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


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

2012 WGPO Election Results

The Nominations and Elections Committee has reviewed the election results, and unanimously agreed to certify them as posted. We thank all of the candidates for their willingness to serve. Keith Hagel is elected to the Executive Committee, Bennett Jacobstein and Larry Rand are on the Board of Player Representatives.  These are two-year terms.  It is expected that the BPR will name third-place finisher Sue Hoehn to fill out the remaining year of Laurie Cohen’s term.


Number of all members voted = 108

Poll Name Poll Option Tally
Voting Ballot for BPR Bennett Jacobstein 70
Voting Ballot for BPR Larry Rand 69
Voting Ballot for BPR Sue Hoehn 46
Voting Ballot for BPR Larry Gradus 14
Voting Ballot for Executive Committee Keith Hagel 74

2012 WGPO Election Update #1

Laurie Cohen has resigned her position on the Board of Player Representatives (BPR).  The BPR has decided to fill the vacancy via a vote of the members.  This means that there are three BPR positions to be filled in the December election.  The terms of Peggy Grant and Larry Rand are expiring at the end of December.  Keith Hagel’s term on the Executive

Committee is expiring also.   These are 2-year terms.  The third-place finisher in the BPR election will serve for one year to fill out Laurie’s term.

To date, we have received nominations for Keith Hagel for Executive Committee and for Larry Rand and Bennett Jacobstein for Board of Player Representatives.

We encourage more nominations, but we need to have them by November 29.

Voting starts December 1.  For further details, see the WordGamePlayers.org website.

Nominations and Elections Committee:  Ruth Hamilton (ruthhamilton@q.com), Marc Levesque (marc.levesque@telus.net), Frank Kashuk (kashuk@comcast.net).

2012 WGPO Elections

Nominations are now open for the election of officers to lead our organization.  Any member in good standing may place nominations by e-mail or US Postal Service to a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee. They are: Ruth Hamilton, Chair (ruthhamilton@q.com) and Marc Levesque (marc.levesque@telus.net). The nominating period will run from November 17, 2012 to November 29, 2012. Nominations sent by postal mail should be sent to Ruth Hamilton, P. O. Box 144, Lake Oswego, OR 97034. All postal submissions must be postmarked NO LATER than November 26, 2012 to be accepted.

All nominations received will be acknowledged by e-mail; persons nominated by anyone other than himself or herself will be notified by e-mail, and will be placed on the list of nominees only if they accept the nomination.

All members in good standing as of November 28, 2012 are urged to participate in this election. We will be electing one member of the Executive Committee and two members of the Board of Player Representatives following the nominating period.  For a description of the positions, please see the bylaws, Articles V and VI, at http://wordgameplayers.org/about/wgpo-bylaws-2/.

According to our Bylaws, any member in good standing of the WGPO who is 18 years of age or older before taking office, if elected, is eligible to run for office, EXCEPT members of the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Following the nomination period, the election of officers will commence on December 1, 2012, and continue through December 14, 2012.  Rules for conduct of the election phase will be published prior to the beginning of voting.

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