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Beginning in 2017 (and backdated to 2011), NASPA has recognized player excellence by awarding the titles NASPA Expert, NASPA Master, and NASPA Grandmaster. (Until 2021, these were referred to as SCRABBLE Expert, SCRABBLE Master and SCRABBLE Grandmaster.)
An annually updated list shows the years in which each titlist achieved their current rank. The list was last revised on 2020-02-28.
For player recognition purposes, our tournament year begins when the first game begins at the North American SCRABBLE Championship (NASC), and ends just before the first game begins at the next NASC.
We rank players according to their overall performance ratings (OPR). An OPR is like a tournament performance rating (PR), but takes into account all of the games played during a period of time, regardless of how many tournaments they were played in.
The player with the highest OPR each tournament year is designated our Player of the Year.
Now, when deciding who will become a NASPA Expert (EX), NASPA Master (SM) or NASPA Grandmaster (GM) each year, we look at OPR calculated over rolling periods of 5 consecutive tournament years, and consider only those players who have played 50 games in each of 3 of the 5 tournament years making up each such quinquennium.
We list those players according to their 5-year OPR, and see who falls within which percentile. Those in the top 25% are named NASPA Experts, those in the top 6% NASPA Masters, and those in the top 1% NASPA Grandmasters.
Players retain earned titles as long as they maintain their memberships in good standing, or until they earn a superior title.
The Advisory Board is currently evaluating how to recognize former players as part of this program.