Official Tournament Rules

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Officially sanctioned SCRABBLE® 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 took effect on July 1, 2009.

Current Editions

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 will go into effect February 2, 2010. There will also be 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:

Past editions

Information about past editions of the rules here is given for archival interest.


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.