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THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, AND NO INFORMATION SHALL BE DEEMED FINAL
The 2020 North American SCRABBLE Championship (previously known as the National SCRABBLE Championship) will take place on August 1-5, 2020 at the Radisson Hotel Downtown - Inner Harbor at 101 W Fayette St, Baltimore, MD 21201.
This webpage will be updated regularly as additional details became available.
Registration begins late January, 2020.
Attendance is limited to the first 400 entrants. Should registration reach this cap a Waiting List will made available. Those on the waiting list will be contacted as vacancies open and will be given a limited opportunity to claim entry or it will be offered to the next on the list.
The rest of this section describes in detail the various terms and conditions of registration, most of which are also discussed on the registration form.
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.
Placement into respective divisions is determined by your Qualification Rating (QR). Your QR consists of the highest tournament rating attained at the end of any NASPA NWL or Collins rated tournament (or segment of a split-rated tournament) which finished during the period from July 20, 2019 to July 14, 2020 (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 the higher of your unchanged current NWL or CSW rating. For players who have ratings in both lexica, the higher peak or current rating will be used. For example, a player whose computed QR is 1810 in CSW and 1600 in NWL will use 1810 as her QR for division placement in either CSW or NWL.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to play using the NASPA Word List 2018 (NWL), you may do so. Four NWL divisions will be offered, divided by 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 1450–1799, you must play in Division 1 or 2. If your QR is in the range 1150–1399, you must play in Division 1, 2 or 3. If your QR is below 1100, you may play in any of the four divisions.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and prefer to play using the international Collins (CSW) lexicon, you may do so. If your QR is 1500 or higher, you must play in Division 1. If it is 1499 or below, you may play in Division 1 or 2. Players who only have a WESPA rating will be permitted to play in Division 1 or 2 if that rating is 1399 or below. If there are fewer than 20 players registered in either division as of June 23, 2020, the divisions will be automatically combined into a single division. Players wishing to switch to NWL after divisions are combined will be allowed to do so at no charge.
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 both NASPA and WESPA rated.
If you are thinking about travelling from overseas to play in this event for the first time, please read our 2020 NASC for Overseas Visitors page.
Player division assignments will be reviewed after July 14, 2020 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.
The base entry fee for all divisions is $200.
Youths, defined as those whose 18th birthday is after August 1, 2020, may pay $100 to play in any division.
The above fees will be increased by $50 after May 31, 2019. For example, a non-youth player signing up on June 1, 2015 would pay $250, while a youth would pay $150.
Players accepted after the close of registration on July 11, 2019 must pay a $75 late penalty. For example, a non-youth player signing up on July 13, 2019 would pay $325, while a youth would pay $225. Acceptance of registrants after July 11, 2019 is not guaranteed, and will generally only be permitted if it does not cause a division to be uneven.
Players not booked IN THE ROOM BLOCK at either 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 Baltimore 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 are subject to the following conditions:
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.
To change divisions after you have registered, please email the organizing committee at email@example.com.
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 $25.
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 11, 2020.
By registering for the NASC, you agree to abide by the NASPA Tournament Rules and Code of Conduct, and agree to comply with the 2020 North American SCRABBLE Championship Terms and Conditions. In particular, some games at this tournament, probably the highest Division 1 board without a Gibsonized player, will be annotated live. 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.
A signed Minor Release and Consent Form will be required for all players under age 18 as of July 31, 2020, and may be downloaded and submitted in advance, or executed by a parent or guardian at registration.
Participants in the 2020 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.
The Championship Committee reserves the right to modify the above to account for unforeseen special circumstances.
Players will paired using tsh, with Gibsonization. The winners of the top divisions in both TWL and CSW lexicons shall be determined as follows:
After Round 28, the top two players (as determined by record and spread) will enter a best of five playoff to determine champion and runner-up. Players not in the top two after Round 28 in these divisions, as well as all players in other divisions, will complete Round 31 to determine their final standing. Finals Round 3 (and Rounds 4-5 if needed) will be streamed in the International Ballroom at the conclusion of the Prize Ceremony for non-finalists.
The official event hotels are:
Room rate of $119/nt for King or Double Queen accommodations is applicable to either hotel.
A commuter fee of $100 ($20 per night) will be assessed to players who reside outside of the Baltimore metro area and do not book within the event room block. Players booked at either host hotel but outside of the event block will be assessed the commuter fee.
Room block closes July 4, 2020.
Self parking near the venue is $26 per day. Hotel operated valet is $32/day. Attendees who drive to the venue but intend to explore the city by foot may opt to park at BWI for $8/day and utilize Light Rail to reach the hotel.
Baltimore has much to offer those visiting the area, including the Inner Harbor, Power Plant Live!, Oriole Park at Camden Yards (home of the Baltimore Orioles) and the historic Mt. Vernon area. Information about planned group activities will be posted here. The Visit Baltimore website showcases the varied options in the area.
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.
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 request.
Baltimore, MD is served by the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). For complete airport information, please visit bwiairport.com.
24 hour Light Rail service from BWI to the event hotels is available for $1.80 per person. Rail tickets can be purchased near the exit of baggage claim. Take the rail north to the Universe Center/Baltimore St stop (just after Camden Yards) which is a 30 minute ride. Exit the rail and continue east on Baltimore St. Turn left on Hopkins Plaza and right on Fayette St. This is a five minute walk but may be a little challenging with luggage.
Uber average is $20.
To play in the first round on Saturday morning, you must check in between 12:00 noon. and 7:00 P.M. on Friday, July 31, 2020, at the NASC registration desk in the Promenade located outside of the International Ballroom. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
This schedule for the 2020 North American SCRABBLE Championship may be modified to add new events, or possibly to change room locations. Also, until about a month before the event, it should be considered an early draft, with only the times for registration and the main event to be set in stone. Once the event begins, please check this schedule for changes at the beginning of each day.
SWAG SUNDAY! Wear your NSC/NASC or Scrabble-related swag!
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!
If you are interested in donating prizes to events at the championship, please email us at email@example.com.
For information about sponsorship opportunities at the championship, please contact John Chew.
Volunteers are needed to assist with set up, registration and tear down. Volunteers receive a free event T-shirt. Sign up here.
Volunteers are needed to help prepare the playing room for the tournament.
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.
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.