To change things up a bit, I’m not posting a recap of games from yesterday’s club night. Instead, I’m going to write about some “storm clouds” in the Scrabble tournament scene. As you may know, the National Scrabble Association (NSA) decided to withdraw from the tournament scene in 2009 to focus on School Scrabble. Makes sense as the NSA probably makes very little money off of the tournament players. As a result, the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) emerged to take leadership over the tournament scene in North America.
Apparently, not everyone is happy with how things are run and apparently an alternative group has formed. This group calls itself the Word Game Players’ Organization (WGPO). From the snippets of information I have, there seems to be some discontent with how NASPA operates and perhaps the individuals who essentially operate NASPA. WGPO seems to be trying to establish itself and has held a series of tournaments independent of the NASPA sanctioned tournaments which are publicized on Cross Tables.
As someone who isn’t intimately involved with NASPA, WGPO or any of the leadership within the Scrabble world, I’m not really sure what the fuss is all about. All I do know is that running an organization (especially a volunteer one) is very challenging. Are people that dissatisfied that splitting and forming a separate group is the only solution? I’m not sure that competing associations is the best thing for the Scrabble tournament scene.
At the end of the day, I’m only looking for opportunities to play a game that I enjoy against other people in a competitive (but friendly) environment. I get some of that within a local club context, but I also like the challenges presented by tournaments and from a tournament scene. All of the other stuff, like politics and pride doesn’t really interest me. Here’s hoping that some resolution can be found before a “cold war” breaks out between the people involved.