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Official Tournament Rules

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NASPA sanctioned play in Canada and the United States must obey the Official Tournament Rules, edited by the Rules Committee.

See also:

  • the NASPA Code of Conduct, which originally took effect on July 1, 2009, first revised June 7, 2011, and again revised effective January 2, 2014.
  • Player Rules
  • Know the Rules - A collection of scenarios that illustrate the application of the rules to specific situations that might arise during game play. Updated January 12, 2022.

Current Editions

International Lexicon

Section VI.A lists Collins Official Scrabble Words, commonly referred to as CSW2015, as the international lexicon - the lexicon in effect at the time of publication. The SOWPODS page lists the international lexicon currently in effect.

Errata as of February 21, 2017

An errata sheet was published in February 2017, and includes minor corrections to the current rules.

Effective January 4, 2017

This edition was released on December 1, 2016.

Draft Editions

Draft text of proposed rule changes to take effect at a date to be announced are available for public review here:

Past editions

Effective January 4, 2017

This edition was subsequently revised on January 20, to correct a typographical error.

Effective October 14, 2014

This edition was released on September 30. The Advisory Board rules on September 23 that it would take effect two weeks later, on October 14. Beginning with this edition, the rules are available in an abridged version listing what a beginning player needs to know to play competitively, and a full director’s edition that directors should refer to when adjudicating.

Effective September 24, 2013

This edition was released on September 10, and includes minor changes since the July draft. A list of rule changes was posted on September 11.

Released July 21, 2013

This interim draft edition was published for review, but did not ever officially take effect. A few minor changes to this edition resulted in the September 10 edition. In addition to the full rules document, a shorter list of rule changes is provided.

(As of September 3, a second revision is expected this week. Due to its delay, the date on which the rules will take effect will have to be delayed. No date for this has yet been chosen, but there will be a reasonable interval after the publication of the final version of the rules, during which members can familiarize themselves with the changes.)

Effective June 27, 2012

Extensive changes were made to the rules, with the new edition published to this website on June 19, 2012.

The rules are available in PDF format for online viewing and printing:

Effective June 16, 2011

Several rules changes were published in the May 2011 issue of the NASPA Bulletin and will take effect on June 16, 2011. Some of the significant changes include:

  1. How to Draw Tiles
  2. Disconnected Tiles
  3. Ending the game

The rules are available in PDF format for online viewing and printing:

Effective February 2, 2010

Several clarifications of our existing rules went into effect February 2, 2010. There were also several significant improvements, some of which include:

  1. Blank Designations
  2. Clarification of what should be done if one exchanges with less than 7 tiles in the bag.
  3. When the clock is restarted after a challenge

The rules are available in PDF format for online viewing and printing:

Effective August 1, 2009

Several rule changes came into effect on August 1, 2009. Please read the list of changes carefully.

IMPORTANT: This is a clarification from the Rules Committee regarding rules that refer to “reporting error” when submitting result slips.

A result slip CAN ONLY be amended if the two players’ scores have been reversed; or if the score written on the result slip is a mistake. (i.e. The score on the result slip differs from what both players agreed upon at the end of the game.)

A result slip CANNOT be amended if an overtime penalty was not accounted for; or if tiles left on a player’s rack (or both players’ racks) were not accounted for; or if any sort of recount or mathematical adjustment takes place after the result slip has been signed and submitted.

The rules are available in PDF format for online viewing and printing:

Effective February 9, 2009

A rewritten version of rule III.A.2 took effect on February 9, 2009. Complete version of rules:

Effective February 1, 2009

A major rewrite of the tournament rules became effective February 1, 2009.

Effective May 1, 1998

Effective 1995