Wisconsin Dells – The tradition continues

It’s the continuation of a tradition, but with a new twist.
Dates are November 14 – 15, 2020.
Lynda Finn says:  This tourney is exciting for many reasons
  • Wisconsin Dells is the longest consecutively running tourney in North America (perhaps?)
  • This is the first WGPO tourney to take place at woogles.io
  • There will be Collins and TWL
  • The final best of 5 games will be live streamed

Here’s the flyer: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d38HOaiQANqK5WAVzKKLd_v_ZR9Jw45OnOek1MVU0io/edit?usp=sharing

WGPO Lexicon Survey and December Referendum

WGPO Lexicon Survey Results

In July 2020, WGPO sent out a survey to its membership to ask for their opinions on whether words deemed slurs and/or offensive should be removed from the lexicon. The purpose of the survey was to determine, from a list of options, what the top choices of WGPO membership were with respect to making changes to the WGPO lexicon or leaving the current wordlist as it is. We also asked participants to discuss the reasons for their choices. The results were used to inform a binding referendum that will be held December 1-14, 2020. We received 300 responses to the survey. A full summary with results broken down by demographic categories and comments in support of various options can be found at


Summary of Responses:

Question 1: Which option(s) would you support with respect to the current word lists (North American and International) and the potential removal of slurs and other “offensive” words (select all that apply)?

A word list with no slurs and offensive words removed: 59.0%
A word list with only the most offensive slurs removed: 31.7%
A word list with all slurs removed: 19.0%
A word list with all slurs and other offensive words removed: 7.7%

Note: People were allowed to select multiple responses, so percentages won’t add up to 100%.

The survey indicated strongest support for either a wordlist with no slurs removed (59%) or a wordlist with only a small list of slurs removed (31.7%). Other options did not receive strong levels of support. Levels of support for each option were similar across various demographic groups.

Question 2: How comfortable would you be having two different North American word lists (TWL) used (i.e. WGPO list that is different from NASPA list) and how comfortable would you be having two different international word lists (CSW) used for competitive Scrabble?

Very Comfortable 37.1% 17.0%
Somewhat Comfortable 20.9% 6.4%
Somewhat Uncomfortable 22.7% 25.5%
Very Uncomfortable 19.4% 51.1%

Survey participants are more comfortable having multiple North American Word lists than they are having multiple international word lists. Overall, 58% of people using the North American Wordlist said they would be extremely or somewhat comfortable with multiple lists while 42.1% would be extremely or somewhat uncomfortable.

Binding Referendum:

Based on these survey results, the Board of Player Representatives has referred the following questions to the membership. The first question authorizes the creation of a distinct WGPO Official Word List. The second question addresses the inclusion of slurs in this new word list. Neither referendum will apply to the international lexicon (Collins). Based on the survey results, there are no plans to create an alternative to the standard international wordlist.

Binding Referendum on whether to establish a WGPO Official Word List:
Shall WGPO establish, maintain, and make available its own WGPO official word list to be used for North American club and tournament play.

______ Yes

______ No

If this referendum passes, WGPO will form a lexicon committee to create a new WGPO tournament word list for use at all future WGPO TWL events. This list will be similar, but not exactly the same, as the current North American tournament word list, and will include either most or all slurs depending on the outcome of the second referendum question.

If the referendum fails to pass, WGPO will continue to use the common tournament word list used in North America which will not include a significant list of slurs. The outcome of the second referendum question on inclusion of slurs will not be implemented.

Binding Referendum on inclusion of slurs in WGPO official word list:

If the membership votes to establish a WGPO official word list, the following referendum will guide future WGPO committees tasked with the creation and update of this word list regarding the inclusion of slurs. Choose one of the following:

_______ WGPO’s official word list should contain all appropriately identified words including slurs and other offensive words.

_______ WGPO’s official word list should contain all appropriately identified words except a short list of the most offensive slurs (approximately 10 or fewer).

Because of the importance and impact of this referendum, we encourage our membership to learn more before the December vote. We have created a FAQ to address questions like how will a potential new WGPO Official Word List differ from NASPA’s word list, when will this new list be available and how can I get a copy, or will this new word list be available on my favorite Scrabble apps/programs? More details are available at



A message from Helen Flores, WGPO BPR:

Dear Everybody who “Just wants to play Scrabble®”:

So far, 2020 is definitely NOT our favorite year. WGPO members surely need no help recounting the social, medical and natural disasters we are still experiencing.  We hope you and yours are all well and safe. Now, let’s focus on Scrabble® and WGPO.
WGPO needs the following from the membership so that we can continue playing:
1. Candidates to run for office. If not you, who? This year we have openings on the Executive Committee (EC) and the Board of Player Representatives (BPR). These groups are charged to make sure that WGPO works for all players.  Contact the Nominations and Elections Committee, elections@wordgameplayers.org, with your nominations and suggestions.
2. Involvement in the organization in large and small ways. We can always use help promoting membership, publicizing the organization, volunteering to work on a committee or a project.  Members run WGPO.
3. Your vote in December for officers and for the official WGPO North American lexicon choice.
Scrabble® clubs suspended live tournaments when we discovered the dangers of sharing our plastic tiles and sticking our hands into each others’ bags. Thanks to technology, we still play and meet for online games, hold unrated virtual tournaments, and see our friends in ZOOM gatherings.  WGPO Club leaders and Directors continue to provide opportunities for competitive play.  These people are the backbone of the organization, promoting local interest in Scrabble®, attracting players and sponsoring events.  We are grateful for these virtual events and look forward to live tournaments in the future.
Finally, the WGPO community also took action to weather the North American Scrabble® lexicon controversy democratically. WGPO remains a strong organization because it is run by the players and for the players. In December, the full membership will vote to determine WGPO’s official lexicon for club and tournament play.
We all “just want to play Scrabble.” Let’s get through 2020, and with your help, the WGPO Scrabble community will be stronger in 2021!


Johnny Nevarez

Johnny Rita condensedWord is that Scrabble® great Johnny Nevarez has died from complications of Covid.  Although we haven’t seen him for almost a quarter century, those of us who were active players in the ’80’s and ’90’s have fond memories of him and the tournaments he organized and directed in California and Nevada.  An expert player himself, he knew how to organize a well-run tournament, hiring well-qualified staff for word judging and data entry.  The Reno tournaments attracted up to 250 players from around the country, including the highest-ranking experts.

Johnny is pictured here with other Scrabble® luminaries, including the late Rita (Norr) Provost, Larry Sherman and Steven Alexander.  Photo is from the collection of the late Joan Mocine.

WGPO Inclusive Survey Results

From Laurie Cohen:

WGPO conducted a survey in late June to get feedback on ways that we can be a more inclusive and welcoming organization. We also wanted to know if individuals had experienced any harassment or discrimination with respect to race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other protected status.

The results are summarized here:  http://wordgameplayers.org/wgpo-inclusiveness-survey-report/