The North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) is an organization founded in 2009 to administer competitive Scrabble tournaments and clubs in North America. It took over these activities from the National Scrabble Association (NSA) effective July 1, 2009.
NASPA has organized the annual National Scrabble Championship (NSC) since 2009, most recently the one in Reno, Nevada in August of 2015. That year it was renamed the North American Scrabble Championship.
Its Rules Committee edits the official Scrabble tournament rules.
Its Rating and Recognition Committee maintains the official rating system.
Its Tournament Committee maintains a calendar of hundreds of officially sanctioned tournaments each year, and is a disciplinary body for players and directors.
Its Club/Director Committee maintains a roster of officially sanctioned clubs, and certifies club and tournament directors.
Its Advisory Board determines policy that affects club and tournament play, and hears appeals to the decisions of other committees.
Its Canadian Committee oversees matters that pertain solely to Canadian NASPA members, such as organizing the Canadian National Scrabble Championship tournament.
NASPA came into existence following a weekend meeting at Hasbro headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts in December 2008. The meeting was arranged by the National Scrabble Association (NSA) and Hasbro executives. Hasbro had decided to stop its financial support of adult tournament Scrabble and clubs by the end of 2009. The NSA, which had been running adult tournament Scrabble since the late 1970s, would continue as an organization, but it would exist largely to focus on its growing school Scrabble program and to promote recreational play. (The NSA ceased operations on July 1, 2013.) The Springfield meeting was attended by 16 people, representing a cross-section of the Scrabble community: prominent Scrabble players, club and tournament directors, and others from across the continent. Those 16 had been invited by the NSA to hear firsthand from Hasbro executives about the company's decision to cease funding. In its wake, the attendees were offered the opportunity to form a new organization to preserve competitive adult Scrabble in North America and encouraged to do so with Hasbro's blessing.
After the meeting, several committees were formed to make a smooth transition from the NSA to a new organization. Most of the 16 attendees accepted Hasbro's challenge and formed the nucleus of the Steering Committee. An email vote by the Steering Committee's members determined the new organization's name: The North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA). NASPA was registered in Texas as a not-for-profit corporation and headquartered in Dallas. Chris Cree of Dallas and John Chew of Toronto emerged as co-presidents. Although Hasbro had given NASPA until the end of 2009 to establish control of the competitive tournament scene, NASPA was ready for the total transition six months early. Accordingly, the first NASPA tournament games were contested on July 1, 2009 in three different cities. On that date NASPA became the only Scrabble group in North America permitted to use the registered Scrabble name and trademark in adult club and tournament play.
Outwardly, the nature of the adult competitive Scrabble scene in North America changed very little when NASPA took over from the NSA in 2009. There have been some noteworthy changes regarding disciplinary matters, though. NASPA quickly adopted a new, stricter Code of Conduct with the goal of improving the deportment of players and officials at official Scrabble events. Also, there is considerable difference in the way NASPA is financed. In the NSA era, Hasbro provided a substantial annual budget, and tournament rating fees were nominal. NASPA receives no operational funding from Hasbro, relying on fees collected from annual player memberships, as well as "participation fees" collected by tournament directors, calculated at a fixed rate based on the number of games played in a tournament. An annual club affiliation fee was also collected from club directors. This club fee was discontinued in 2012.
As of June 2013, NASPA had more than 2,500 dues-paid members and almost the same number of lapsed members.
NASPA organized the 2009 National Scrabble Championship tournament in Dayton, Ohio, the 2010 and 2011 events in Addison, Texas, the 2012 event in Orlando, Florida, and the 2013 Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.