NARMA Calls For 2021 Hosts, Sets New NA Standards

The North American Riichi Mahjong Association (NARMA) quietly posted a couple of announcements earlier this week; one calling for potential hosts of the 2021 North American Open (NAO), and the other regarding event sanctioning and tournament results.

NAO 2021

The first one carries with it a bit of previously unannounced news. NARMA plans to organize the second North American Open in 2021.

There hasn’t been any open discussion about the next NAO since…well, I think you had to be at the first one. As I recall, there was casual mention of scheduling the event every 2 or 3 years. The latter seemed most likely so it could run offset from the World Riichi Championship.

NARMA has given plenty of lead time for this ‘Request For Proposal’ considering that the event is presumed to be at least fourteen months out. You might need that time though. The expected information includes proposed dates, staffing, tournament size, and format. NARMA also asks for a venue and written budget, both of which will take some time to explore and plan out. If your club has the desire to host a continental tournament, don’t wait too long to get organized. The statement lacks any target deadline for submission, but you probably have under 12 months to get it done. Any longer than that and it will be difficult NARMA and the host to properly promote and execute.

You’re also going to want to check out NARMA’s sanctioning guidelines.

Event Sanctioning and Results

NARMA has issued a new outline for standardizing how events should be run in order to fall in line with established international standards. Among other changes, NARMA has implemented an observer report much like that employed by the EMA.

In addition, the organization is calling for submission of tournament results from events held over the last year that meet these guidelines (sans observer report, I imagine). It is not made clear in the post why NARMA is seeking this data, but I received the following response from David Bresnick.

“As the Riichi scene in North America grows, NARMA is looking to do what we can to support the hard work being put in by clubs and organizers. By establishing clear tournament standards we can build confidence, both in North America and abroad, that attending a NARMA-sanctioned tournament will be a consistent and positive experience for players. And by keeping records of attendance and outcomes, we can provide players with records of their accomplishments, as well as getting the data we need to make fair and impartial nominations to events like NAO, ERMC and WRC. “

North America’s lack of accepted standards and centralized records has been problematic when it comes to promoting players to continental and international events. North America has received criticism following WRC 2017 for not doing more to set a bar and assure the players fielded at such events represent the best it has to offer. NARMA appears to be doing its best to correct that.