WGPO Tournament Expectations

DRAFT for Member Review                                                         January 2, 2019

Mission Statement: The WGPO is a word game players’ organization run, in accordance with its bylaws, democratically by and for the players. The organization emphasizes a respectful and supportive environment that encourages every member, regardless of rating or previous tournament playing experience, to play often, play fair and have fun.

The short, sweet statement above provides enough guidance for most Scrabble players to foster an open, safe and welcoming environment where other players can expect to be treated with consideration and respect. Conduct is usually not a problem. However, in very rare cases, certain players may need more detailed direction. This document provides fair notice of the strict requirements for tournament play and the potential for disciplinary action when a player’s behavior is considered unacceptable.

Play Often: Play often in various settings — with family and friends, in local Scrabble clubs and organizations. In these venues perhaps players may use a Cheat Sheet or other finding aids. Game play may be conducted in a relaxed, casual fashion. However, tournament players are expected to comply with all formal rules of play in order to avoid unfortunate conflicts and/or disciplinary actions. Tournament play is by necessity strictly rule-bound.

Play Fair: Playing fairly begins with treating all players and directors with consideration regardless of status or playing ability.

  • Abusive Behaviors: Harassment, abuse, intimidation and discrimination will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Verbal or written abuse used to insult or demean others.
    • Physical abuse of any kind, including pushing, shoving and unwanted touching or hugging.
    • Intimidation, threats, bullying and harassment
    • Discriminatory behavior and remarks based on race, religion, age, disability, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital or military status.
    • Sexual and gender-based harassment.
  • Cheating and Suspicious Behavior:
    • Cheating: Knowingly violating the rules or other cheating will lead to disciplinary action.
    • Suspicious Behavior: This is defined as a type of behavior that could be interpreted as cheating, but not conclusively be determined as cheating. Players who willfully and repeatedly violate established tournament rules are engaging in suspicious behavior. NOTE: Newcomers to the game and players who habitually play in non-tournament community venues may accidentally engage in suspicious behavior without malicious intent. Directors may give such unseasoned players the benefit of the doubt or grant leeway for a player’s uncharacteristic confusion.

Have Fun: Good sportsmanship is key to the WGPO “have fun” part of our mission statement. Good sports contribute to other players’ enjoyment and the overall congenial tournament atmosphere.

Unsportsmanlike conduct is any behavior that is clearly abusive, negative, or detrimental to the success of the club, tournament, or organized SCRABBLE in general.

  • Learn to lose graciously and allow your opponents to enjoy their good fortunes. Curse the tile gods privately if you must, but don’t take your loss out on your opponent or others. Crabby, negative players detract from the game and are not fun.
  • Win even more graciously.
  • Avoid coffee housing: Talking, moaning or other misleading behavior during the game distracts other players and is considered unethical.
  • Play the whole game to the best of your ability because it affects the standing of every player in your division. Give your opponent a good run no matter the score. It’s not over until it’s over. Don’t “check out” during play. Continue to play your best because every game contributes to tournament win, place and show positions and final player rating points.
  • Respect the authority of officials and the rights of your opponents and other players.

Reporting Conduct Violations to WGPO:

Tournament directors shall report all serious behavior concerns and violations to the WGPO Board of Player Representatives as soon as they can conveniently do so in a written Incident Report that details the incident, player(s) involved and action(s) taken.

Players should report such concerns in person to the tournament director at the time of the event and may also be asked to provide a written report of the incident later. Players may also report the matter to any member of the WGPO Board of Player Representatives.

WGPO Rules shall specify possible consequences for conduct violations. They may include but are not limited to: verbal or written warning, forfeiture of a game, removal from a tournament, suspension from tournament play, or permanent ban on participating in WGPO tournaments.