What’s happening in WGPO governance, lexicon, and return to live play.
The main focus lately has been on the incorporation process, and I’m glad to report that WGPO is now incorporated as a nonprofit corporation. We have functioned as an unincorporated nonprofit organization for 11 years, but in the last couple of years have been approached with some opportunities that in one case, at least, require the corporate status. Our bylaws anticipated the possible need or desire to incorporate and made for a fairly straightforward process in which we retained the services of an attorney who specializes in not-for-profit corporations.
Our next step will be the application for federal tax-exempt status. In the meantime, we will be holding a special election of the membership to approve a new set of bylaws which have been prepared to be consistent with our new Articles of Incorporation and pending tax-exempt status. We will publish our Articles and proposed Bylaws on the WGPO website in the near future and will announce the special election after interested members have had a chance to review our new governing documents.
In many ways we will continue to operate as usual, but the formalities required by incorporation and tax laws will require us to adopt more traditional nomenclature in our governance. We will have an elected Board of Directors consisting of the current Executive Committee and Board of Player Representatives, but will need to name at least a minimum number of corporate officers for president, secretary and treasurer out of our Board of Directors pool. Going forward, the EC and BPR may or may not continue as our functional leadership committees, but that will take shape as the Board decides how best to function in its new structure.
The Lexicon Committee has recommended that for the immediate future, the referendum results are best implemented by maintaining the unexpurgated TWL (NWL2018) as the lexicon for rated tournament play. There is some concern that WGPO may be isolating itself from the rest of the Scrabble world, given the decisions made by Scopely (ScrabbleGo), WESPA (Collins) and Woogles to follow the path begun by NASPA to bow to Hasbro and Mattel desires (to remove the slurs). This concern will be addressed in some way as we move forward, but it may connect to other issues as well so, for now, it will be TWL.
An unanswered question remains regarding Collins play – which lexicon will be used in sanctioned WGPO events? The Collins Coalition (CoCo) and probably Woogles will be following WESPA’s lead, while there is evidence from Australia and Africa that a number of organizations will continue to use the unexpurgated CSW19. One approach would be to follow the lead of the TWL vote and continue with the unexpurgated CSW lexicon. However, since this decision only affects the relatively small WGPO Collins community, it may be better to poll those players separately. We invite comments on this, particularly from our Collins players.
Regarding return to live play, some clubs are already meeting together under controlled conditions appropriate for their circumstances. The BPR will be establishing conditions under which rated tournament play may begin.
Steve Pellinen, for the WGPO Executive Committee