English language Scrabble

English language Scrabble

English language Scrabble is the original version of the popular word-based board game invented by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938. He was American and based the game on the letter distribution in the New York Times in English.

The Scrabble variant most popular in English is standard match play, where two players compete over a series of games. Duplicate Scrabble is not popular in English, and High score Scrabble is no longer practised.

Although English is a worldwide language, the official list of allowable words and some tournament rules change between territories.

North America

The main Scrabble Association in North America is the National Scrabble Association which sanctions official clubs and tournaments. These range from one day tournaments that are composed of only 6 or 7 games, to the National Scrabble Championship, which lasts 5 days and 31 games. The NSA maintains a ratings system based on wins, ties and losses, with ratings ranging from just over 2000 to under 300 [ [http://www.scrabble-assoc.com/cgi-bin/ratings-byrank.pl NSA ratings page] ] . Larger tournaments can also carry significant prize money. The official dictionary is the Official Club and Tournament Word List. When a player challenges a word he considers to be invalid, if the word is invalid it is removed from the board with a score of zero. However if the word is valid, the player who challenged the word loses his turn. Scrabble clubs are also run that bring together on a regular basis, usually weekly or biweekly at the same venue. Players usually play a smaller number of games than they would play at a tournament.

United Kingdom

Match play Scrabble is also practised at tournament at club level in the UK. Tournaments follow a similar structure to American ones, usually at least 6 games but weekend tournaments where players play 12 to 16 games are not uncommon. The official Scrabble association the Association of British Scrabble players sanctions official tournaments with official ratings, ratings range from about 200 to about 60. The official dictionary is called SOWPODS. In contrast to American tournaments, players do not lose a move if they challenge a valid word, which in general means more words are challenged.

Smaller countries

Many countries have small English language Scrabble associations. 23 countries have been represented at the World Scrabble Championship including countries where English is not an official language, like Romania, Thailand and France. Other countries that do not use the Roman alphabet also may play in English if the language is not suitable for Scrabble, such as Japan.


* High game (OSPD) – 830 by Michael Cresta (MA), October 12, 2006. Cresta defeated Wayne Yorra 830-490. [http://www.wolfberg.net/scrabble/lexington/score830/ 830-point Game at the Lexington Scrabble Club ] ] [http://www.slate.com/id/2152255/?nav=ais 830! How a carpenter got the highest Scrabble score ever. - By Stefan Fatsis - Slate Magazine ] ]
* High game (OSW) – 793 by Peter Preston (UK), 1999. [http://home.teleport.com/~stevena/scrabble/faqtext.html#Records Scrabble FAQ ] ]
* High game (SOWPODS) – 750 by Edward Okulicz (Australia), 2004. As Edward's opponent passed without playing on the majority of his turns, this record is of debatable legitimacy. The recognised record for Australian SOWPODS play is 698 by Chris May, 2006. [http://www.scrabble.org.au/records/alltime.htm Tournament records - All-time best ] ] In a noncompetitive club game, Peter Kougi scored 736 in August, 2007.
*High combined score (OSPD) – 1320 (830-490) by Michael Cresta and Wayne Yorra, in a Lexington, MA, club, 2006.
*High combined score (SOWPODS) – 1082 by Helen Gipson and David Webb, 2000.
*Highest losing score (OSPD) – 552 by Stefan Rau (CT) to Keith Smith's (TX) 582, Round 12 of the 2008 Dallas Open. [ [http://www.dallasopen.com/cgi-bin/showgcg.cgi?id=2008/12a;turn=index] 2008 Dallas Open live coverage.]
*Highest tie game (OSPD) – 502-502 by John Chew and Zev Kaufman at a 1997 Toronto Club tournament. [http://www.math.toronto.edu/jjchew/scrabble/analysis/19970615.html]
*Highest opening move score (OSPD) – BEZIQUE 124 by Sam Kantimathi (CA) in Portland, OR Tournament in 1992. The highest possible legal score on a first turn is MUZJIKS, 128.
*Highest opening move score (SOWPODS) BEZIQUE 124 Joan Rosenthal. [http://www.scrabble.org.au/records/alltime.htm Tournament records - All-time best ] ] BEZIQUE 124 Sally Martin [http://www.scrabble.org.au/records/alltime.htm Tournament records - All-time best ] ]
*Highest single play (OSPD) – QUIXOTRY 365 by Michael Cresta (MA), 2006.
*Highest single play (SOWPODS) – CAZIQUES 392 Karl Khoshnaw.cite web| url=http://www.wscgames.com/cgi/player.cgi?given=Karl&surname=Khoshnaw&country=Germany&exact=1| title=WSC Player Information: Karl Khoshnaw| accessdate=2006-04-27]
*Highest Average Score (two-day tournament) (OSPD) – 467 by Joel Sherman over 11 rounds; Wisconsin Dells, WI 1997.


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