Notes from WGPO General Membership Meeting

Notes from WGPO General Membership Meeting

Minneapolis, MN

August 6, 2012

Approximately 50 people attended.

Larry Rand called the meeting to order at 8 pm.

Introductions:  The WGPO Executive Committee was represented by Stephanie Steele (MN), Keith Hagel (CO), and Rick Wong (CA).  The Board of Player Representatives attendees included Steve Pellinen (MN), Susi Tiekert (FL), Peggy Grant (SC) and Larry Rand (AZ).  Unable to attend was Laurie Cohen (AZ).

Rick Wong announced that Reno WGPO tournaments are scheduled thru 2015 at Grand Sierra Resort.  Rick broached the idea of having the July 4th tournament be held in conjunction with a word game players convention. Words With Friends® and casual Scrabble® players would be included in the target audience.   Ideas are welcome (Coaching by experts, lecturers, discussion leaders, classes for new players).

Brian Galebach reported that he is working on ratings and looking to improve the system with the help of another volunteer.  Brian explained the functionality of the website. Stability of the system is being addressed through setting standards. Aaron Daly volunteered to work on the technical aspect of the functionality.

There was a question on how ratings are translated for players who have been inactive for some time. Larry responded that tournament directors start with the player’s existing rating; we will be looking into the possibility of “translating” the old rating using multipliers.

Keith Hagel announced that earlier Monday, he called a committee meeting for planning the Denver area Word Cup for 2013 (WC2013).  In attendance were Keith Hagel and Angela Dancho (co-organizers of the 2013 Word Cup), Steve Pellinen and Sue Hoehn (2012 Word Cup Directors), Rick Wong  (WC2013 co-director with Angela), and Stephanie Steele.  Plans are well underway, and it is likely that WC13 will be in August at the Denver airport Crowne Plaza.  The exact dates are to be determined, and the committee intends to announce the dates before Labor Day.  Discussion points:

  • Anne McCarthy from Durango, CO volunteered to be on the committee.
  • Keith commented that the committee will attempt not to bump up against the date of NASPA nationals.
  • The Committee will be asking people to spearhead regional efforts to recruit players.
  • Bennett Jacobstein has offered to do Trivia again.
  • Keith asks everyone here to talk one or two other players into going to Denver Please email Keith with ideas.
  • Brian raised the issue of ratings cutoff in unlimited play up tournament.
  • Janice Kaye feels strongly that prize money should be distributed equitably among the divisions, and likes to give directors autonomy.
  • Mike Johnson likes that money is not as emphasized in WGPO and we can reach more people who cannot necessarily pay to go NASPA, especially mid and lower range players.
  • David Weiss mentioned that he liked the fun prizes in Reno.

Word Cup 2014 locale was discussed. Steve Grob suggested mid-size cities, and Jason Vaysberg suggested centrally located cities.  Larry expressed a main concern with picking the location is having people on the ground who are seasoned and available to work. Ann mentioned considering area with major airport. Canadian membership would need to be built up in order to host a Word Cup in Canada. Steve Grob suggested advance planning years out. Nadine Jacobsen suggested having tournament over the span of 4 days instead of 5.

In a show of hands, almost all in attendance intend to come to Denver.

An early bird later start suggested by Brian.

A question was raised about the rules used by WGPO. Larry stated that we use the same rules as the NSA framework while putting more discretion in the hands of the director.  Steve Pellinen pointed out that the 4 basic rules are on the contestant scorecard (Play Fair, Be Nice, Have Fun, Be Quiet).  Steph Steele commented that fairness and common sense are used by directors for guidance in making a decision.

John Aitken suggested instituting a membership fee.  This will be discussed in the EC/BPR meeting tomorrow.  John mentioned $20 annual.  $1 per tournament discussed.  Lynda Finn commented that several Madison players would not play if membership fee required.  No fees will be imposed without a vote by membership.  John A. suggested a rating fee. Maddy Kamen suggested a $5 surcharge per tournament. Lynda suggested a rule that you don’t have to be a member to play but do have to be member to win.

Meeting adjourned 9:10 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Brown
WGPO Member Liaison