Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the
North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA). Please check
to see if your question is answered here before you
contact us. If your question is about the NSA (or School SCRABBLE or casual SCRABBLE play, please look for the answer on
the NSA web site instead.
A. Questions about the transition from the NSA to NASPA
- What is the difference between NASPA and the NSA?
As of 2010-01-01, Hasbro will no longer be providing regular funding to SCRABBLE clubs and tournaments. As a result, over the course of 2009, the NSA will transfer responsiblity for clubs and tournaments to the newly formed NASPA, leaving the NSA to concentrate on developing new markets for SCRABBLE in areas such as School SCRABBLE.
- How were the members of the NASPA Steering Committee chosen?
The committee members were chosen by the NSA. The selection criteria were not made public, but the committee includes NSA Persons of the Year, top directors and non-directing players, people who have and have not worked directly for the NSA, and people from north, south, east and west. It clearly did not include several people who could have made significant contributions to the committee, but the initial size of the committee is already a little too large, and there will be plenty of later opportunities for others to work with NASPA.
- Will I have to pay more to play SCRABBLE?
Yes. It takes money to run an organization. Hasbro is no longer providing that money, so for the foreseeable future, players will be charged higher fees than under the NSA regime. In particular, annual membership in NASPA costs US$30 (regardless of residence: U.S., Canada or overseas) compared to $20–25 for the NSA (although for a limited time, the “annual” membership fee will pay for membership through December 2010), and the NSA rating fee of US$1.00–1.75 per player will be replaced by a NASPA participation fee of US$0.50 per player per game effective July 1, 2009.
- What will I get for my money?
NASPA is a player-run organization committed to expanding the playing community by continually improving its services and your playing experience. If you have suggestions as to new services you would like to pay for, please contact our Membership Committee. As of now, buying a membership will show your support for the new organization, entitle you to play in sanctioned tournaments and have your achievements officially recognized, and you will receive a special low membership number.
- Should I renew my membership in the NSA?
You may do so if you want to continue to receive the NSA newsletter, but you do not have to do so to play in sanctioned tournaments.
- What membership do I need to play in a sanctioned tournament?
For tournaments beginning before July 1, 2009, you must have either NSA or NASPA membership. For tournaments beginning on or after July 1, 2009, you must have NASPA membership.
- I just renewed my NSA membership. Do I get a prorated refund, or can I use my NSA membership to play in NASPA-sanctioned events?
No, but if you purchase an annual NASPA membership before July 1, 2009, it will be valid until the end of 2010, so you will have paid fees for two years of membership and received benefits for almost two years of membership.
- When will NSA clubs become NASPA clubs?
July 1, 2009, if they pay a fee.
- How do I register a new upcoming tournament?
Joe Edley is still maintaining the tournament calendar for the NSA. This function will be transferred to NASPA as soon as software is available to support it, no later than July 1, 2009.
- Will the rules and lexicon change?
The NSA Rules Committee and Dictionary Committee will be transferred to NASPA, and continue their work as usual. There will be regular updates to the Rules, and the Long List will be updated in the next few years.
- Will NASPA be taking over Word Gear too?
Not in the foreseeable future. The NSA and Word Gear are separate businesses that happen to share staff and facilities.
B. Questions about how NASPA works
- Who is in charge of NASPA?
The Steering Committee is tasked with managing the transition from the NSA to NASPA. Its co-chairs are Chris Cree and John Chew.
- Do players have a voice in how NASPA works?
The Steering Committee is made up entirely of players and directors, chosen from across Canada and the United States, with a total of centuries of experience as tournament players and directors. All of the existing NSA committees, including the Advisory Board, are made up entirely of experienced tournament players. In fact, the whole point of creating NASPA, at least from Hasbro's point of view, is to devolve responsibility for players from the NSA to the player community. If you’re asking if you yourself will have a voice in NASPA, please see the next question.
- 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. 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.
- How do I edit pages on this web site?
If you are a NASPA committee member, then you should have a username and password to log onto the web site. Do so and follow the instructions for editing NASPAWiki. If you are not a committee member, please ask one to make your changes.
- Will there be executive stipends, will the members decide them, and will they be published?
Yes, because there are and will be people working long hours and spending money for the association; no, the membership at large will not vote on compensation; yes, NASPA will report its budget in accordance with statutory requirements.
C. Questions about the future of NASPA
- Will NASPA be adopting the Collins/SOWPODS/WESPA word list?
NASPA has its hands full getting started as an organization this year, and there will be no changes to the tournament word list in 2009. In future, the word list will continue to be revised on a regular basis, by the Dictionary Committee. In the last update to the word list, some formerly SOWPODS-only words were added to our vocabulary, such as QI and QADI. In the next update, there will almost certainly be more.
- What relationship will NASPA have with cross-tables.com?
Seth Lipkin is a member of the Steering Committee and is taking an active role in organizing NASPA.
D. Questions about membership
- Should people buy NASPA memberships now?
- How do I buy a NASPA membership?
For now, the membership page says where to mail a check. We are developing an online payment system that will accept credit card, eCheck and PayPal payments for personal and gift memberships.
- Do life members in the NSA get life membership in NASPA?
No. The NSA and NASPA are two separate organizations. NASPA will probably develop its own system of life membership in future, but it is not an immediate priority.
- Can I buy member-only publications such as the OTCWL from WordGear as a NASPA member?
Effective July 1, 2009, WordGear will no longer restrict sales of such publications to NSA members.
- 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”
- I’ve forgotten my member number, how can I look it up?
You can look it up in the member database.
- My current email address is not in the member database, how can I receive my password?
Contact a member of the Membership Committee to have your email address updated in the database.
E. Questions about ratings
- Where can I find a list of NASPA members and ratings?
As explained in the article about ratings, until July 1st we will be maintaining a list of rated NASPA members for the convenience of directors checking membership status.
F. Questions about the NSC
- How do you justify raising everyone’s fees to pay for the elite few who can attend the National SCRABBLE Championship?
We don’t, because it’s not true. Chris Cree signed the six-figure contracts necessary for a Players Championship to be held in Dayton in August 2009, long before we ever heard of NASPA. Hasbro has kindly allowed us to rename the event the National SCRABBLE Championship, but the budget remains unchanged and is similar to that of the 2007 PC.
- Does NASPA have its own newsletter?
The NASPA Newsletter Committee is developing a budget and production schedule for a newsletter, which will likely be launched in January 2010. The monthly two-page electronic NASPA Bulletin debuted in April 2010, is restricted to NASPA members for the first of its publication, and is a free download thereafter.
- Where can I find the NASPA Bulletin?
Click on the Bulletin link in the sidebar of any page.
- 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.
- 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.