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Committee rules

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Revision as of 22:55, 8 November 2012 by Poslfit (talk | contribs) (Member Obligations: revised per AB meeting 2012-11-08)

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NASPA has a large number of volunteer committees. For the sake of their smooth operation, we ask that committee members follow these committee rules.


Each committee should have a chair and an assistant chair. Committee members should choose people for these positions from amongst themselves. The chair’s duties are as follows:

  • To communicate with the Executive Committee, keeping them abreast of the committee’s activities and receiving requests for additions to their agenda.
  • To communicate with the public about the committee’s activities as necessary.
  • To maintain the committee’s NASPAWiki page.
  • To maintain the committee’s Yahoo! group.
  • To keep an accurate, current record of the membership of the committee and liaise with the Web Committee so that it may follow the appropriate procedures when the committee roster changes.
  • To cast a vote to break ties when the rest of the committee is deadlocked.

The chair’s duties may be shared among two or more cochairs, or specifically delegated to other members.

The assistant chair’s duty is to fulfill the duties of the chair when the chair is unable to do so.


To maintain an accurate record of a committee’s activities for the sake of future members:
All official business of a committee should be posted to the Yahoo! group set up for the committee by the Web Committee. Committee business should not be conducted by private email among committee members. When committee business takes place in person or by phone, minutes of such offline business should be posted to the Yahoo! group.
To avoid redundancy and maintain reasonable email volume:
Committee members should where possible communicate committee business to the Executive Committee through their committee chair.
To meet member expectations of quality of service:
A committee member should respond to any general inquiry to the committee’s Yahoo! group within 48 hours, Cc:ing the group, even if it is only to say that the inquiry has been received and a response is being prepared.
To maintain the professional image of the association:
Major public announcements by committees should be discussed with the Executive Committee, who will release announcements through their announcement team.


Each committee typically has one or more ongoing agenda items assigned by the Executive Committee, such as “maintain the rules” or “oversee tournaments”. In addition:

  • All committees should respond promptly to inquiries from the public
  • Committees with closed membership should determine and oversee the process by which their members are replaced.
  • Committees should document their procedures.

Member Obligations

This section parallels the description of the duties of a club or tournament Director, because being a member of a NASPA committee and being a certified NASPA director are both positions of responsibility.


The general responsibilities of a committee member are as follows:

  1. to represent NASPA in a professional, moral, ethical, fair, welcoming and encouraging manner;
  2. to perform his/her committee-specific duties for the betterment and continued good functioning of the association; and
  3. to promote competitive SCRABBLE play through NASPA and no other organization.


NASPA is HASBRO’s official organization for promoting competitive club and tournament SCRABBLE play. Its committee members are also in the public eye as NASPA’s representatives: a member of the public might email a local Dictionary Committee member with a question about a word, or a Rules Committee member might receive a late-night phone call about the rules. In exchange for the opportunity to shape the future of our game, its lexicon, its rules and general procedures; committee members are required to comport themselves appropriately and beyond reproach.

Do's and Don't's

Every rule has grey areas, and it's sometimes tricky to tell whether or not something you're thinking of doing might be considered in violation of your obligations as a NASPA Committee Member. If you're not sure, then ask your committee chair, or email info@scrabbleplayers.org. Here are some guidelines based on questions that we have received.

As a committee member, you may:

  • be involved in an official capacity with other official SCRABBLE organizations such as the NSA or WESPA,
  • be involved in an official capacity with SCRABBLE-related fund-raisers for literacy or other charitable causes,
  • play in events run by an unofficial SCRABBLE organization, or
  • be a member of an unofficial SCRABBLE organization.

As a committee member, you may not:

  • allow your NASPA membership to lapse or be suspended,
  • disclose confidential committee business,
  • be a tournament director or act in any official role within an unofficial SCRABBLE organization,
  • recruit members for an unofficial SCRABBLE organization or players for its events, or
  • entreat players to renounce their membership in NASPA.


Failure to meet these obligations will result in a committee member being suspended from their committee duties until they successfully appeal for reinstatement.