When you connect to this website, you send your IP address and sometimes some cookies. You may also give us personal identifying information, such as your name and contact information. All this data is used to securely provide you with the services that you request. We encourage you to review our privacy policy to make sure that you understand how your data is managed, and to contact us if you have any questions. View Privacy Policy

2013 National SCRABBLE Championship

From NASPAWiki

You are viewing a condensed mobile version of this NASPA webpage.
Switch to full version.

NSC 2013 logo

The 2013 National SCRABBLE Championship will take place on July 19-24, 2013 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Further details will be posted here as they become available. A flyer with basic information about the event is available at this link.

Live Event Coverage

For continuously updated results from our event once it gets underway, please visit the LIVE COVERAGE section.

NSC Feedback Form

Participants in the 2013 National SCRABBLE Championship are encouraged to complete the NSC Feedback Form.


The registration limit of 500 players has been lifted. The Championship Committee is working with the Riviera to increase the number of players accommodated within our playing space. When an upper limit has been established, it will be posted here.

Online registration and a list of registered players are available at these links. The rest of this section describes in detail the various terms and conditions of registration, most of which will also be discussed on the registration form.

Registration is open now, and will close on July 10, 2013, after which players will only be accepted if they do not make a division odd.


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.

If you meet these criteria and prefer to play using the international Collins (CSW) lexicon, you may do so. The CSW division will be NASPA and WESPA rated.

If not, then the TWL division(s), numbered 1–4, in which you may play depend on your rating as follows. If you do not have a NASPA rating, you must play in Division 1, the open division. If you do have a NASPA rating, then your division eligibility is based on a Qualification Rating (QR), which consists of the highest tournament rating attained at the end of any NASPA TWL-rated tournament which finished during the period August 1, 2011 to July 10, 2013. (If you have a rating, but do not play during this period, your QR is your unchanged current rating.) If your QR is 1700 or higher, you must play in Division 1. If it is in the range 1400–1699, you must play in Division 1 or 2. If it is in the range 1100–1399, you must play in Division 1, 2 or 3. If it is below 1100, you may play in any of the four divisions.

Player division assignments will be reviewed after July 10, 2013 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 move you up to the lowest permissible division. If this new division is Division 1, you will be required to pay the difference in entry fees before checking in at the Championship.

Collins Division

Again this year, there will be a separate division of players using the Collins lexicon at the National Scrabble Championship. Unlike last year's tournament, the division will definitely be held, under the same terms and conditions as all other divisions.

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 NASPA and WESPA rated.

Entry Fees

The base entry fee for Division 1 and the Collins Division is $175; for Divisions 2–4, $150.

Youths, defined as those whose 18th birthday is after July 20, 2013, may pay $50 to play in any division.

The above fees will be increased by $50 after May 31, 2013. For example, a Division 1 player signing up on June 1, 2013 would pay $225.

Players accepted after the close of registration on July 10, 2013 must pay a $75 late penalty. For example, a youth signing up on July 11, 2013 would pay $175. Acceptance of registrants after July 10, 2013 is not guaranteed, and will generally only be permitted if it does not cause a division to be uneven.

Players not staying at the host hotel for the duration of the event must also pay a commuter/facility fee of $50 (does not apply to those local to the Las Vegas area). Verification of status as a hotel guest will be performed at registration/check-in and throughout the event.

Fees payable are computed based on when (Central 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

To change divisions after you have registered, please email the organizing committee at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org. Division changes are subject to the following conditions:

  • After registration closes on July 10, 2013, if your division change would increase the number of players who may potentially have to have byes (if you would make two divisions odd, or would make a larger division odd), you will be waitlisted until this is not the case.
  • If you move to a division with a higher base entry fee, the change will not take effect until you have paid the difference in entry fees.
  • If you move to a division with a lower base entry fee, the difference in entry fees will be refunded to your credit card (if that is how you paid, and if the time limit on credit card refunds has not elapsed), or by check or cash at check-in otherwise.

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.


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 $15.

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 July 10, 2013.


Rules, Code and Terms/Conditions

By registering for the NSC, you agree to abide by the NASPA Tournament Rules and Code of Conduct, and agree to comply with the 2013 National 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.

Minor Release

A Minor Release and Consent Form will be required for all players under age 18 as of July 20, 2013, and may be downloaded and submitted in advance, or executed by a parent or guardian at registration.

Player Bulletin

Please read our Player Bulletin, and check it again for last-minute updates before you travel to the event.

Equipment Required

Participants in the 2013 National 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.

Hotel/Travel Information

For information about airline discounts, please consult the player bulletin.

Hotel Registration

Hotel registration is available at our group rate online or by telephone. Hotel rooms can be booked online at this link or over the phone by calling 1-800-634-6753 in the Continental U.S. or direct to 702-794-9412, choosing option 3, and mentioning that you are with the 2013 National Scrabble Championship.

Group rates are available for single or double occupancy beginning at $49 per night plus tax on Sunday through Thursday, and $69 per night plus tax on Friday and Saturday (currently taxes are at 12%). Discount rates are also available on suites, as follows:

  • Petite Suite - $169 per night plus tax
  • One-bedroom Deluxe Suite - $209 per night plus tax
  • Two-bedroom Deluxe Suite - $269 per night plus tax
  • One-bedroom Penthouse - $425 per night plus tax
  • Two-bedroom Penthouse - $575 per night plus tax

Group rates are available from July 14 through July 27, 2013. Rooms must be booked no later than 6:00 p.m. on June 28, 2013 to receive the group rate.

An extra person charge of $10.00 plus tax per person, per night applies for occupancy of a room by more than two persons.

Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. (earlier check-in may be accommodated based on availability). Check-out time is 11:00 a.m.

Please note that the Riviera resort amenity fee is included in our group rate. If you should find a lower fee elsewhere, please inquire as to whether or not the fee (currently $15/day) is included. The resort amenity fee includes:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi service for hotel guests
  • Unlimited in-room safe usage
  • Free access to Achilles Fitness Center (up to two people valued at $10 each)
  • Free unlimited local and 800 calls placed from your room
  • Special 2 for 1 show tickets
  • 50% off first round of drinks at the Le Bistro bar
  • $5 off Poker tournament entry fee
  • $60 in chips for $50 buy in Poker room

Hotel and Event Parking

The Riviera offers free self and valet parking.

Roommate Wanted

If you need a roommate and would like a listing here, please contact the Championship Committee and specify your requirements: male, female or either, smoking or nonsmoking, etc. We will put a listing in this section. If you already have a room, please include in your email 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, please contact the committee so we can remove your listing.

Airport Transport Information

The Las Vegas Airport has numerous taxi and shuttle services that are easy to pre-book or catch right outside the terminal. Below is a list of some of the shuttle services available.

Las Vegas Airport Roundtrip Transfer from $12.99


Multiple prices and options

http://www.vegas.com/transportation/airport-shuttles/multiple prices

Prices from $13.00


Although we will not be coordinating arrival ride shares and shuttles, there will be a list for return ride sharing after the tournament. Sign up sheets will be provided.


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 registration desk in the lobby outside the playing area. 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 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 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 familiarizing yourself with the announcements and tournament schedule.


This schedule for the 2013 National 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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

10:00 A.M.–10:00 P.M.
Registration (East Registration Desk)
10:00 A.M.–11:00 P.M.
After hours room open (Capri 103)
12:00 P.M.–4:00 P.M.
Early bird tournament, restricted to NSC Staff and other NASPA directors (Grande A/B/C/D)
4:30 P.M.–5:30 P.M.
Committee meeting for Division Leaders, Division Assistants, Auxiliary Staff (Capri 108)
6:30 P.M.–8:30 P.M.
Staff dinner

Peppermill Restaurant

6:30pm Reservation under Robin Gates-National Scrabble Championship

Saturday, July 20, 2013

8:30 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/C/D)
8:55 A.M.–9:10 A.M.
Announcements (Grande A/B/C/D), group photos TBA
9:10 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 1–4 (Grande A/B/C/D)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Canadian Committee and Technology Committee lunch meetings (Poolside Cafe)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/C/D)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements and 2012 Best Strategic Prize presentation (Grande A/B/C/D)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 5–7 (Grande A/B/C/D)
6:30 P.M.–10:00 P.M.
Advisory Board Dinner Meeting (Thai Pepper Restaurant)
9:00 A.M.–11:00 P.M.
After hours room open (Capri 103)
8:00 P.M.–11:00 P.M.
Trivia Contest (Grande A/B/C/D)
8:30 P.M.–11:00 P.M.
Evening Musicale (Capri 108)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

8:30 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/C/D)
8:55 A.M.–9:10 A.M.
Announcements (Grande A/B/C/D), group photos TBA
9:10 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 8–11 (Grande A/B/C/D)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Club/Directors Committee and Tournament Committee lunch meetings (Poolside Cafe)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/C/D)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements and Annual Achievement Awards presentations - Part 1 (Grande A/B/C/D)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 12–14 (Grande A/B/C/D)
9:00 A.M.–11:00 P.M.
After hours room open (Capri 103)
8:00 P.M.–9:30 P.M.
Director meeting (Grande A/B/C/D)
9:30 P.M.–11:00 P.M.
Director and Life Member reception, drinks and dessert (Poolside Cafe)

Monday, July 22, 2013

8:30 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/E/F)
8:55 A.M.–9:05 A.M.
Announcements, group photos TBA
9:05 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 15–18 (Grande A/B/E/F)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Rules Committee and International Committee lunch meetings (Poolside Cafe)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/E/F)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements and Annual Achievement Awards presentations - Part 2 (Grande A/B/E/F)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 19–21 (Grande A/B/E/F)
6:00 P.M.–11:00 P.M.
After hours play (Capri 103)
7:00 P.M.–8:30 P.M.
Katyz Lezin Book Reading (Grande C/D)
8:30 P.M.–10:30 P.M.
Town Hall meeting (Grande A/B/E/F)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

8:30 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/E/F), group photos TBA
8:55 A.M.–9:05 A.M.
Announcements, group photos TBA
9:05 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 22–25 (Grande A/B/E/F)
1:15 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Director's Manual Committee and Dictionary Committee lunch meetings (Poolside Cafe)
2:45 P.M.–2:55 P.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/E/F)
2:55 P.M.–3:05 P.M.
Announcements (Grande A/B/E/F)
3:05 P.M.–6:15 P.M.
Rounds 26–28 (Grande A/B/E/F)
6:00 P.M.–11:00 P.M.
After hours play (Capri 103)
8:30 P.M.–10:30 P.M.
SWOT Analysis Meeting (Grande A/B/E/F)
7:30 P.M.–11:30 P.M.
Tag-Team Tourney (Grande C/D)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

8:30 A.M.–8:55 A.M.
Set up for play (Grande A/B/E/F)
8:55 A.M.–9:05 A.M.
Announcements, group photos TBA
9:05 A.M.–1:15 P.M.
Rounds 29–31 (Grande A/B/E/F)
1:30 P.M.–2:30 P.M.
Prize Ceremony (Grande A/B/E/F)
3:00 P.M.–7:00 P.M.
Tear Down (Grande A/B/E/F)

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

If you are interested in donating prizes to events at the championship, please email us at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org.


For information about sponsorship opportunities at the championship, please contact Chris Cree.


Full details about cash prizes, and anticipated merchandise prizes, are now posted on the prize table.

The Championship Committee has determined that class prizes will be offered in every division for the 2013 NSC. The class prizes available in each division are displayed on the prize table.

The Championship Committee gratefully thanks the following sponsors, who have donated merchandise prizes to the event:

  • Sam Kantimathi - Two SamBoards
  • SCRABBLE The Art! - SCRABBLE artwork for each division
  • Mike Baron - The SCRABBLE Wordbook and 30 laminated copies of the Cheat Sheet
  • Rich Ekstrom - Eight copies of The Backwords Dictionary
  • Paul McCarthy - Letterati
  • Stefan Fatsis - 3 copies of Word Freak 10th Anniversary Edition and 10 copies of Word Freak eBook

Best Strategic Play Award

NASPA will again offer the Best Strategic Play Award at the 2013 National Scrabble Championship. Sponsored by Sam Kantimathi (who was a recipient of the award at the 1998 NSC in Chicago), the Award recognizes the best play in a position. The play must be an actual play made in the 2013 NSC, must be one among several reasonable options, and must not be an obvious play, but a move representing clever, thorough, creative and/or inspired reasoning. All divisions are eligible for the award – one winner will be named. Submission forms will be available at each division’s resource table. Submissions may be turned in to your Division Leader or other tournament staff. The winner will be selected by a panel of experts nominated by the NASPA Championship Committee. The award will be made well after the conclusion of the NSC and announced in a future edition of the NASPA Bulletin. NASPA thanks Sam Kantimathi for sponsoring this award, and is grateful for Sam’s expression of interest in sponsoring the award going forward on an annual basis.


The NSC will be paired using tsh along the lines of past events, including Gibsonization on spread. After an initial phase of fixed pairings based on pre-event ratings, 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.


Chris Cree
Dallas Johnson
Assistant to the Director
Sue Grogan-Johnson
Master of Ceremonies
Alan Stern
Activity Directors
Alice Ching-Chew
Robin Gates
Division leaders
Division 1: John Robertson
Division 2: Bryan Pepper
Division 3: Dan Stock
Division 4: Arthur Moore
Collins: Jason Idalski
Division assistants
Division 1: John Merlau
Division 2: Shelley Ubeika
Division 3: Jean McArthur
Division 4: Diane Moore
Collins: Pablo Moreno
John Chew
Data Entry
Division 1: Tim Crotty
Division 2/CSW: Reese Daniel
Division 3/4: Chris Wiegand
Internet reporters
Sherrie Saint John
Patty Hocker
Kate Watson
Jackson Smylie

Other Volunteers

Thursday, July 18

Volunteers are needed to help prepare the playing room for the tournament.

  • Michael Donegan
  • Mark Przybyszewski
  • Darin True

Friday, July 19

Volunteers are needed to help with registration and check-in.

10:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M.

  • Ginger White
  • Pat Nahaczewki
  • Mike Gincel
  • Luise Shafritz (10:00 A.M. - Noon)

12:30 P.M.-3:00 P.M.

  • Denise Mahnken
  • Nancy Scott
  • Judy Ford

3:00 P.M.-5:30 P.M.

  • Joyce Stock
  • Melissa Routzahn
  • Robin Lewis

5:30 P.M. -8:00 P.M.

  • Carolyn Easter
  • Cheryl Melvin
  • Lilla Sinanan

8:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.

  • Mary Rhoades
  • Mark Przybyszewski

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
  • Div 3: Nancy Scott
  • Div 4: Tina Cur
  • Collins: Lila Crotty

Laptops for Adjudication

We will need at least 10 laptops for adjudications. The laptops will need the latest version of ZYZZYVA. Please be sure the correct word list is in operation and disable your screensaver in the playing area during games.

  • Siri Tillekeratne
  • Mary Rhoades
  • John Green
  • Luise Shafritz
  • Art Moore
  • Dan Horowitz
  • David Klionsky
  • Michael Donegan
  • Rob Robinsky

Clean and Pack

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 on Wed., July 24.

  • Judy Cole
  • Ricky Sirois
  • Joyce Stock
  • Yuki Loritz
  • Keith Loritz
  • Karis Loritz
  • Rianna Loritz
  • Michael Donegan
  • Rebecca Owen
  • Mark Przybyszewski
  • Denise Mahnken
  • Jeffrey Nelson
  • Bruce Shuman

Unassigned Volunteers

Following is a list of those who have volunteered, but do not yet have a specific assignment:

  • Pablo Moreno
  • Kay Faust


If you have a product to sell to SCRABBLE players, this is the place to do it. Hundreds of the most avid fans of the game will be in one place with money to spend at your table. To become an NSC vendor, print out, date and sign the 2013 NSC Vendor Agreement and send it to Dallas Johnson, 4880 Heights Drive, Stow, OH 44224, along with the required payment per table (please note that, unlike past years, we are unable to offer free tables, as the hotel is charging us $100 per table for all vendor tables). When your vendor agreement has been accepted, we will return an electronic copy of the fully executed document to you.

Because of hotel requirements, we cannot accept vendors after June 30, 2013.

If you have questions about becoming an NSC vendor, please contact Dallas Johnson.

Vendors whose Vendor Agreement has been received and approved by NASPA (with payment made) are listed below:

  • Sam Kantimathi - SamTimers, digital FlipTimers, SamBoards, Tiles, Long Racks, Rugs, DVD, more
  • Enigmaze - card games and board games

Further Information

This page will be updated as the event draws nearer. If you have urgent questions about the event, please email us at nsc@scrabbleplayers.org.

Host City: Las Vegas

Since this is Las Vegas, there is a multitude of casinos, events, shows, museums, concerts, amusements, restaurants and sights to visit. There is no way to list them all. Instead we will be providing a list of discount websites, unusual experiences or recommended events. This will allow you numerous options whether you are looking to go somewhere after the tournament each day or you are going during the day while friends or family play Scrabble.

Discounts and Coupons

Travel Zoo-Las Vegas - This site have dozens of discounts on restaurants, tours, shows and tourist attractions. You do not need to be a member and only need to provide an email address to get access.

Groupon-Las Vegas - this site include over 1,000 discounts and deals on anything and everything Vegas.


Las Vegas Restaurant Search List - Look up any type of food at any price point quickly and easily. Some of the best Steaks, Caribbean, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Seafood, Southwestern and Fine Dining anywhere.

Museums and Educational

Las Vegas Museum List - Includes the Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Lost City Museum and much more

The Mob Museum

List of Vegas Galleries - 25+ art galleries listed


List of Available Tours - Dozens of available tours including the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.