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Frequently asked questions

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Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA). Please check to see if your question is answered here before you contact us. If your question is about the NSA (or School SCRABBLE or casual SCRABBLE play, please look for the answer on the NSA web site instead.

A. Questions about the transition from the NSA to NASPA

  1. What is the difference between NASPA and the NSA?
    As of 2010-01-01, Hasbro will no longer be providing regular funding to SCRABBLE clubs and tournaments. As a result, over the course of 2009, the NSA will transfer responsiblity for clubs and tournaments to the newly formed NASPA, leaving the NSA to concentrate on developing new markets for SCRABBLE in areas such as School SCRABBLE.
  2. How were the members of the NASPA Steering Committee chosen?
    The committee members were chosen by the NSA. The selection criteria were not made public, but the committee includes NSA Persons of the Year, top directors and non-directing players, people who have and have not worked directly for the NSA, and people from north, south, east and west. It clearly did not include several people who could have made significant contributions to the committee, but the initial size of the committee is already a little too large, and there will be plenty of later opportunities for others to work with NASPA.
  3. Will I have to pay more to play SCRABBLE?
    Yes. It takes money to run an organization. Hasbro is no longer providing that money, so for the foreseeable future, players will be charged higher fees than under the NSA regime.
  4. What will I get for my money?
    NASPA is a player-run organization committed to expanding the playing community by continually improving its services and your playing experience. If you have suggestions as to new services you would like to pay for, please contact our Membership Committee. As of now, buying a membership will show your support for the new organization, entitle you to play in sanctioned tournaments and have your achievements officially recognized, and you will receive a special low membership number.
  5. Should I renew my membership in the NSA?
    Yes. If you let your NSA membership lapse right now, you will stop receiving the NSA newsletter, and you will not be allowed to play in sanctioned tournaments.
  6. What if my membership runs out one month or so before NASPA takes over and I sign up with the NSA for a whole year, will I get a prorated refund?
    No. However, you will continue to receive the NSA newsletter for the remainder of your subscription, and if you purchase an annual NASPA membership before July 1, 2009, it will be valid until the end of 2010.
  7. When will NSA clubs become NASPA clubs?
    July 1, 2009, if they pay a fee.
  8. Will the rules and lexicon change?
    The NSA Rules Committee and Dictionary Committee will be transferred to NASPA, and continue their work as usual. There will be regular updates to the Rules, and the Long List will be updated in the next few years.
  9. Will NASPA be taking over Word Gear too?
    Not in the foreseeable future. The NSA and Word Gear are separate businesses that happen to share staff and facilities.

B. Questions about how NASPA works

  1. Who is in charge of NASPA?
    The Steering Committee is tasked with managing the transition from the NSA to NASPA. Its co-chairs are Chris Cree and John Chew.
  2. Do players have a voice in how NASPA works?
    The Steering Committee is made up entirely of players and directors, chosen from across Canada and the United States, with a total of centuries of experience as tournament players and directors. All of the existing NSA committees, including the Advisory Board, are made up entirely of experienced tournament players. In fact, the whole point of creating NASPA, at least from Hasbro's point of view, is to devolve responsibility for players from the NSA to the player community. If you’re asking if you yourself will have a voice in NASPA, please see the next question.
  3. How can I help?
    If you would like to volunteer with any of NASPA's activities, thank you! Please contact a member of whichever NASPA committee interests you to see how your skills can best be put to use.
  4. How do I edit pages on this web site?
    If you are a NASPA committee member, then you should have a username and password to log onto the web site. Do so, click on an edit link, and follow the style guide. If you are not a committee member, please ask one to make your changes.
  5. Will there be executive stipends, will the members decide them, and will they be published?
    Yes, because there are and will be people working long hours and spending money for the association; no, the membership at large will not vote on compensation; yes, NASPA will report its budget in accordance with statutory requirements.

C. Questions about the future of NASPA

  1. Will NASPA be adopting the Collins/SOWPODS/WESPA word list?
    NASPA has its hands full getting started as an organization this year, and there will be no changes to the tournament word list in 2009. In future, the word list will continue to be revised on a regular basis, by the Dictionary Committee. In the last update to the word list, some formerly SOWPODS-only words were added to our vocabulary, such as QI and QADI. In the next update, there will almost certainly be more.
  2. What relationship will NASPA have with cross-tables.com?
    Seth Lipkin is a member of the Steering Committee and is taking an active role in organizing NASPA.

D. Questions about membership

  1. Should people buy NASPA memberships now?
  2. When will NSA clubs become NASPA clubs?
    July 1, 2009, if they pay a fee.