When you connect to this website, you send your IP address and sometimes some cookies. You may also give us personal identifying information, such as your name and contact information. All this data is used to securely provide you with the services that you request. We encourage you to review our privacy policy to make sure that you understand how your data is managed, and to contact us if you have any questions. View Privacy Policy

Directing SOWPODS tournaments

From NASPAWiki
Revision as of 21:01, 18 April 2013 by Dallasjohnson (talk | contribs) (Sanctioning)

You are viewing a condensed mobile version of this NASPA webpage.
Switch to full version.

This page contains information for NASPA directors about directing SOWPODS tournaments, specifically about the differences and commonalities between Collins (SOWPODS) and regular (OTCWL) tournaments. The information also applies to separate Collins events within larger regular tournaments.


All tournaments must be sanctioned by the Tournament Committee ahead of time as described on the page about tournaments. The fees, deadlines, requirements and restrictions are the same. All time/distance separation requirements apply even between tournaments that use different lexicons.

All parameters specific to the tournament should be specified at this time, including:

  • that the current Collins (SOWPODS) lexicon will be used,
  • that NASPA Collins rating system will be used,
  • if WESPA rating will also be sought (and, if so, including the additional required information), and
  • which variation of the challenge penalty will be in effect (see Rule VI.B.).

If the director is also seeking WESPA ratings, and the tournament meets all WESPA ratings criteria, the director should notify the tournament committee when sanctioning is requested (see below). The director must also pay the WESPA ratings levy directly, after ratings data is submitted to WESPA. If you indicate that the tournament will be WESPA rated when seeking sanctioning, NASPA ratings officer John Chew will submit your ratings data to WESPA upon receipt of the NASPA ratings data.


The SOWPODS lexicon (also known as CSW or Collins Scrabble Words) is defined by WESPA Dictionary Committee and published in print by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

For software self-lookups, the CSW lexicon in Zyzzyva can be used. When events with different lexicons take place in the same venue, each should use a different set of computers, clearly marked.


The Official Tournament Rules may be used with the change of only rule III.A.1 to specify SOWPODS as the word reference.

Optionally one may also change the challenge penalty rule in section IV.I.3 p. 15 to any of the choices listed in WESPA rules, section 3.10.15 p. 17–18. Typically in international tournaments, the penalty for an unsuccessful challenge is 10 or 5 points per challenged word but no loss of turn. The choice should be indicated in all tournament announcements.

On a case-by-case basis, the adoptation of certain other WESPA rules may be approved.


NASPA ratings

Currently, the choice of the rating system (regular or Collins) is not included in the tournament database entry created by the Tournament Committee, but entered manually by the NASPA rating officer when rating the tournament.

Consequentially, when submitting tournament results, the director should contact NASPA rating officer (currently John Chew) before the submission to ensure that the correct rating system will be used. (If you contact John in advance, he can also notify WESPA and submit the results there; see the next section.)

In all other respects, the results submission process is the same.

WESPA ratings

To have the tournament rated by WESPA, please notify the Tournament Committee when submitting the event for sanctioning, and include the following information with your sanctioning request:

  • Name of Tournament
  • Date and location
  • Region (North America)
  • Deadline for entries/registration:
  • Number of games
  • Format and eligibility criteria
  • Tournament Rules (NASPA Rules - list challenge penalty)
  • Projected 1st prize and total prize pool
  • Name of organiser
  • Member of which affiliated organisation (NASPA)
  • Tournament Website
  • Contact email

Please note that WESPA no longer requires a minimum of six players to rate a tournament, so that Collins tournaments with four or more players may be WESPA rated.

The Tournament Committee will forward this information to the WESPA liaison for further action by WESPA.

WESPA rating requires that the WESPA ratings levy be paid, and the results must be submitted to the WESPA ratings officer (currently Bob Jackman) by email as a .TOU file. If you indicate that your tournament will be WESPA rated when you submit it for sanctioning, NASPA ratings officer John Chew will prepare and submit the .TOU file for you, upon receipt of the NASPA ratings data.

If you do not provide notice of WESPA rating when seeking tournament sanctioning, the following methods may be used to generate a .TOU file:

  • Create the file manually in a plain text editor such as Notepad (do not use formatting text editors such as Word). The file format is explained in the next section.
  • Use an Australian tournament management software named AUPAIR. AUPAIR is an older program and it is not designed to run on newer 64-bit computers.
  • Use tsh as the tournament management software and execute the AUPAIR command to create the .TOU file.
  • Use tsh to convert an existing NASPA tournament results submission file (as specified on the page about submitting tournament results) into a .TOU file as follows (for a single division):
    1. Create a config.tsh file that defines a simple manually paired tournament with one division.
    2. Create your .t file as a copy of the player-specific lines of the NASPA tournament result file. Do not include the file header.
    3. Start tsh and verify that it loads the .t file without errors.
    4. Execute the AUPAIR command to create the .TOU file.
  • Ask John Chew to create the .TOU file for you while processing your NASPA ratings. John can also submit this file directly to Bob if you have so requested.

Regardless of the method, one should verify the spellings of the names of all participants. A number of players have spelling diffferences between their NASPA and WESPA rating records. tsh can convert certain player names, but not all possible current and future player names.

Explanation of .TOU file format

Here is a sample result file in the format submitted to NASPA (including optional information on first and second turns):

#division A
#ratingcheck off
Wiegand, Dave    2000 2 0 3; 400  50 444; p12 1 0 2
Kantimathi, Sam  1800 1 3 0; 300 502  50; p12 2 1 0
Goldman, Stuart  1600 0 2 1;  50 502 333; p12 0 2 1

Here is the corresponding .TOU file, named A.TOU (note the variation in certain names):

*M2010-12-31 Your Tournament Name
David Wiegand        2400  +2 1350   1 2444   3
Sam Kantimathi        300   1 1502  +3 1350   2
Stu Goldman          1350   3 1502   2  333  +1
*** END OF FILE ***

The first line consists of an asterisk, a capital letter M, a date in ISO 8601 format, a blank and the name of your tournament.

The second line consists of an asterisk and a capital letter that corresponds to the name of the division (and also the name of the file).

The third line consists of 39 blanks and the digit zero.

Subsequent lines, one line per player, consist of the following elements, separated by any number of blanks:

  1. The player’s first and last names, separated by a blank, as they appear in WESPA ratings.
  2. The player’s score for the first round, with 2000 added in case the player won the game, 1000 added in case the game was a tie, and 1300 added (in addition to the usual 50 spread points) in case the player received a bye.
  3. The number of the player’s opponent on the first round, with an optional plus sign prefixed in case the player had the first turn, or the player’s own number in case the player received a bye. Players are numbered sequentially starting from one, in the order in which they appear in the file.
  4. The scores and opponent numbers for each remaining round of the tournament, two columns per round, as above.

The last line consists of the string “*** END OF FILE ***”.