Scrabble New South Wales

Help for Starting a Scrabble Club

Updated 13/12/2014
Recommended Steps First Needed
Assistance Available
Recommended Reference Materials
Charges to Attendees
Seating Arrangements
Club Playing Conditions
Club Handicap System
Affiliation with Scrabble NSW
Benefits of Membership of Scrabble NSW
Public Liability Insurance
Enquiries

Recommended Steps

Once you have decided you would like to start a club, these steps are recommended:

Assistance Available

The following resources are available from Scrabble NSW, by contacting the Scrabble NSW Clubs Liaison Officer, Bob Jackman by phone on 02 9456 2659, or email.

Scrabble NSW will reimburse organisers of clubs wishing to be affiliated up to $100, for expenses incurred in advertising, photocopying, postage and telephone whilst establishing the club. Where possible, expenses should be supported by receipts.

Reference Materials

Scrabble NSW recommends the Collins Scrabble Words (2012 edition)as the complete list of words allowable in club play. All words up to nine letters in length can be found with definitions attaching in the Collins Scrabble Dictionary (2012 edition)

Both of thse publications are available to members of Scrabble NSW at discount prices - see Resources

Charges to Attendees

Most clubs charge a nominal amount, from $1 to $5 per session to cover venue hire, tea, coffee, biscuits, prizes etc. Clubs need to accumulate some revenue to cover costs for dictionaries, additional scrabble sets, and possibly staging a tournament or a Christmas party. It is advisable for clubs to appoint a treasurer to operate a bank account.

Seating Arrangements

Two players per board is recommended with both players keeping scores for themselves and their opponent. This then enables scores to be cross-checked during games and the winner to be properly determined.

Club Playing Conditions

It is up to individual club organisers to determine their own procedures for club play, insofar as looking up and challenging go. A good system which enhances skills, and enables games to be played relatively quickly, is one which includes limited access to word lists. It is best for games to be conducted to suit the least experienced player. This could mean that: Most established clubs play to the single challenge rule, meaning no looking up, and the player of an incorrect word misses a turn. In single challenge, there is no penalty for challenging.

It is a good idea to limit club games to one hour, so that a good turn-around of games is achieved.

Club Handicap System

You may wish to implement a handicap system in your club to evenly match opponents and provide a gauge for player improvement. The following system is recommended:
  1. Prepare a booklet in which to record current handicap.
  2. At the meeting that you wish to commence handicaps, allocate a rating of 1200 to each player. All new players entering the system later receive 1200 to start with
  3. For each game a player wins, credit the player with 20 rating points and for each game lost, debit the player with 20 points At the end of the meeting adjust the handicap for each player present eg a player wins 4 and loses 1 = net gain of 60 points
  4. Add net gain or loss to player rating and carry this over to the next meeting at which the player is present
  5. At next meeting, compare handicaps against paired players and allocate a points start to the player with the lower handicap of one tenth of the difference in rating eg player with rating of 1260 meets player of 1200 rating = 6 points start to the 1200 player
  6. Continue the system

Affiliation with Scrabble NSW

Any club which has at least one paid up member (preferably the convenor) is deemed to be affiliated with Scrabble NSW. This will effect a club listing on this website as well as in the quarterly magazine Across the Board.NSW. Clubs that are affiliated are covered by our insurance policy. Clubs that require proof of Public Liability Insurance in order to operate are requested to sign all their regular members as Scrabble NSW members, as such clubs should not be subsidised by the general membership .

Scrabble NSW offers a reciprocal arrangement to affiliated clubs with four or more paid up members of Scrabble NSW. Such clubs can be provided with customised Scrabble cards, posters, membership cards issued with club name, access to cheap replacement sets, and reimbursement for some advertising costs. We request that convenors of reciprocating clubs renew their members with Scrabble NSW in July each year, and distribute the quarterly magazine to their members.

Benefits of Membership of Scrabble NSW

It is not compulsory for members of social clubs to become members of Scrabble NSW. However, we request convenors of scoaial clubs aware of the fact that membership of Scrabble NSW is available. We request that convenors of affiliated clubs make every effort to join their members into Scrabble NSW, in return for the extensive support given to such clubs. Here is the Application Form for membership of Scrabble NSW. Affiliated clubs could subsidise the Scrabble NSW memership fees for their club members by allocating a small portion of their playing fee to Scrabble NSW membership. Club players who become members of Scrabble NSW will then be able to realise the following benefits:

Public Liability Insurance

Some venue managers will insist on sighting current insurance cover. A copy of the current insurance certificate can be obtained by from the State President (details below). For clubs that require evidence of PL insurance to operate and opting to not sign up all their members, an annual $100 insurance levy is required, due on January 1st (commencing 2016).

Enquiries

Enquiries about starting a new club should be directed to the NSW State President, Bob Jackman. He can be contacted by phone 0400 226541 or email.