Word Judging

For many years, tournament organisers have been able to use a suitable computer program on computer or even a tablet to allow players to have words adjudicated. However from 14 Jan 2021, CASPA introduced a rule allowing adjudication by electronic devices at the players' table, if agreed to both players (see Rule 10.3b in the aside). Here is a guide to what might be acceptable, and some apps which may be suitable. If you are accustomed to how you use an app at home, you may need to adjust settings for tournament play. Before you judge a play, show your opponent the app that you are using, and the mode it is in.

What is required

Any device used to adjudicate words during a Scrabble tournament must have the following features:
Collins Scrabble Words (CSW 2019). The setting which achieves this varies. This should be done well before the tournament. This choice of lexicon should be visible.
The definition and/or part of speech should not be shown.
A solver mode which shows anagrams and/or hooks is very naughty.
Word entry
You should be able to enter several words. Judging one after another is wrong.
Several words
One ✔ or ✘, not individually shown.

The above features are presumably what is meant by the phrase 'adjudication mode' in the ASPA rules.

Desirable but not mandated:

Not part of a suite
Auto clear
Clear after a few seconds. Otherwise an option to clear.
Do not play a trumpet when the word is correct.
The Collins app offends this way.


Wali Timer
Wali Timer has three modes, the Word Checker is what should be used. Lexicons are CSW21 and NWL20 but not CSW19.
Wali Timer
Wali Timer has a timer clock which can call up the word judge.
Hoot word judge, is installed as part of a suite, but can then be launched as a standalone app. It offers several lexicons including CSW22 but not CSW19.
Word Checker
Word Checker is a standalone program. But it needs to be configured for tournament play.
Word Checker settings
Word Checker: Turn off definitions and highlighting bad words.
Scrabble Word Checker
Scrabble Word Checker: This should NOT be used. It does not permit judging more than one word and it gives a definition. Although it offers several lexicons (but not CSW22) it does not clearly display this when the judging has been done.
NASPA Zyzzyva is a suite which has Quiz, Cardbox, Search as well as Judge. Lexicon choices include CSW19 and CSW22.
NASPA Zyzzyva result screen.

iPhone and iPad

ULU is a suite of solver, judge and timer.
Collins allows checking more than one word. Use Tournament setting


The program Zyzzyva (Windows or Mac) can be set up as a word judge. It has many other solving and quiz functions but the word judge will be full screen.


There is as of April 2023 no acceptable online word judge.


The online one provided by Collins Dictionary says it is the only official online checker. It fails every test.
The authority eg CSW22 is not displayed
Definition and part of speech shown
Word Entry
If two words are to be challenged they are done one at a time.
The word source is apparently CSW22, which has removed about 400 words and redefined others, e.g. HOMO. Not only that but it defaults to a family friendly version which for instance disallows PISS. You have to look behind the hamburger at the top to turn this mode off.

Collins have however created an API for developers, and playscabble.com have a word judge powered by it. It is truly awful. It has several lexicons and the UK one is presumably CSW22. It displays the definition. A wrong word or any two words are just announced as Word Not Found.

App download

Word Checker
Wali Scrabble Timer
Hoot for Collins
iPhone and iPad
Collins Scrabble