Players

If you are thinking about travelling from overseas to play in this event for the first time, please read our 2017 NASC for Overseas Visitors page.

Again this year, there will again be one or two separate divisions of players using the Collins lexicon at the North American Scrabble Championship.

If you do not have a tournament rating (NASPA, WESPA, or other equivalent rating deemed acceptable by the Championship Committee), you must first obtain one at a regular tournament before competing in the Championship.

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. Please see full information about the division in the section above.

Entry Fees

The base entry fee for all divisions is $160.

Youths, defined as those whose 18th birthday is after July 22, 2017, may pay $50 to play in any division.

The above fees will be increased by $50 after May 10, 2017. For example, a non-youth player signing up on May 11, 2017 would pay $210, while a youth would pay $100.

Players accepted after the close of registration on July 12, 2017 must pay a $75 late penalty. For example, a non-youth player signing up on July 13, 2017 would pay $285, while a youth would pay $175. Acceptance of registrants after July 12, 2017 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 New Orleans 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 (Eastern 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.

Division Changes

To change divisions after you have registered, please email the organizing committee at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org. Division changes are subject to the following conditions:

  • After registration closes on July 12, 2017, if your division change would increase the number of players who may potentially have to have byes (if you would make two divisions odd, or would make a smaller division odd), you will be waitlisted until this is not the case.
  • 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.

Refunds

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. Eastern Time on July 12, 2017.

Conditions

Rules, Code and Terms/Conditions

By registering for the NASC, you agree to abide by the NASPA Tournament Rules and Code of Conduct, and agree to comply with the 2017 North American SCRABBLE Championship Terms and Conditions. In particular, some games at this tournament, probably the highest Division 1 TWL and Collins board without a Gibsonized player, will be annotated live, and may be live streamed. 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.

Minor Release

A Minor Release and Consent Form will be required for all players under age 18 as of July 22, 2017, and may be downloaded and submitted in advance, or executed by a parent or guardian at registration.

Player Bulletin

Please read our Player Bulletin, and check it again for last-minute updates before you travel to the event.

Equipment Required

Participants in the 2017 North American 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.

Changes

The Championship Committee reserves the right to modify the above to account for unforeseen special circumstances.

Format

The Format for the 2017 NASC will be 31 rounds of Championship Pairings, without any playoff rounds.

The NASC will be paired using tsh along the lines of 2014 and prior 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 typically 12 in Rounds 4-28, 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.

Hotel/Travel Information

Hotel Registration

The official event hotel is the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70113. The room rate is $149/night (plus taxes) for single or double occupancy. Triple occupancy rate is $174/night and quadruple occupancy is $199/night. All rooms include complimentary wireless internet. Rates valid on reservations booked by June 21, 2017. Rooms booked after this date are subject to availability and at prevailing rates.

Reservations can be made online here or by calling The Hyatt Regency at (504) 561-1234 and providing the group code NASC.

No commuter fee will be charged to those booking rooms at the host hotel using the block code.

Those who live outside of the New Orleans area and do not book a room at a host hotel will pay a $100 facility fee to contribute the cost of the venue space.

Hotel and Event Parking

The Hyatt Regency New Orleans offers valet parking at $40/day. Many nearby lots and garages in walking distances offer parking at significantly lower rates.

Dining

Downtown New Orleans boasts a number of different eateries, catering to all tastes and budgets. To view the many restaurant options available in New Orleans, Louisiana, please visit the Restaurants Page on the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Sightseeing

There is much to see and do in the New Orleans region. Local attractions and activities can be explored on the Things to Do Page of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Roommate Wanted

If you need a roommate and would like a listing here, please complete the NASC Roommate Request Form.

IMPORTANT: When you get your roommate, please contact the committee so we can remove your listing.

Siri Tillekeratne is seeking a male, non-smoking roommate.

Check in: Jul 21 Check out: Jul 27

Phone (403) 281-2459 Email: sirit@shaw.ca

Lilia Murnane is seeking up to two female roommates.

Check in: Jul 21 Check out: Jul 27

Email: lmlilia@yahoo.ca

Ride Wanted

If you need a ride/rider to or from the tournament, and would like a listing here, please complete the NASC Ride Request Form.

IMPORTANT: When you get your ride/rider, please contact the committee so we can remove your listing.

Airport Transport Information

New Orleans, LA is served by the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport For complete airport information, please visit www.flymsy.com.

Airport to Hotel

The host hotel offers shuttle service for an additional fee. Contact the Hyatt Regency directly to arrange.

For those arriving before the evening hours, public transportation via the E2 Airport-Downtown Express bus is $2 (cash) per person. The ride is approximately 45 minutes. The last route runs at 6:15pm weekdays. Get off at the last stop (Tulane & Loyola). Head south on Loyola four blocks to arrive at the Hyatt.

Taxi averages $40 from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Uber and Lyft average $20-30.

Ground Travel

Amtrak and Greyhound stations are co-located at 1001 Loyola Avenue and are a 5 minute walk from the Hyatt Regency.

Check-In

To play in the first round on Saturday morning, you must check in between 12:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. on Friday, July 21, 2017, at the NASC registration desk (Hyatt Regency Elite Foyer). 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 nsc@scrabbleplayers.org 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.

Schedule

This schedule for the 2017 North American SCRABBLE Championship may be modified to add new events, or possibly to change room locations. The schedule is considered tentative at this time. Any changes to the schedule moving forward will also be posted to the Player Bulletin.


Friday, July 21, 2017

12:00 P.M.–7:00 P.M.
Registration (Elite Foyer)
10:00 P.M.–11:30 P.M.
After hours room open (Elite B)
12:00 P.M.–4:00 P.M.
Early bird tournament, restricted to NASC Staff and other NASPA directors (Elite A)
4:30 P.M.–5:30 P.M.
Committee meeting for Division Leaders, Division Assistants, Auxiliary Staff (Imperial 2)
7:30 P.M.–10:00 P.M.
Opening Reception (8-Block Kitchen and Bar)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

8:30 A.M.–8:50 A.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
8:50 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Group Photos - School SCRABBLE/Youth Players (Elite A)
8:55 A.M.–9:10 A.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
9:10 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 1–4 (Elite A)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Canadian Committee and Technology Committee lunch meetings (Elite B)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 5–7 (Elite A)
6:30 P.M.–10:00 P.M.
Advisory Board Dinner Meeting (TBD)
9:00 A.M.–11:30 P.M.
After hours room open (Imperial 5AB)
7:45 P.M.–11:00 P.M.
Trivia Contest (Imperial 5CD)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

8:30 A.M.–8:50 A.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
8:50 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Group Photos - Past NSC Champions/Division Winners (Elite A)
8:55 A.M.–9:10 A.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
9:10 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 8–11 (Elite A)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Club/Director Committee and Rules Committee lunch meetings (Elite B)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 12–14 (Elite A)
9:00 A.M.–11:30 P.M.
After hours room open (Imperial 5AB)
8:30 P.M.–11:30 P.M.
Evening Musicale (Imperial 5CD)

Monday, July 24, 2017

8:30 A.M.–8:50 A.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
8:50 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Group Photo - NASC Staff (Elite A)
8:55 A.M.–9:00 A.M.
Group Photo - Louisianans (Elite A)
9:00 A.M.–9:10 A.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
9:10 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 15–18 (Elite A)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Forward Energy Committee, Membership Committee and Tournament Committee lunch meetings (Elite B)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 19–21 (Elite A)
9:00 A.M.–11:30 P.M.
After hours room open (Imperial 5AB)
8:30 P.M.–10:00 P.M.
Town Hall meeting (Imperial 5CD)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

8:30 A.M.–8:50 A.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
8:50 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Group Photo - International Players (Elite A)
Group Photo - Family Members together at NASC (Elite A)
8:55 A.M.–9:00 A.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
9:00 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 22–25 (Elite A)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
International Committee and Social Media Committee lunch meetings (Courtyard - Legacy Salon A)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 26–28 (Elite A)
9:00 A.M.–11:30 P.M.
After hours room open (Imperial 5AB)
7:30 P.M.–10:30 P.M.
Director meeting (Imperial 5CD)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

8:30 A.M.–8:50 A.M.
Set up for play (Elite A)
8:50 A.M.–9:00 A.M.
Announcements (Elite A)
9:00 A.M.–12:30 P.M.
Rounds 29–31 (Elite A)
1:30 P.M.–3:00 P.M.
Prize Ceremony (Imperial 5CD)
3:00 P.M.–7:00 P.M.
Tear Down (Elite A)

The Rose Award

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 North American 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!

Other Donors

If you are interested in donating prizes to events at the championship, please email us at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org.

Sponsors

For information about sponsorship opportunities at the championship, please contact Chris Cree.

Prizes

Collins Incentive Prizes at the 2017 Nationals

Norman Wei and two other generous donors have organized and contributed to a prize pool to incentivize lower-rated players to play in Collins divisions at the 2017 NASC.

Prizes from a pool no less than $1800 will be awarded to the top four eligible players with the highest spreads (not number of games won) at the end of 31 games.

The following players are eligibility rules for this special prize pool:

  • Any player with a qualification rating for the 2017 NASC, who does not have a qualification rating above 1300.
  • Any player from outside of the United States and Canada who has a WESPA rating, but whose WESPA rating has not exceeded 1300 during the 2017 NASC qualification period.

Please note:

  • Players who miss games (not including assigned byes) may not win prizes.
  • In the event of a tie, prizes will be pooled and divided among the players involved.
  • If there are not at least six eligible players playing at least one game on the first day of NASC 2017, these prizes will not be awarded.

Full details about cash and merchandise prizes will be listed on the prize table.

Staff

Organizer
Chris Cree
On-Site Executive / Webmaster
John Chew
Director
Arthur Moore
Assistant to the Director
Diane Moore
Division Leaders
Division 1: John Robertson
Division 2: Bryan Pepper
Division 3: Dan Stock
Division 4: Kieran O'Connor
Collins: Jason Idalski

Other Volunteers

If you would like to volunteer to help out with the NASC in any of the capacities listed below, please fill out the NASC Volunteer Form. All registered volunteers will received a free NASC 2017 T-Shirt.

Friday, July 21

Volunteers are needed to help prepare the playing room for the tournament.

Volunteers are needed to help with registration and check-in.

11:30 A.M.-1:30 P.M.

1:30 P.M.-3:30 P.M.

3:30 P.M.-5:30 P.M.

5:30 P.M.-7:30 P.M.

Wednesday, July 26

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., July 26, 2017.

Vendors

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.

Further Information

This page will be updated as the event draws nearer. If you have urgent questions about the event, please email us at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org.