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Starting a Club

n.b. ASPA = Australian Scrabble Players Association

First Steps

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

  • Locate a suitable venue
  • Establish a playing time that does not conflict with other local clubs
  • Establish a date for "launching" the club (opening session)
  • Approach local paper for free insertion in Community Events section
  • Prepare an article for the local paper about formation of your club
  • Place notices in prominent positions in the neighbourhood

Help Available

Various resources are available from our State Scrabble Associations.

  • Promotional leaflets
  • Lists of two, three and four-letter words for photocopying
  • Names of potential players in your area

ASPA  will generally reimburse organisers of new clubs 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

We recommend the Official Scrabble Words International (OSWI) word list as the complete list of all words up to 9-letters in length allowable in club play. All words in OSWI are sourced from two dictionaries, the Chambers 1998 edition (UK words) and the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD), 3rd edition (with minor adjustments as published in OWL - Official Tournament and Club Word List)

OSWI and OSPD are available to club organisers and ASPA  members at discount prices, plus postage. Discount publications can be obtained through the State Scrabble Associations.

Club Charges

Most clubs charge a nominal amount, from $1 to $5 per night 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.

Club Playing Conditions

Two players per board is recommended by the Association, 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.

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:

  • Both players refer to OSWI (but only when in doubt) or
  • Both players refer to a two and three-letter word list (but only when in doubt).

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.

Affiliation with ASPA

The definition of an affiliated club is one that has at least one member also belonging to ASPA. Our Association supports and promotes its affiliated clubs as part of its stated aim of promoting scrabble in Australia.

The main advantage in clubs becoming affiliated is that it provides an avenue for players to join into the wider Scrabble community, by participating in activities sanctioned by the State Association. Affiliated clubs are also covered by national Public Liability Insurance.  Furthermore, you will be promoted through free listing in the ASPA Directory of Clubs.

Encourage Membership of ASPA

It is not compulsory for members of your club to become members. However, we request that you make all visitors to your club aware of the membership benefits of the Association (in return for the support given to you by the Association). The ideal way to do this is simply to hand new club members a membership application form.

Further Enquiries

State Scrabble Associations.

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