Do you know about the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association? We were doing research and came across their website. We found the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association and contacted them for more information. Furthermore, we put together this Q & A.
It's quite interesting to know how much contribution this organization provides to the jigsaw puzzle community.
Q. How did you come about to form the USAJPA?
A few of the board members contacted the World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation to find out how to start a U.S. group and the WJPF encouraged us to connect with each other. A few Facebook messages later, we set up our first virtual meeting and started talking about launching the USAJPA. The advice we were given was to first create a community on Facebook to get a base of support and host a few events. Once we did that, we chose an online membership platform and started to recruit. It’s been a labor of love for the board members as we donate all of our time and fortunately, we clicked from the beginning and have formed great friendships as we’ve collaborated to bring the USAJPA to fruition.
Q. What is the sole purpose of the membership?
Our mission is to promote jigsaw puzzling as a hobby and provide a hub for people to share news and events related to jigsaw puzzling. We also provide guidelines and support for competitive jigsaw puzzling events to feed into a national championship and the World Jigsaw Puzzling Competition. We offer memberships to encourage a sense of belonging and community and to generate support for our efforts to become a nationally known resource for jigsaw puzzlers.
Q. Since USAJPA has started in 2020 can you tell us how many members there are?
At the time of this interview, we had 338 members.
Q. What are the benefits and how much does it cost?
The cost to join is $15 a year, and we offer many benefits. Members are invited to join a monthly virtual event to connect with other puzzlers casually.
We also offer Zoom seminars where we, for example, interview top competitors, talk to collectors and connect with the World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation leaders. We host a few virtual competitions a year and members participate with a discounted rate and are given early bird registration access.
Furthermore, we have a travelling puzzle program for members and do monthly puzzle giveaways by randomly drawing a name from our member pool. In January 2022, we hosted a free puzzle party for members and provided activities, lunch and door prizes.
Members also have access to a private Facebook forum where they can organize swaps and connect with each other around their passion for puzzling.
Q. Does the USAJPA put on any actual events or do sponsorships for events etc?
We’re planning to host more in-person events now that COVID restrictions are less of an issue. At this time, we don’t have the resources to provide financial support for other organizations, but we freely offer our expertise and share resources with groups that contact us. We’re also beginning to envision how regional groups could form and become affiliates of the USAJPA to expand our reach.
Q. How does one get involved in volunteering?
Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know! We’d love for more people to be involved and there are so many ways that people can promote jigsaw puzzles in their communities. We have members that have created free jigsaw puzzle libraries in their neighborhoods, organized contests to raise money for charity, and provided workshops on speed puzzling. There are so many possibilities!
Q. What is the purpose of the World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation?
The World Jigsaw Puzzle Federation is largely responsible for hosting a World Competition in Spain every year. They also act as a resource for groups like the USAJPA. There is a group of English-speaking puzzle leaders from around the world that frequently communicate with each other to pose questions about competition ideas and other jigsaw topics. They help connect jigsaw enthusiasts from around the world!
Q. What are the most successful events with good participation?
Jigsaw puzzle speed competitions are definitely increasing in popularity. The pandemic introduced the concept of competing virtually via Zoom. This development has made speed puzzling much more accessible in that people don’t have to travel and can compete in their home with a setup that works well for them and can accommodate any physical limitations they may have. A few years ago, it was tough to find puzzle contests to participate in, but now, thanks to virtual events, competitors can do a contest nearly every weekend.
Swaps are also popular as puzzling can be an expensive hobby. In our experience, whenever you get a bunch of jigsaw puzzlers in a room (either in person or online) it’s a lot of fun because everyone has something in common and can relate to each other about all topics around puzzling.
Q. What events are coming up this year?
We have a virtual competition happening on April 9, 2022 and we’re in the early planning stages for an in-person national championship event in San Diego, CA, this fall. With the championship event, we’re planning to designate a weekend where there will be contests, socializing and other activities for members’ to connect in person and enjoy a full weekend of fun events. Puzzle club happens monthly and we’ll be hosting a few online workshops yet this year, too.
Q. What is the JPA ranking?
In order to give speed puzzlers a sense of how they are measuring up to their fellow competitors, we have created a formula for developing a Jigsaw Puzzle Association Ranking (JPAR). It only applies to members that compete in individual competitions. The formula takes into account the difficulty level of a puzzle and recorded times from contests we have hosted. For more details on how the score is compiled, you can check out our JPAR webpage.
Q. What goes on in the Puzzle Club?
Puzzle Club uses an online space called Gather where participants create an avatar and enter a room (kind of like a video game). The room is divided up into different activity areas and you can just go wherever you like. When you approach other participants, your video and audio pops up so you can see and hear each other. There are spaces for casual competitions where everyone agrees on a puzzle from an assigned puzzle pack that people can order on their own ahead of time. They then start their timers together and race to finish. There are also digital puzzle spaces where you can collaborate on 500 piece online puzzles with people from across the country. And there are spaces where people work on puzzles they have going at home and just visit with each other.
USAPJA First in-person social event
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