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2010 NSC Town Hall Meeting

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Revision as of 11:49, 9 August 2010 by Jpate (talk | contribs) (Jim Pate, Chair, Dictionary Committee)

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The 2010 NSC Town Hall Meeting will take 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.

Panel Members

NASPA’s business is conducted by the 73 members of its 22 committees. All of our key committees are represented by at least one panel member, and we will begin the meeting by asking each member to report briefly on their committee’s activities since the last NSC. After these initial statements, we will welcome questions from the audience.

Meeting Minutes

Minutes for the Town Hall Meeting will be posted here after the event. In the meantime, here are opening remarks from our panel members about some of the committees in which they are active.

Chris Cree, Executive Committee

Our committee:

  • has overseen substantially greater membership and tournament activity than foreseen
  • manages an advertising campaign on Facebook
  • meets regularly with Hasbro face-to-face and by conference call
    • Hasbro now includes NASPA flyers in SCRABBLE sets
    • Hasbro now has a NASPA link on their website
    • are discussing relationships with Hasbro partner corporations
  • researched venues for the 2012 National SCRABBLE Championship
  • has overseen the work of the Advisory Board and other committees
  • has organized face-to-face meetings and conference calls for NASPA committees
  • fielded hundreds (thousands?) of general inquiries about NASPA
  • 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
  • attended the 2010 NSSC to recruit School players
  • commissioned the new big board and signage
  • set up office functions: P.O. Box, storage, letterhead

(more to follow)

Dallas Johnson, Cochair, Tournament Committee

Our 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:
    1. Rating all local club games during a month as a single LCT (not permitted)
    2. Barring or placing special requirements on “no show” players (permitted within reason)
    3. Americans with Disabilities Act requirements as they apply to disabled Scrabble players (must provide reasonable accommodations)
    4. NASPA policy on non-discrimination and prohibition on gender-exclusive events (may not discriminate based on gender)
    5. The ability to forbid changes to tally slips once submitted (contrary to tournament rules)
    6. Allowing a player who has been inactive for a long time to return to play in a lower division (not permitted)
    7. Allowing a player who has improved significantly since last rated event to leapfrog other players into a higher division (not permitted)
    8. Standards for advertising of Scrabble tournaments (ads should comply with community standards of decency)
    9. Dealing with a “no show” player on the second day of play (remove from event pairings)
    10. Holding rated invitational tournaments (only Team Challenge or Championship events may restrict entries, and restriction must be on approved standards of rating or geography)
    11. 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

Our 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.

Jim Pate, Chair, Dictionary Committee

Jim is unable to attend, and his report will be made by John Chew, who can also answer any questions about committee business.

Our committee:

  • is in the early stages of revising the long word list to include words from original sources not yet included
  • welcomes volunteers to assist with this effort
  • will likely be adding some new members to the committee after communication with persons who have expressed interest in joining in the past (will include some testing to be sure that prospective members fully appreciate the painstaking work needed to produce as accurate and complete a list of valid words as possible)
  • is waiting for information regarding the next edition of MWCD before revising the shorter words

John Chew, Cochair, Advisory Board

The board:

  • has convened in person, by conference call and group email several times
  • debated and passed 18 motions
    • six addressed individual disciplinary cases
    • four honoured members of the NASPA community
    • three created new regulations to deal with delinquent members
    • two created new regulations affecting tournament activity (new SOWPODS rating system, rules on spacing cruises and tours)
  • (Motion 13 TBA at this meeting)

John Chew, Chair, Web Committee

Our 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
  • Developed an online electoral 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
    • etc.
  • 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
  • Maintained the NASPA Records page

John Robertson, Membership Committee

Our committee:

  • has helped process 3200 memberships since NASPA was founded
  • provides membership-related customer service
  • (several announcements TBA at meeting)

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

Rebecca and Scott are unable to attend, and their report will be made by John Chew, who can also answer any questions about committee business.

Our 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

Siri Tillekeratne, Canadian Committee

Our 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.
  • 2010 CanAm news

Tony Leah, Cochair, NASPA-WESPA Liaison Committee

Our committee:

  • was formed in June 2009 to coordinate communication with WESPA on issues of mutual interest and insure the voices of North American players are heard.
  • took on an official liaison role in October 2009 when NASPA became a member association of WESPA.
  • nominated Sam Kantimathi and Tony Leah to be members of the 11 person WESPA Main Committee; Sam and Tony were elected to that committee at the WESPA meeting at the WSC in November 2009.
  • has had input into WESPA discussions on rules, ratings and dictionary update. WESPA has maintained its policy of rating all NASPA tournaments played to the Collins Scrabble Words (CSW) dictionary.
  • has provided North American Scrabble players with information about WESPA events, such as the World Youth Scrabble Championship.
  • developed the qualification system for US players for the 2010 Causeway Challenge.
  • has also been active in promoting CSW divisions and tournaments in the US and Canada.
  • suggest expanding the mandate of the Committee somewhat, to clearly include support and coordination for NASPA members and directors participating in CSW tourneys in North America. This could include formalizing rules for CSW play here, providing support materials for directors of CSW events, and preparation of CSW study materials for NASPA members that are interested.
  • could be renamed the International Committee to reflect the broadened mandate.