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Director certification

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Revision as of 13:19, 10 August 2010 by Poslfit (talk | contribs) (Apprenticeship: checklists)

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This page describes the director certification process for NASPA members who want to become certified as tournament and club directors for the first time. (Existing directors, please see the Directors page.)

The Tournament Committee and Club Committee set the certification criteria and oversee the certification process.

Benefits of Certification

As a certified NASPA Director you will be able to:

  • operate a NASPA club
  • hold NASPA tournaments
  • join the NASPA director discussion group
  • access the director section of our online member services
  • attend director-only functions at the National SCRABBLE Championship

Certification process

Here is what you need to do to be certified as a NASPA Director.

  1. Make sure you are a member in good standing.
  2. Take the Director’s test.
  3. Serve an apprenticeship under a mentor director.


Applicants must be NASPA members in good standing.

Director’s test

The test can be taken in two ways:

  • Online: This test is not available yet. The test will be paid for, taken, and graded online. There will be a 90-day window of time during which if a person does not score a passing grade the first time, there will be opportunity for two more tries. If a passing grade has not been accomplished within the 90-day period, there will be a waiting period before paying again and trying again. Whenever a passing grade has been accomplished, the prospective director will move to the next step. The online test will cost $25 USD initially.
  • By mail or email: The test can be ordered by ordering it from Mary Rhoades (PO Box 211993, Bedford, TX 76095). It can be taken at your leisure, within the same 90-day window as the online test, returned to Mary for grading and upon a passing grade, the prospective director will move to the next step. The mail test will cost $35 USD, a slightly higher fee to pay for manual processing. The email test will cost $25.


Age apprentice limitations:

  • Apprentices younger than 18 can only be allowed to direct a club as an apprentice club director preferably with their mentor having to be at the club site.
  • Apprentices who are 18-20 can be apprentice club and tournament directors. The mentor would be required to be physically present at the tournament site.
  • Apprentices who are 21+ can be apprentice club and tournament directors, with mentors encouraged to be at the tournament site, but if not, available by phone during the tournament.

Upon passing the test, the applicant is granted apprentice director certification, and can co-direct tournaments and/or clubs under supervision of a mentor if the age restrictions allow. At the discretion of the mentor, this supervision may take place in person or by telephone. Mentors must be fully certified directors; applicants may suggest their own mentors, or may ask to be assigned one.

When an apprentice's mentor feels that the apprentice is ready to direct tournaments alone, the mentor notifies NASPA, which grants applicant full director status. The mentor will refer to the following checklist in assessing the apprentice.

  • Has passed the Director Test.
  • Understands how the SCRABBLE trademark must be protected.
  • Knows how a club’s fee structure and pairing system should operate.
  • Knows basic SCRABBLE rules: scoring, handling overdraws, holding, challenging, adjudicating.
  • Knows how to find other rules in the rule book when necessary.
  • Is willing to learn more complex rules.
  • Is approachable and has adequate people skills.
  • Presents a welcoming demeanor to newcomers.
  • Is fair yet firm in maintaining club policies and handling disputes.
  • Understands the basics of the Code of Conduct and its importance in a club setting.

If the apprentice satisfies all of the above conditions, the apprentice may be granted certification to operate as a club director, but not a tournament director. If in addition the apprentice meets all of the following conditions, the apprentice may be granted full certification to operate as either a club director or a tournament director.

  • Understands what supplies are needed at a tournament.
  • Understands tournament player membership requirements.
  • Knows how to set up new memberships and renew old ones online.
  • Understands how RR, KOTH and Swiss pairings work.
  • Understands why, when and how to apply the Gibson Rule.
  • Understands basic tournament arithmetic: total wins = total losses, spreads normally sum to zero.
  • Understands the importance of submitting tournament results swiftly.
  • Understands the importance of submitting Incident Reports swiftly.
  • Understands how NASPA’s participation fee works.
  • Must be able to handle disputes calmly and professionally
  • Must be willing to enforce the Code of Conduct whenever necessary to maintain order.
  • Must be well versed in common rule situations.
  • Must possess above average organizational and people skills and present a positive image of NASPA.
  • Must have a cool demeanor and not get rattled in difficult situations.

Graduates of the apprenticeship program will relieve a certificate conferring their status.