Association of British Scrabble Players

ABSPThe Association of British Scrabble Players (ABSP) was formed in 1987 as a not-for-profit association to promote interest in the playing of Scrabble. We co-ordinate tournaments and the provision of a rating system for players in the UK, as well as providing information and support to members, tournament organisers and tournament directors. Media Contact Point

Tournaments Coming Soon
Nov 17-18WM Milton Keynes, 17 Rds
Nov 17Teesside, 8 Rds
Nov 18Teesside, 7 Rds
Nov 24Warrington RR, 7 Rds
Nov 24Edinburgh, 7 Rds
Nov 25Ilford, 8
Full Calendar

Find a Nearby Scrabble Club Here

Seen an interesting Scrabble word played and want to know what it means? Search for it in our comprehensive Words section:

New! three and four letter valid or phony quizzes. See how many words you can get right in this handy little game. Great for improving your short word knowledge.

3 Letter Words | 4 Letter Words

New club

Marjorie Struggles is starting a new club in Pilsley, which is just south of Chesterfield. The club will welcome players of all ability levels when the first meeting is held on Monday 12th November. Please see this flyer for further details.

EdMartin pic
NSC 2018

Congratulations on behalf of the ABSP to champion, Ed Martin and all other prize winners at the 2018 NSC. A 52-strong field contested the main event, with the top seven all rated 189 or higher.

Scoring never stopped on Saturday for defending champion Austin Shin who went into Sunday unbeaten, but a tightening of the closing pack saw four players on an 11-3 record with just two rounds to play - NSC debutant Jamie Jones and event sponsor Elie Dangoor joining Austin and Ed in the top 4. The nail-biting final shootout saw Ed build a strong early lead over Austin only to see it reduced to just 14 points after nine moves apiece.

A tense end-game seemed likely, although a poor late pick up effectively put paid to Austin’s chances of being the first player since Mark Nyman to take back-to-back NSC titles. In the end, a margin of just 36 points clinched the title for Ed – 13 wins was certainly not unlucky for him this year. A late surge for 2012 NSC champion Paul Gallen was enough to take third place, with Lewis Mackay and Natalie Zolty rounding out the top seven.

It was a rare UK outing for Ed since his move to Sweden, and in fact the first time he had contested the NSC finals since 2014. It is his third victory at a UK Major event, although his first since 2007, a gap of eleven calendar years. Joyce Cansfield, Terry Kirk and Jackie McLeod share a current record gap of sixteen calendar years between Major wins although there are a number of active players who could threaten this particular statistic over the coming years.

Speaking about his win, Ed said “It was a great honour to win the tournament with so many excellent players in the field. Austin especially was a marvellous opponent and a pleasure to play, he is the absolute definition of a good sportsman. I have been entering the NSC on and off since 1991 so it was a long time coming for me! It was nice that there were a few familiar faces there from those days like Mauro Pratesi, Robert Richland and Barry Grossman. All in all I was delighted to win, thanks so much to all the people who organised the event and the live coverage.”

Relative newcomer Jamie Jones was for many the biggest surprise near the top, although those aware of his recent tussle in Best with Harshan Lamabadusuriya, ultimately only decided by spread points, knew not to underestimate him. His performance of 200 was 38 points above his 162 start rating.

Paloma Raychbart topped the Plate standings at the close of day one and never looked back finishing two games clear of her nearest rival Mike Whiteoak. Paul Coyle and Rafal Dominiczak completed the top four. South African Gwen Rea playing in her first UK tournament finished in fifth place impressing with the Afrikaans word OPGEFOK – her opening rating certainly not “badly damaged” despite losing that game.

There was much to like about the venue, with roomy playing conditions and relative ease of access. We have noted some feedback, mostly about refreshments. However, there have been a lot of major events held in London and the South this year and the NSC has traditionally been an event that moved around the country allowing more people the opportunity to attend. With that in mind, organiser Wayne Kelly will soon be looking at more Northerly venues for next year. Thanks go to him, and all his team for their hard work making the 2018 event such a success.

The final game can be viewed on the Qwizical Scrabble YouTube channel. More videos will be uploaded when the streaming team are available to do so.

Lewis pic
BMSC 2018

The committee would like to send their congratulations to BMSC division winners Lewis Mackay, Gerard Fox and Geoff Cooper as well as all other prize winners at what was a great weekend at a venue which may become a new permanent home for the tournament.

Victory for Lewis was probably especially sweet after he missed out on the title last year by just 6 spread points. It is his 2nd victory at the BMSC and his 8th Scrabble Major, which ties him in 4th place on the all-time list. Mark Nyman leads the way with 23 major titles. The battle for the BMSC 2018 came down to a straight shoot-out between Lewis and Phil Robertshaw, playing his first rated scrabble in nearly a year. Harshan Lamabadusuriya, Austin Shin & Chris Vicary rounded out the top 5. Division B winner Gerard Fox finished on 20 wins, the most of any competitor.

Overall, the ABSP have received excellent feedback about the venue. Features such as comfortable, spacious bedrooms, covered walkways, roomy playing conditions and an extensive choice of food proving most popular. A number of minor issues were also identified which will help us to shape any future planning, but overall it was a definite step up in quality from previous years at Sutton Bonnington. Many players were also suggesting it was even better than Yarnfield… We are developing a great relationship with the venue, so it’s likely there will only be further improvements if we return next year.

Thanks also go to Wayne Kelly, James Burley and Ash Coldrick for their hard work in running the event, as well as Mauro and Jessica Pratesi who organised the streaming and annotation, and all commentators. The title clincher is available to watch HERE with further videos to be added to the channel in due course.

Committee Changes

The ABSP would like to inform all members of some changes to the committee which have taken place after the recent AGM pack was sent out. Mike Whiteoak, in his role as chair announced these to those present at the AGM, and new committee members were elected alongside those remaining for the coming year.

Colin Nicol will replace Rick Blakeway in the role of Clubs Co-ordinator, and Chris Harrison will take on a new role of Communications & Complaints Officer. This will incorporate some elements of the role vacated by Bob Violett, but also more liaison with members and responsibility for announcements. In addition, Elie Dangoor has left the committee for personal reasons, so we offer our thanks again to Elie, Rick, Bob and also Peter Ashurst and Rachel Bingham, all of whom have now completed their service.

Therefore, the full current committee is now as follows:

Mike Whiteoak – Chair/Tournament Co-Ordinator/Ratings Officer

Laura Finley – Secretary

Wayne Kelly – Treasurer/ABSP Events Organiser/Deputy Ratings Officer/Titles Registrar

Anand Buddhdev – Technical Officer

James Burley – Youth Officer

Chris Harrison – Communications & Complaints Officer

Colin Nicol – Clubs Co-Ordinator

Nuala O’Rourke – Membership Secretary

Natalie Zolty – Publicity Officer/Onboard Advisor

ABSP Discussion Group

We have a new Facebook discussion group solely for ABSP members to enable more interactive and responsive communication within the community around ABSP matters. There are already over 100 members. Please come and join in at

ABSP Online Scrabble league

Do you enjoy playing friendly Facebook Scrabble games against other members?

Would you prefer to pit your wits in a more structured competition?

Well now you can.... ABSP Online is a new league exclusively for ABSP members.

The league will run fortnightly on a Tuesday, starting on Tuesday July 11th. Games will be played on the Facebook Scrabble app and you'll have two weeks to complete all your games. Initial divisions will be based on ABSP rating and thereafter by promotions and demotions at the end of each round. This is initially a trial and as things progress, we may add other types of competition.

(Note – online games are, of course, not ABSP rated!)

To find out more and register to play, join the facebook group (you will need a Facebook account and the EA facebook scrabble game).

You will also need to be registered on

Registration is free for ABSP members - we will add you when you join the facebook group.

If not currently a member, you can join the ABSP at

Give it a try, let's see how many ABSP Scrabblers we can fit into a virtual room.

Spread the word!


FREE One Day Tournament Offer

A keen Scrabble player but never played in an ABSP tournament before? Now any first-time player can enter their first one day event FREE. Look at our tournament calendar to find an event near you.


Every ABSP member in the UK would have now received a special omnibus edition of OnBoard (a collection of the best of previous features and content from recent years) called 'WE LOVE SCRABBLE'. We are pleased to be able to make a pdf version of this omnibus edition available to download:

Free WE LOVE SCRABBLE download

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