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2011 National SCRABBLE Championship

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The 2011 National SCRABBLE Championship (NSC) took place on August 6–10, 2011 at the Hotel InterContinental Dallas at 15201 Dallas Parkway in Addison, TX.

A live website is built during the event, featuring commentary, photos and games.

What follows is pre-event information retained for historical interest.

This page will be updated frequently before the championship. You can see what has changed recently by clicking on the “history” tab above. Very important notices will be posted to the player bulletin.


Online registration is now available, as is a list of registered players.

If you decide to move up from the division in which you are placed, please email the organizing committee at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org.

To play in the NSC, 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.

Early registration closes on June 30th, 2011. After that date:

  • a late registration fee of $50 will apply.

Registration closes on July 20th, 2011. After that date:

  • registrations will be accepted after that date only in order to make divisions even, and will incur an additional $75 surcharge;
  • no requests for division changes will be accepted, except to make divisions even; and
  • no refunds will be issued.

By registering for the NSC, you agree to abide by the NASPA Tournament Rules and Code of Conduct. 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 Minor Release and Consent form can be downloaded for players who have not reached the legal age of majority. It can be mailed with your registration or alone if you have paid online to Chris Cree. Alternatively, it can be signed by the accompanying parent or guardian at the NSC in Addison (Dallas).

Before you register, please read our player bulletin, and check it again for last-minute updates before you travel to the event.

This year’s Championship has four divisions, split at (OWL) ratings of 1700, 1400 and 1100. Entry fees are $175 for Division 1 and $150 for Divisions 2–4. Unlimited play up will be permitted: anyone can play in Division 1, but for example only players rated below 1100 can play in Division 4. As in past years, a peak rating system will be used to calculate the qualifying rating (QR) that determines the lowest division in which you can play. If your current rating at time of registration would place you in a lower division than your QR, then you may register in either your QR division or the next lower division. Ratings earned at any segment of a split-rated tournament count toward the QR, as does your rating at the beginning of the qualification period (QP). The QP began with the 2010 National SCRABBLE Championship and ends on July 13th, 2011 (after the results from the past weekend are tabulated). You may change your division after you register, as long as you do so before July 21st; to do so, contact John Chew. If your QR rises above the limit for your division, you will automatically be moved to the lowest division for which you qualify.

In the unlikely event that a player’s first rated tournament takes place between the end of the QP and the beginning of the NSC, the rating that they earn at their first tournament will be considered their QR should they be accepted for late entry into the NSC.

The Championship Committee reserves the right to modify the above to account for unforeseen special circumstances.


To play in the first round on Saturday morning, you must check in between 10:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. on Friday at the NSC check-in desks in the Crystal Ballroom lobby. 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 nsc@scrabbleplayers.org to warn 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 desks close at 10:00 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 reading the announcements and schedule!


Here is an overview of events at the championship. For full details, please consult the 2011 NSC Schedule.

Friday, August 5, 2011
Registration, Staff/Director Early Bird Tournament, Lunch Bird Tournament, Staff Committee Meeting, Staff/Committee Dinner
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Rounds 1–7, Canadian Committee and Tournament Committee Luncheon, Lunch Bird Tournament, Advisory Board Dinner Meeting, Trivia Contest
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Rounds 8–14, Luncheon, Lunch Bird Tournament, Director Meeting, Director Reception
Monday, August 8, 2011
Rounds 15–21, Membership Committee and International Committee Luncheon, Lunch Bird Tournament, Town Hall meeting
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Rounds 22–28, Club/Director Committee Luncheon, Lunch Bird Tournament, Stefan Fatsis Reading, Tag Team Tourney
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Rounds 29–31, Lunch Bird Tournament, Prize Ceremony

The Rose Award

Bob Schoenman's Protiles honors 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 National 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!

Other Donors

  • Paul McCarthy - Letterati books
  • Mike Baron - Word Book and laminated Cheat Sheets
  • Bob Gillis - Bob's Bibles
  • Carl Johnson - Games for Activities Door Prizes
  • Michael Thelen - Zyzzyva gift sets



First place in Division 1 will be $10,000.

Cash prizes will be awarded by check; 30% withholding tax applies unless proper documentation is provided prior to the beginning of the championship. Winners of physical prizes other than cash must be at the prize ceremony to pick up their prizes. Those prizes will not be shipped.

For full details, see the prize table.


The NSC will be paired using tsh along the lines of past events. In each round, the top contenders are paired with each other, and everyone else is paired Swiss. These two groups, contenders and noncontenders, are paired with minimal repeats. For example, if there is no way to pair the contenders without at least one repeat, then they will be paired with one repeat.

The maximum number of contenders is 12 in Rounds 1-28, 8 in Round 29, 4 in Round 30 and 2 in Round 31. The contenders are further divided into a subgroup of leaders and non-leaders, if this can be done without increasing the number of required repeats while maintaining at least four players among the leaders. Leaders are paired by repeatedly having the top unpaired player play the lowest-ranked player that can catch up to them. Non-leaders are paired Swiss.

For further information about this pairing system, please refer to the section on Chew pairings in the tsh documentation. tsh configuration files for each division will be found at this website: Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and Division 4.


Chris Cree
Mary Rhoades
Master of Ceremonies
Alan Stern
Activity Director
Robin Gates
Division leaders
Division 1: John Robertson
Division 2: Dallas Johnson
Division 3: Bennett Jacobstein
Division 4: Dan Stock
Division assistants
Division 1: Lynn Sneed
Division 2: Sue Grogan-Johnson
Division 3: John Merlau
Division 4: Amy Krafchick
John Chew
Data Staff
Reese Daniel
Chris Wiegand
Tim Crotty
Internet reporter
Sherrie Saint John
Kate Watson
Dee Segrest

Other Volunteers

Thursday, August 4

  • Phyllis Owen
  • Linda Villarreal
  • Kate Watson
  • Dee Segrest
  • Bryan Pepper
  • Regenia Hidalgo

Friday, August 5 Registration Day

Registration Desks

10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

  • Amy Krafchick
  • Bennett Jacobstein

10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.

  • Jean McArthur

12:00 P.M.-4 P.M.

  • Joyce Stock

12 Noon-2 P.M.

  • Ken Kasney

1:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.

  • Phyllis Owen

2:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.

  • Judy Newhouse
  • Ed Gordon

4:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.

  • Lila Crotty
  • Becky Dyer

6:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M.

  • Mary Logullo
  • Cheryl Melvin
  • Carolyn Easter

Saturday to Wednesday: Game Days


Tidy-people will help straighten up and dispose of trash at the end of their sessions.

  • Div 1: Judy Cole
  • Div 2: Caesar Jaramillo (Saturday & Sunday),Regenia Hidalgo & Glenda Short (Monday-Wednesday)
  • Div 3: Lila Crotty
  • Div 4: Kathy Johnson

Laptops for Adjudication

We will need at least 8 laptops for adjudications. The laptops will need the latest version of ZYZZYVA. Please be sure the correct word list in operations and disable your screensaver in the playing area during games.

  • Reginia Hidalgo
  • Cynthia Hughes
  • Judy Newhouse
  • Lee Brooks
  • Dee Segrest
  • Deborah Gaudier
  • Jason Randolph
  • Robin Gates
  • Alternate: Kevin Leeds
  • Alternate: Joel Sherman

Host city: Addison, TX

The Town of Addison is located in the northern suburbs of Dallas, approximately 13 miles from the downtown area. Addison is regional business, shopping, and dining hub; it has several shopping centers, over 150 restaurants and one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country.

Things to do in Addison

(details will be added as they become available)

Surrounding area including Dallas and Fort Worth

Links for the Metroplex

Tournament venue

Hotel InterContinental Dallas offers both the meeting space and accommodations. The hotel is a member of the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) chain. When booking online, please use this link to obtain our group rate of US$129/night (plus taxes, for single or double accommodation). The rate is available for three days before and after the NSC and WPC, and includes complimentary Internet in guest rooms and playing rooms, and complimentary parking.

Tournament organizers negotiate fees for the use of playing rooms based on meeting guest night quotas. When you stay at the host hotel, you help support the NSC by helping us meet our quota. You may opt not do so by paying a facility fee instead when you register for our championship.

ADDISON TX  75001-4609
Phone numbers
  • IHG (Intercontinental Hotel) reservations: +1 888 424 6835
  • Alternate toll-free number: +1 800 327 0200
  • Hotel front desk: +1 972 386 6000
  • Hotel fax: +1 972 991 6937

Roommate/Ride Wanted?

If you need a roommate and would like a listing here, please contact Mary Rhoades and specify your requirements: male, female or either, smoking or nonsmoking, etc. She will put a listing in this section. If you already have a room, please tell what nights your room is reserved. You can list your email address or phone number. Several people successfully found roommates for the NSC this way.

IMPORTANT: When you get your roommate or ride, please contact Mary so she can remove your listing.

Ride Wanted:

  • Dan Horowitz will be renting a car for the tournament, and can offer transportation to and/or from Dallas Love Field (DAL) for a small contribution to his vehicle expenses for one or two players that will be arriving and/or departing around the same times as Dan (he’ll depart from the airport around 7:30 PM on Friday, 8/5 and arrive around 3:30 PM on Wednesday, 8/10). If interested, please let Dan know as soon as possible, as that may impact the size of the car that he’ll rent. You can contact him at dhorowit@alumni.law.upenn.edu or 215-760-8261.

Roommate Wanted:

  • Susan Blanchard would like a non-smoking gal to share room. She made a reservation today for Aug. 5 check-in and check-out on Aug. 10. You can contact her at 704-778-3988 (H) or 715-558-6274 (cell). She lives in Charlotte NC.


  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 20 mi
    • American Airlines (main hub)
    • most major airlines
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL): 11 mi
    • Southwest Airlines (focus city)
    • Continental Express, Northwest Airlink
  • Addison Airport (ADS): 2 mi
    • no scheduled passenger service
  • The nearest Greyhound terminal is in downtown Dallas.
Airport Transportation
  • For transportation to and from the hotel, you can either take a taxi or make a reservation on the Super Shuttle. You can get a rate discount on the Super Shuttle if you get several people together for the trip.
Amtrak/DART Rail
  • Amtrak arrives at Union Station and this schedule is predicated on a person arriving at the fictional time noted. You would have to get the actual schedule for yourself depending on your actual arrival time on Amtrak.

The DART Rail system features 55 stations, located in downtown Dallas, South Dallas, South Oak Cliff, West Oak Cliff, the North Central Expressway Corridor to North Dallas, Richardson and Plano, the Northeast Corridor to Garland, the Northwest Corridor to Farmers Branch and Carrollton, and the Southeast Corridor to Pleasant Grove. Use the onlineDART Trip Planner or call 214-979-1111 for help.

Following is the trip plan information that Amtrak created for me:

Your trip has 1 transfer.

Depart from UNION STATION on "N - BLUE LINE - DWNTN GARLAND" at 1221p.

Arrive at WEST END STATION at 1224p.

Cross over Lamar Street, then

Transfer to "183 ADDISON TC VIA FOREST" from CBD WEST TC at 1250p.

Arrive at QUORUM @ BELT LINE - N - FS at 121p.

Car Rentals through Hotwire


If you have a product to sell to SCRABBLE players, this is the place to do it. The up to 500+ most avid fans of the game will be in one place with money ready to spend at your table. To find out more about becoming an NSC vendor, please contact Mary Rhoades.

The following vendors have signed and returned the vendor agreement with any monies owed, if applicable, listed in the order the vendor agreements were received.

  • Sam Kantimathi, boards, tiles, clocks, and other items
  • Gene Tyszka, boards, tiles, clocks, and other items
  • Bob Schoenman
  • Michael Thelen, t-shirts, lapel pins, tile bags, all with Zyzzyva logos, and tile sets with purple letters and a blue Zyzzyva logo on the blank tiles
  • Brian Miller, Tilecans (bags) and Tilecouches (racks)
  • Carolyn Boyd and Debbie Scholz, Incredible Tile Bags
  • Merriam-Webster
  • Bob Gillis, Bob's Bible-Words, Anagrams and Hooks

Further Information

For more information about the NSC or any other NASPA activity, please click on “Contact us” in the navigation bar at left.