Playing Suggestions for School Scrabble® Groups

Updated 18th August 2009
There are no hard-and-fast rules as to how and when your Scrabble group should be run. The following is offered purely as suggestions to assist the School co-ordinator to conduct Scrabble sessions, and hopefully find the top one or two teams in the school who can represent it if the opportunity arises.

Playing conditions
One team of two playing another team of two is recommended. Games played in this manner will normally take less than an hour to complete. It is generally felt that the strategy element is removed if there are more than two players or teams.

It is a good idea to let students refer to the two and three-letter word lists received in the kit. They should be encouraged to look up the meaning of the words they play after the game, in the booklet supplied

The Game
Each team should keep score of both team's moves. A blank score sheet is provided in the starter kit. This will improve mathematical skills, as well as avoid disputes in the score. Both the score for the move and the running score should be kept.

Teams should be encouraged to complete their game within the allocated time. Speed is a necessary skill of the game, and finishing a game adds interest as well as equips players for possible competition play.

Allowable words
Only legitimate words should be allowed. If a player plays a non-word or misspells a word, then that player should miss a turn. Allowable words are those words found in the Collins Scrabble Dictionary supplied with the starter kit. The Macquarie Dictionary also supplied may also be used to complement the Collins list, although it is not recognized in standard Australia competition play. Plural forms ending in S, verb forms ending in ED and ING and adjective forms ending in IER and IEST are all considered allowable.

Playing Equipment
It is a good idea to check the playing sets for the correct distribution of 100 tiles from time to time. A tile layout sheet has been enclosed for this purpose.

School competitions
The recommended method of running school competitions is to conduct a Round Robin tournament. A table of Round Robin fixtures is included with the Scrabble starter kit. Round Robins can be staggered over a period of time, and students can be left to complete their games without supervision and report the results to the School co-ordinator. It may be a good idea to exclude reference to 2 and 3-letter word list from Round Robin tournaments and place a time limit on games. In Round Robin tournaments, players who score the same number of wins should be separated by aggregrate score to determine the competition winner.

External Assistance
An experienced player from a local Scrabble club may be willing to visit your school and assist you if required. Another option is for the School co-ordinator to visit a local club, where seasoned players will be happy to answer questions and provide assistance.