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The NSA Dictionary Committee has not yet been transferred to NASPA. Its mandate is to update the tournament lexicon, currently consisting of the Official Club and Tournament Word List for words of up to nine letters and their inflections, and Long List for longer words.
The committee will have the following items on its agenda:
New York chess club players adopted Funk & Wagnalls College Dictionary as the first common word reference in the 1960s, leading eventually to its adoption as the first official SCRABBLE by SCRABBLE Crossword Game Players (the predecessor of the NSA).
Around 1975, Mike Senkiewicz proposed addressing the major defects of Funk & Wagnalls (idiosyncratic vocabulary, large number of affix lists, and lack of explicit inflection) by compiling an Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary (OSPD) from five college dictionaries.
The Dictionary Committee has its unofficial roots in the team that 1978 National Champion David Prinz led to edit the first edition of the OSPD. Prinz, along with Jonathan Hatch, Kathy Flaherty and Bernie Teitelbaum, consulted with James Lowe of Merriam-Webster in compiling and defining all suitable words found in the following source lexica:
OSPD was officially adopted on October 1, 1978.
During the 1980s, Joe Leonard updated the word list based on the ninth edition of Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the third edition of Webster's New World Dictionary. His changes took effect in 1990 with the publication of OSPD2, the second edition of the Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary.
In 1995, Merriam-Webster prepared a third edition of the OSPD — OSPD3 – largely in response to pressure to remove offensive words. Effective February 1st, 1996, the tournament lexicon consisted of OSPD2, plus a small number of words added in OSPD3, but retaining the deleted words.
In September 1996, the NSA officially created its Dictionary Committee and named John Chew its first chair. The committee prepared the first edition of the [[Official Club and Tournament Word List]] (OCTWL1), which corrected some errors, consisted only of a word list without definitions, and included words of nine letters (and not just the OSPD's maximum eight). It took effect in March 1998.
In early 2003, the Dictionary Committee compiled the first North American word reference of longer words, the Long List, which extended the tournament lexicon to the longest playable words of 15 leters.
Jim Pate took over the committee chair to work on OCTWL2, which returned to OSPD traditions by including newly added words from multiple source dictionaries:
OCTWL2 took effect on March 1st, 2006, and is the current word reference for club and tournament play in North America.