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Guide to First Tournaments

Why take the plunge?
After playing friendly games in Clubs for a while, people with even a small sense of adventure start looking for the next step...

Getting involved in a Scrabble tournament for the first time may sound like a daunting prospect. But this rarely turns out to be the case. It is far more likely you will actually enjoy your first competition.  

Where can I get started?
Coming events are listed in our Tournament Calendar. This includes a contact person for each event. It is always worth calling the person listed and asking them about the set-up and playing conditions. Firstly, let them know if this will be your first tournament. They are always happy to send a detailed tournament notice to you. Tournament notices spell out the playing conditions and venue details, e.g. number of sections; number of games; length of games; start time; location, and any local rules which may be in force.

If problems arise and you are unable to attend on the day, always make a courtesy call to the tournament organiser (competition draws are often organised in advance). 

What is expected of me?
Tournament players have certain obligations. Some of these are mentioned on tournament notices. Other obligations are also covered in the rules. It pays to well prepared for the day, so you are advised to read the Obligations of Tournament Players (written especially for new players).  

It is worthwhile getting familiar with the National Rules. Rules are always prominently displayed at tournaments.

Should I read the dictionary cover-to-cover first?
No. A thorough knowledge of Two-Letter Words will equip you well for your first tournament. Some knowledge of the Three-Letter Words will guarantee even more success. And don't miss our Tips for New Players.

Are only geniuses welcome at tournaments?
We  welcome players of any skill level to our tournaments. When the day finally arrives, you will find other players will do their best to make you feel at home (not intimidated). You will start off in the lowest Division, unless your club President advises the tournament organiser of special circumstances. You will be paired against a regular player in your first game, and you will not usually be required to use a time clock. 

Is Scrabble addictive?
Yes. We often hear people say after their first tournament:
     I wish I had discovered this scene years ago! 

They keep coming back for more.  They like mixing with others who also appreciate the richness of the English language. Beware. You, too, may become hooked!

Australian Scrabble Players Association (ASPA)
Copyright 2001-05 www.scrabble.org.au   info@scrabble.org.au Last Updated: 31 Mar 2005