Back to Poslfit: SCRABBLE Variants

See also 2004-06-19 2005 MWMST 2007 MWMST 2008 MWMST


This web page describes the variant of Speed SCRABBLE that is played in Toronto, Canada.

Rules (2004-09-30)

We play according to NSA Tournament Rules, with the following modifications:

  1. Where possible, games will be scored by a non-playing scorekeeper. For each play that is made, the scorekeeper is responsible for recording the first letter of the play, the play score and the cumulative score. If play gets ahead of the scorekeeper, the scorekeeper should record only the first letter of the play, and catch up when time permits. If a scorekeeper does not see a play made, s/he may ask the player to identify it. Either player may ask the scorekeeper for the current score at any time.
  2. To begin the game, both players draw seven tiles facedown, before the timer is started. If a player sees a tile, s/he must leave it faceup.
  3. Clocks start at 03:00, not 25:00.
  4. At the end of each turn, you must hit the clock. You do not have to announce or record any scores. If you play a blank, clearly announce its designation and check to make sure that the scorekeeper records it correctly.
  5. If your opponent calls hold on a play, you may draw your provisional tiles immediately.
  6. Your opponent may challenge your play at any time up until the end of their turn. Keep your new tiles separate to avoid invoking the overdraw penalty on a successful challenge.
  7. Time penalties are 1 point per second, not 10 points per minute or part thereof.
  8. When your clock reaches -1:01, you may make no more plays. If a partially or completely executed play is on the board when your clock passes -1:00, it should be removed from the board with the clock paused.
  9. If your opponent runs out of time and you are still behind, you may continue to make plays if you think you can catch up doing so. Your opponent may hold or challenge your plays before passing his/her turn.
  10. The director may call a halt to recounts after sixty seconds, if all other games that round have finished. If it is not possible to determine who won the game in time, the game is declared a tie.
  11. Players score one match point for a win, half a match point for a tie, no match points for a loss. Point spread is not recorded, and ties on match points are either broken by the playing of a tiebreaker game (time permitting), or resolved by combining and splitting prize money.

Notes for Directors

Pairing instructions are given in a separate file. It is a very good idea to have the total number of players be divisible by three, so that every game can have a nonplaying scorekeeper and no one has to have a bye.


The following Elo ratings (updated 2013-12-04) are based on all tournament games played according to these rules and may be used for seeding players at tournaments.

2450 Nathan Benedict
2418 Adam Logan
2302 Gabriel Gauthier-Shalom
2180 Nick Ball
2171 Mitzi Pollak
2171 Joel Wapnick
2169 Michael Mckenna
2160 Howard Warner
2143 Odette Carmina Rio
2034 Marty Gabriel
2027 Matt Graham
1942 Geoffrey Newman
1899 Joshua Sokol
1871 Cecil Muscat
1858 Christopher Sykes
1853 Ray Tate
1847 Jackson Smylie
1826 John Chew
1806 Jesse Matthews
1805 Gavin Thompson
1789 Bernard Gotlieb
1761 Sinna Vijayakumar
1756 Russell Honeybun
1741 Shan Abbasi
1702 Libero Paolella
1685 Ron Hoekstra
1674 Robb Griffith
1665 Craig Rowland
1610 Glenn Mosher
1608 Lynda Wise
1586 Lynda Kraar
1586 Graham Palmateer
1555 Emilie Henkelman
1545 Heather McCall
1530 Mark Przybyszewski
1522 Lewis Hawkins
1515 Nuala O'Rourke
1488 Andy Saunders
1484 Eileen Jones
1435 John Robertson
1415 Trevor Sealy
1370 Ember Nelson
1264 Ying Ming Poh
1264 Mireille Huneault
1103 Ewa Kondracka
1027 Martyna Domurad
1027 Josh Kattsir
 954 Roger Cullman
 947 Cicely Bruce
 924 Kaveri Raviraj
 879 Dan Blake
 853 Koushik Ganguly
 800 Elie Dangoor
 776 Amy Byrne
 757 Nicolette Westfall
 728 Tara Smylie
 702 Aaron Finkel
 696 Betzy Collins
 500 Mary Doyle
 500 Maliha Mahmood
 500 Eileen Meghen