2014/02/16 Meeting Minutes

Scottsdale, Arizona

Meeting of the WGPO Executive Committee, Board of Player Representatives and Guests

AttendeesFrom the EC: Keith Hagel, Larry Rand, Stephanie Steele, From the BPR: Bennett Jacobstein, Ruth Hamilton, Steve Pellinen,  Susi Tiekert. WGPO members: Melissa Brown (Secretary). Guests: Lynda Finn, Dominick Mancine, Joe Gaspard

Meeting called to order by Stephanie Steele at 1:05 pm

1. TREASURY: Janice Kaye (unable to attend) sent a treasury report – there is $5613.72 in the WGPO account.

2. WEBSITE: Steve and Ruth provided an update on the status of the WGPO website. The switch was successfully made to a new server which now provides 24/7 service. Ruth will act as the funnel for postings on website (tasks to be transitioned from Henry Yeung and Rick Wong). Aaron Daly is working on a website design update. Steve Pellinen will join the tech committee.

3. RATINGS: Dominick finished the ratings using existing code, and arrived at a working process for rating tournaments. Dominick is working toward switching the ratings to Java. Wish list: Listing states next to names, projected number of wins, ideas for changing tournament results for consistent reporting. Dominick would be willing to maintain all of the data associated with WGPO membership and ratings; will follow up with Henry Yeung about web permissions.

4. WORD CUP 2014 STATUS REPORT: the 2014 Word Cup will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, August 1-6 (4 divisions, open format) directed by Lynda Finn and Bennett Jacobstein. So far there are 78 entrants, several already paid. An early bird will be directed by Larry if there is enough interest. Lynda and Bennett are working on detailed planning, and will make decisions regarding cut offs for divisions, distribution of prize money, integration of Collins; will welcome input from EC and BPR

5. ELECTION PROCESS (Ruth & Joe): Discussed ways to increase participation in voting. Joe offered possible options: Do a multiple choice survey asking why people did / did not vote; consider taking votes by email (Ruth reviewed the by laws which do not prohibit this). Dominick commented that we could set up an email group address for the survey if we decide to do one. The EC and BPR will recruit future nomination and elections committee volunteers.

6. ADD MEMBERS FOR LISTSERV: For this Phoenix tournament, Larry added instructions for joining the listserv. Dominick will review the membership document started by Melissa (dated June 2013) to see if it would be useful for tracking listserv participation.

7. DOCUMENTING POLICIES.

a. EC and BPR members agreed we should have a codification of all WGPO policies that have been decided to date. Steph volunteered to compile existing policies, using past minutes as a starting point.

b. Agreement by all that there is a need for instituting a process for revisiting policies.

8. TWL3/OSPD5. General discussion of the availability of the anticipated new dictionary to WGPO members.

9. NUMBER OF TOURNAMENTS: Bennett spoke about MSI (Mind Sports International), which is sponsoring festivals of mind games like chess, with tournaments in LA, Berkeley and Las Vegas planned, and the potential impact on WGPO tournaments.

Meeting adjourned 2:45 pm

Respectfully submitted by Melissa Brown

2013 WGPO Election Results

In December, members elected Larry Rand  to the Executive Committee and re-elected Stephanie Steele.  Steve Pellinen and Susi Tiekert were re-elected to the Board of Player Representatives and were joined by Ruth Hamilton and Rick Wong.  These terms began in January.  Keith Hagel continues to serve on the Executive Committee and Bennett Jacobstein is a continuing member of the Board of Player Representatives.

2013 WGPO Election Instructions

Voting is now open for the Word Game Players’ Organization election of members to its Executive Committee (EC) and Board of Player Representatives (BPR). Members will elect two candidate to serve on the EC, and four to serve on the BPR.

Voting is limited to WGPO members; anyone who joined on or before November 30, 2013 is eligible to participate. To vote:

1. Go to WGPO’s polls forum, http://wordgameplayers.org/phpBB3/

2. If prompted to log in, enter your username and password. (Note: If you have forgotten your username, feel free to contact Melissa Brown, WGPO Member Liaison, molly1904@gmail.com . If you have forgotten your password, as long as you have the correct username, you can reset your password by following the prompts under the “membership” tab).

3.  Select the WGPO December 2013 Election topic.  Candidates’ campaign statements, if provided, can be found there, as well as the ballots.  There are two candidates for the two open seats on the Executive Committee: Stephanie Steele and Larry Rand. There are five candidates for four open seats on the Board of Player Representative: Rick Wong, Steve Pellinen, Susi Tiekert, Mike Johnson, and Ruth Hamilton.

Members will be able to vote for two candidates for the EC and up to four for the BPR. No member may vote more than once for any individual candidate, and no votes may be changed once they are submitted

Voting will conclude on December 14, 2013, at 11:59 PM PST, and results will be published within 72 hours.

The election is being administered by the WGPO Nominations and Elections Committee, whose members are Sue Hoehn, Fran Galt and Joe Gaspard. The committee shall be the arbiter of any disputes.  Concerns or questions should be addressed to Joe at joegaspard@aol.com. Technical questions or problems should be addressed to Henry Yeung at hyeung@wordgameplayers.org.

While this election primarily will be conducted online, the WGPO will try to assist members who wish to vote by mail. Mail-in ballots (with your name, contact information and the names of the candidates for whom you are voting) may be sent to Sue Hoehn, 2184 Scheffer Ave, St Paul MN 55116.  They must be received by December 14, 2013.

Thank you,

WGPO Nominations and Elections Committee

2013/08/04-07 Meeting Minutes

August 4, 2013

Aurora, Colorado

Meeting of the WGPO Executive Committee, Board of Representatives and Guests

AttendeesFrom the EC: Keith Hagel, Stephanie Steele, Rick Wong. From the BPR: Bennett Jacobstein, Larry Rand, Susi Tiekert, Sue Hoehn, Steve Pellinen. WGPO members: Melissa Brown (Secretary), Janice Kaye (Treasurer). Guests: Lynda Finn, Dominick Mancine, Mahlia Mahmood, Angela Dancho

Meeting called to order by Larry Rand at 1:05 pm

  1. WGPO WEB SITE – Dominick will work with Brian Galebach and Henry Yeung, to improve the website. The first step will be to implement source control to share control among developers. Additional goals are to implement use of standard HTML instead of Google docs, better data reporting on tournaments, administrative permissions for club directors so they can clean up content, make the discussion forum a part of the website,  better navigation overall, more user friendly. Keith asked if there is a sense of timetable. Per Dominick, Larry will communicate with Brian and the tech committee regarding moving forward.
  2. WORD JUDGE USA – Maliha has developed a word list that contains words of 2-21 letters for use in Super Scrabble (Zyzzyva includes up to 15 letter words). Steve asked about sources for words. Sources are Zyzzyva, The Long Words list and Google for the very long words. Maliha started this list in 2008 for a word building game she invented. Hard copy will be available from Amazon and free copy available online from wordjudgeusa.com.  The EC and BPR will discuss further whether to endorse this list for Super Scrabble.
  3. WORD CUP 2014 – Lynda Finn – Lynda has signed  a contract with Madison Marriott West. $175 a day for playing room, approx twice the size of the room here in Denver. $1200 minimum food reception. There is a commitment for 125 total room nights. There is free wifi in public areas of hotel, including playing room.  Travel options were discussed (fly to Madison, fly to Chicago or Milwaukee and bus or drive to Madison). Probable $50 commuter fee will be charged. The hotel is in walking distance to several restaurants and a mall. $99 a night room rate. EC and BPR will meet again on Tuesday at lunch time to discuss the agenda items:  Reciprocity, Suspended players in other organizations, Word judge, Madison and any items which may arise at the Monday evening player meeting.

The meeting will be continued on August 6 at 1PM, with remaining agenda items and discussion of any issues brought up at the general membership meeting.

August 5, 2013

Aurora, CO

General Meeting of WGPO

Larry Rand called the meeting to order @ 8:35 pm. Approximately 60 people attended

No formal agenda

Open up for questions about the organization

  1. Mike Johnson, Decorah, Iowa, had a question regarding provisional ratings which are higher than anticipated for new players. The issue needs to be addressed by the ratings committee. Rick will handle and respond with answer to the rest of us by email.
  2. Winter would like to see more Collins in WGPO. Stephanie gave history of interactions with WESPA.  WESPA will not rate Collins tournaments in WGPO. The issue is that people do not want to learn Collins. Winter stated that the leadership of WGPO should promote Collins by adding the 2 and 3 letter word list to WGPO. Larry brought up the issue of word judging without software.  Steve is willing to have Collins division at the Wisconsin Dells tournament. Stephanie suggests that a Collins player should hold a tournament and assume leadership in the Collins world.  Maybe start with an Intro to Collins weekend (Angela).
  3. Mark Pistolese asked about how WGPO will handle the expulsion of a NASPA player  – the committee will set a standard. Anne McCarthy suggested that roles and responsibilities be defined for directors.
  4. Announcement of the 2014 Word Cup in Madison, Wisconsin to be directed by Lynda Finn. The tournament will be held at a Marriott with reasonable room rates. Dates are August 2-6, 2014. Looking at having 8 games a day. All events will be WGPO rated. Optional pre-event fun on Friday, August 1, as an alternative to an Early Bird. Several people have offered to direct an early bird as Lynda does not wish to do this.  The event is a week before the event in Buffalo.
  5. Mike Johnson gave a big thank you to the directors and the players of the WGPO Word Cup.
  6. Peggy Grant made an appeal for more directors.

Meeting adjourned 9:15 pm

August 6, 2013, 1PM

Continuation of August  4 EC/BPR Meeting

Attendees: From the EC: Keith Hagel, Stephanie Steele, Rick Wong. From the BPR: Bennett Jacobstein, Larry Rand, Susi Tiekert, Sue Hoehn, Steve Pellinen.  WGPO members: Melissa Brown (Secretary), Janice Kaye (Treasurer).

  1. TREASURER’S REPORT (Janice) – $1953 is in the bank, this does not count the donations received here. Larry stated that we need to do a better job of asking directors to solicit donations to WGPO at tournaments. Suggestion of using part of the recent private $2000 donation (received at the tournament) to pay Word Cup expenses so we can have 100% payback. Keith made a motion the raise the prize fund to 100% for 2013 Word Cup. The motion failed for lack of a second. The intent is to donate $1500 to 2014 WC in Madison, as has been the practice for other Word Cups.
  2. SEATS UP FOR ELECTION, 2013 – The 3 year terms are up for Steve, Susi, Sue, Rick, and Steph at end of 2013. Larry, Bennett and Keith are clear. Per bylaws a nominating committee needs to be appointed by October 20. Steph and Susi will probably run, Steve said maybe, Rick will consider BPR rather than EC, Sue will not run.
  3. WORD JUDGE USA – Rick stated that the next step should be for Rick to confirm that words from 2-15 are valid in Maliha’s publication. He is able to do that. Steph moved that assuming the book Meliha has written compares exactly to Zyzzyva, it be approved as an official word source for WGPO player. Seconded by Larry and Susi. Rick suggested adding to the motion that WGPO would recognize Word Judge USA as an official source for Scrabble play as well as Super Scrabble. Motion voted on and carried
  4. Larry will contact Brian about the provisional ratings question brought up at the general meeting.
  5. WEB SITE ISSUES – Steve mentioned that a new host for the web server is needed. A chairperson is needed for the tech committee. Rick will approach Henry to see if he wants to chair the tech committee and will give a response 7 to 10 days after the minutes come out.
  6. 2015 WORD CUP: There was discussion of the 2015 WC and possible sites.  BPR and EC are putting out a request for WGPO members to suggest sites for the 2015 WC.

Additional agenda items … Meeting for breakfast 8:30 Wednesday am

Meeting adjourned 2 pm

Wednesday, August 7

Continuation of meeting, 8:30 a.m.

Attendees – From the EC: Keith Hagel, Stephanie Steele, Rick Wong. From the BPR: Bennett Jacobstein, Larry Rand, Susi Tiekert, Sue Hoehn, Steve Pellinen.  WGPO members: Melissa Brown (Secretary), Janice Kaye (Treasurer).

  1. WEB SITE ISSUES – There is an urgent need for changing the web host server with support. Rick knows of some possibilities and will do due diligence. Keith moved to have the server moved upon due diligence and selection. The board unanimously approved.
  2. FUTURE WORD CUPS – Possible modification of the bylaws regarding involvement of the EC and BPR in decisions regarding Word Cup format, etc. Keith asked all to look at the by laws.  Steve and Bennett have volunteered to be on Lynda’s committee for WC 2014.
  3. RECIPROCITY –  Allowing flyers for other tournaments at WGPO. Many tournaments of the other organization do not advertise WGPO. Board unanimously agreed we will allow reciprocity at WGPO tournaments.
  4. SUSPENSION OF PLAYERS BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS – Rick will research previous discussion of this matter. Believes the agreement was that we would honor the other organization’s suspension but allow appeal on case by case basis.
  5. MERCHANDISING –  Rick suggests setting up a Cafe Press or similar account for production of TShirts, Coffee Mugs, etc. Susi will research the one with the best return.
  6. ANAGRAMMER ON WEBSITE – Rick stated that Kenji mentioned that one of the most searched scrabble terms in the Internet is “Scrabble Cheat”, a popular website. Some type of anagrammer or word finder like that on our website could attract traffic.

Meeting adjourned at 10AM

Respectfully submitted by Melissa Brown

2013/05/26 Notes from Meeting of WGPO Board of Player Representatives and Executive Committee

Notes from Meeting of WGPO Board of Player Representatives and Executive Committee

Campbell, CA

May 26, 2013

Attendees –  From the Executive Committee: Keith Hagel, Rick Wong.  From the Board of Player Representatives:  Bennett Jacobstein, Larry Rand, Steve Pellinen, Susi Tiekert. WGPO members: Ruth Hamilton, Melissa Brown

Not Present:  Stephanie Steele (EC), Sue Hoehn (BPR)

Meeting called to order @ 9 pm by Keith.

1. WEB SITE: All attendees agreed that there is a need to update the website content.  Steve has spoken with Aaron Daly whose current company is our web host and will continue going forward. Aaron has indicated that he would be interested in taking on responsibility for possibly redesigning the website and updating the content. Rick gave insights on the Word Press framework now used for content management on the WGPO site.  Larry is willing to get training on web updates using Word Press, and Rick is willing to train /mentor, if no other resources are identified. Larry will approach current members about possible web responsibilities, and Susi has a potential recruit.  Currently the following people are authorized to update the website: Steph Steele, Keith Hagel, Dave Wood for tournament information, and Brian Galebach for ratings. Wish list: number of tournaments played per individual, ability to sort by state  / province and alphabetically.

2. WORD CUP 2014. Several cities in the West and Midwest are under consideration as the possible site for WC 2014. Ideally, a location will be selected in time to announce at WC 2013 this August. As a reference, August 9 -13, 2014 are the dates of NASPA Buffalo nationals. Two weeks before would be considered for WC 2014.

3. IDEAS: Bennett mentioned an idea for a WGPO Tour to encourage tournament participation, and then he moved to table the idea until further information is gathered. Bennett proposed another idea, a Baseball Lovers 15 game Scrabble Tournament and Road Trip. Attendees acknowledged that word game players also tend to be baseball fans, and agreed that this idea should be investigated for 2014, both during Spring Training and regular season.

4. RULES: There was limited discussion about tournament rules; Rick pointed out that the LPGA does not have its own rules for golf — they use both the US and the UK rules depending on where they play. This is an example of a group that uses other groups’ rules. More discussion to be held on this topic.

Meeting adjourned @ 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Melissa M. Brown
WGPO Member Liaison

2013/02/17 Notes from Meeting of WGPO Board of Player Representatives, Executive Committee, and Word Cup Committee

Notes from Meeting of WGPO Board of Player Representatives, Executive Committee, and Word Cup Committee

Phoenix, AZ, February 17, 2013

Attendance

Executive Committee Members:

  • Keith Hagel
  • Stephanie Steele

Board of Player Representatives:

  • Larry Rand
  • Steve Pellinen
  • Sue Hoehn

2013 Word Cup Committee Members:

  • Angela Dancho
  • Julia Swaney
  • Laura Scheimberg
  • Mem Morman

Membership and Finance:

  • Janice Kaye
  • Melissa Brown

Chairperson  Janice Kaye called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.
1. Word Cup 2013 Update

Angela presented a report on planning efforts for the 2013 WGPO Word Cup, which will be held Aug 2-7, 2013, at the Red Lion Denver Southeast in Colorado.

  • Currently, 55 people are on the tentative list, with several paid registrations.
  • The committee is working with the hotel to plan event logistics.  $100 a day for playing room has been negotiated.
  • An anonymous donor has offered $2,000 in funds for a lead-up 2-day tournament to be held in April or May to generate interest in the main event.  Angela will finalize a date within the next two weeks if it is feasible.
  • A search is underway for corporate sponsors.
  • WGPO will donate funds, to be voted on later in the agenda.
  • There have been 2 fundraising bake sales.
  • An opening reception will be held on Friday evening, August 2. Stephanie suggested that the refreshments be hotel-catered; Keith seconded this idea. Julia has already begun discussions with the hotel catering service to arrange for refreshments; there will be a vegetarian option.
  • Outside activities are being planned, including:
    • Bennett Jacobstein is on point to do a trivia night.
    • The committee is looking into local activities, including outings to the ball park, a brewery tour (Laura), outdoor parks, antiquarian book fair being held in Denver that weekend (Keith). Denver tourism materials will be obtained by the committee.
    • Julia will compile a list of activities and transportation information, rental car options, possible airline discount (Mem to investigate).
  • A general membership meeting will be scheduled for one of the lunch breaks with box lunches available for purchase.
  • Confirmation of entry fees:  Angela will send via email and cc Larry, who will update information on the website.
  • Janice asked that directors throughout the nation be reminded to promote the Word Cup during their local tournaments.  She suggested having receptacles for collecting donations for WGPO and the Word Cup.
  • Publicity plan:  Angela will write up an article to submit to Last Word newsletter; Keith will work on a press release and contact media outlets; Larry will publicize on OSPD, WGPO and CGP listservs, and do additional promotion.
  • Larry requested a monthly progress communication to keep the EC and BPR informed.
  • Janice will contact the Minneapolis television station that donated to Word Cup 2012 for leads on Denver possible donor stations.
  • Janice suggested that a WGPO branded gift item be available as either give-away or for sale; alternatives discussed, and attendees agreed that Julia should look into the cost of 200 water bottles.
  • In addition there will be some kind of ‘swag bag’ including give-aways; the Colorado Springs Scrabble Club will donate pens (Mem).  Also, Mem will arrange for printing and laminating name tags with the colorful WGPO logo; Steve will send Mem the logo graphic file.


2. Event for “Words With Friends”

Larry presented two proposals submitted by Bennett (absent due to illness). The first proposal is that WGPO sponsor a non-rated event to attract Words With Friends players.  Bennett offered to underwrite all expenses for this new idea, which is attempting to get more new players into the WGPO Scrabble scene. Bennett and Rick would pilot such an event in the Bay Area; to be clarified if this would be a Scrabble tournament or WWF tournament. The EC and BPR members present unanimously voted in favor of this idea. Larry will follow up with Bennett.
3. WGPO Western Tournament tour

Larry presented Bennett’s second proposal, which is for a Western Tournament Tour, modeled on Steve Pellinen’s NAST, with some type of a point system for attendance / competition.  BPR and EC approved the idea and asked for details.
4. Word Cup 2014

  • Larry voiced the concern about fall in attendance at tournaments, using the February Phoenix tournament numbers as an example (249 players in 2005, 117 in 2013 number is 117).  There was discussion around the fact that there is a lot of work to do to bolster attendance, which has diminished due to a number of factors, including demographics — aging player population and difficulty attracting younger new players — the economy, sentiment about the split into two word game organizations, now more tournaments being held, and an increased number of people playing online.
  • Keith stated that a healthy active club scene is essential to attracting tournament players.
  • The need was identified for a club committee chair to keep the web page updated.  Larry will approach a potential point person to be in charge.

5. Webmaster and Website (Larry)

Larry identified the need for someone to keep up the WGPO website, which is the face of the organization.  Steve volunteered to approach a web expert and look into options.
6. Name Change

The EC and BPR members present unanimously decided to not pursue at this time.


7. Collins Divisions at Tournaments

Stephanie voiced the concern that WGPO Collins divisions do not count toward WESPA rating.  And Collins competitors are concerned that exceptional performance efforts are not recognized.  A player with vested interest in Collins should be recruited to champion the cause. Keith will approach potential point person for this task.

8. Seed Money for Word Cup 2013

Janice reported that there is approximately $3200 in the Word Cup checking account.  EC and BPR members discussed the amount of funds to be allocated to Word Cup 2013. Initially Keith proposed a donation of $2500. After discussion about not wanting to set a precedent, Keith moved that WGPO donate  $1500 minimum in seed money with the option open to contribute additional funds. Steph seconded the motion, and all EC and BPR members present voted in favor.

9. Word Cup 2014

Larry has reached out to the WGPO director who had been considering a Michigan location for WC2014; this option is no longer on the table. Other possibilities were discussed, with the general feeling that the location should move east.  Madison, Wisconsin was suggested by Steph, who will discuss with the Scrabble leaders there. Larry volunteered to work with the director in organizing and running the tournament.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Brown

WGPO Member Liaison