Scrabble Australia

Tournament History

Information compiled by Gillian Kinder, to contribute an item, please send her the information in email.



Scrabble® tournament John Fairfax Auditorium (NSW) – potentially the first tournament in Australia, using Concise Oxford Dictionary 1976 – scoring was on a blackboard (information courtesy of Joan Rosenthal/JeanMcGiffen)


First Moomba – eventually became Australian National Championships



September – second Moomba
Winner John Holgate, 2nd Place Greg Shalless

City of Sydney tournament
Champion Neil Cartledge, 3rd Place John Holgate

October 3-5 fourth NSW Championship
Winner John Holgate, 2nd place Marie Knight, 3rd place Neil Cartledge


June - third Moomba
Winner John Holgate, 2nd place Robert Archer (TAS), 3rd place Dulcie Lyall (NSW). Highest game score June Hart (551); June played three seven letter words in a row

October – fifth NSW Championships
Winner John Holgate, 2
nd Marie Knight, 3rd John Barker



Bendigo Tournament – individual and team event. First country tournament

May/June fourth Moomba
Winner Marie Knight, 2nd place John Holgate, 3rd place Geoff Wright

Sixth NSW Championship
Winner John Holgate, 2nd place Neil Cartledge, 3rd place Peter Shaw

Festival of Sydney champion Joan Rosenthal


Fifth Moomba introducing new ‘win’ system,
Winner Marie Knight, 2nd Malcolm Miller, 3rd Robert Archer


Inaugural City of Sydney Masters Invitational Tournament, 3 day event,
Placings John Barker, Joan Rosenthal, John Holgate


Inaugural ASPA Australian Championship (17 games over three days)



Essendon Tournament the first to implement the revised format of four sections
Masters, Advanced, Intermediate and Recreation

November first Victorian country promotional tournament at Geelong


March 12/13, K-Mart Australian Scrabble Championships

Inaugural South Australian Tournament





White Rabbit. The white rabbit trophy was a multi-coloured rabbit stuck on a block of wood. The "bunny" competition as it was commonly known is nearly 2 years old in 1989; instigated by the Melbourne Scrabble® Club to promote ‘double challenge’.

It was always held on the 1st of the month. The bottom placed person is given the boot and it was the duty of the winner to organise the next tourney. The first event was won by Rhonda Palmer 1 March 1987.

Sixth National Tournament USA organised by Joe Edley

Expert Division – 203 players – Australian achievers:

  • John Holgate (NSW) 48
  • Chris Wilding (VIC) 132
  • Moana Nepia (NSW) 148
  • John Barker (NSW) 188
  • Norma Fisher (VIC) 195
  • Fintan Conway (VIC) 199

First Melbourne Match Play tournament


10/11 March - Moomba sponsored by McDonalds and Murfett Regency who both donated dictionaries as prizes.

Winner Alistair Kane, 2nd Nick Ivanovski, 3rd Geoff Wright, 4th Roger Blom




Australian Masters Scrabble® Tournament, Melbourne 30 March – 1 April (18 games) – first four placings to qualify for first World Championship in London September 1991

(1. Lena Boyd, 2. Glenys Lawrie, 3. Geoff Wright, 4. John Holgate. 5. Alastair Kane, 6. Paul Cleary)

Lena Boyd and Geoff Wright both declined their places for the World Tournament (Lena electing to stay at home and look after her aging dog); the Aussie reps were Glenys Lawrie, John Holgate, Paul Cleary, Alistair Kane, also Barry Harridge played – won a ballot for the standby player position.

First World Tournament

All five Australian players were eliminated from the World Championship and played in the Plate – rankings John Holgate (3), Alastair Kane (10), Barry Harridge (16), Glenys Lawrie (19), Paul Cleary (29)

Moomba, two dictionaries were given as prizes;
Winner Howard Warner (NZ), 2nd Alistair Kane, 3rd Jim Warmington



First Trans-Tasman Challenge, staged in Sydney


Inaugural NSW/Victoria Border Challenge (Wagga Wagga)


Northern Territory Championships (Alice Springs); winner Glenys Lawrie


Australia (Melbourne) hosts World Scrabble Championships


Inaugural NSW Junior Scrabble® Championship


Inaugural World Youth Scrabble® Championship held in Sydney, (Wollongong) December


First youth tournament (players under 18 years of age) under the Australian rating system

Inaugural Central Coast Championship


Inaugural Annual South Gippsland Primary Schools’ Scrabble® Tournament (Vic)


ASPA Australian Scrabble Players Association (ASPA)
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Last Updated: 18 June 2010