A short newsletter has been published with information regarding deadlines
for submission of motions for the 2021 AGM, minutes of the last AGM and
committee meeting, plus the ABSP 2020 accounts and obituary notices for
Laura Finley and Sue Bowman.
Motions for the AGM need to be received before midnight on 7th
The newsletter is
available from the
OnBoard section of the ABSP Ratings website. You must login to the
site to be able to see the newsletter and earlier editions of OnBoard.
If this is your first visit to the site, you will need to set up your
account by clicking on the "Set up account or request new password link"
on the home page. You will need
to fill in your email address and click "Please send me a password". A
temporary password will be emailed to you.
The next edition of OnBoard is expected in late October, so please send
any articles for inclusion to Kay
Möller as soon as possible. We know that face to face Scrabble
has not been possible for many over the last year, so if you have been
doing something interesting in this time and can tell us all about it,
get in touch!
Last updated: 10 September 2021
Update on tournament play
Since official COVID-19 restrictions ended in July, we have been
allowing small indoor rated events of up to 6 players, or potentially
more on a case by case basis. As life is slowly returning to normal,
this restriction will no longer apply, with the first larger indoor
invitational events likely to take place in the coming weeks.
We are now also sanctioning any other events, though we recommend that
organisers check venue policy regarding cancellation and any venue
specific COVID-19 rules before booking. It may also be beneficial to
gauge interest from prospective participants. Please contact Ratings
Officer, Mike Whiteoak with any future
plans for tournaments as usual.
Whilst the ABSP are not requiring any specific COVID-19 safety measures
at clubs or tournaments, any restrictions that are put in place, either
by the venue or the organisers, must be clearly stated on the entry form
and/or made clear to members or invitees. Responsibility for determining
eligibility criteria and enforcing restrictions will lie solely with the
organiser, although we will be happy to offer any advice where possible
and may also ask a few more basic questions during the approval process,
largely just for our information.
We have been able to secure a much lower price for insurance cover, and
so for those clubs that have opted in, this will resume on September 1st
at a cost of just £10 per club. This represents a huge saving which
is probably welcome given the uncertainties that remain.
We have taken a difficult but necessary decision to move the NSC as this
event requires a minimum number in order to be sustainable and demand
is currently unclear for this type of event in the current climate.
We hope that as more smaller scale tournaments resume over the coming
months, Spring 2022 will be a good time for the postponed NSC which will
be open entry. We will confirm more details in the coming weeks.
We will be holding the AGM via Zoom again this year, in late Autumn.
A basic newsletter will be going to all members and we also hope to be
able to resume OnBoard in time for a special Christmas edition if things
continue to progress positively.
As always, OnBoard needs players input so if you have any
ideas for articles - maybe something interesting you have
done in lockdown or some seeds of starting back up again -
then let either Wayne Kelly or Kay Möller know.
Last updated: 22 August 2021
Laura Finley, ABSP secretary, passes away
It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Laura Finley,
our long-standing and well-loved secretary has passed away today.
Laura was universally loved - cheeky, funny and forthright and a damned
hard worker for the Scrabble community. Salt of the earth does not even
come close. Condolences to all friends and family. We have lost one of
Wayne Kelly, ABSP chairman, 17th July 2021
Updates on Laura's funeral
The funeral for Laura Finley will take place on Monday 26th July from
10:00 at the Sunderland Crematorium, with a wake at Chester’s from
The service will also be livestreamed and then available for streaming
for the next 28 days. Full details have been kindly posted by Pauline
Johnson on the
ABSP Discussion Facebook page
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Great North Air Ambulance,
which many of you will know was a cause very dear to Laura’s heart. We
suggest any individuals wanting to do so make the donations themselves,
as they are likely to qualify for Gift Aid, assuming they are from
a UK taxpayer.
Laura had many, many years of tireless service and therefore the ABSP
will be donating £100 in recognition of such long and loyal work
for the organisation. She will be sorely missed by the committee and
Last updated: 24 July 2021
Rating of small invitational tournaments
As official guidance has recently changed, the ABSP is now permitting
invitational events to be rated. This means indoor events will be
sanctioned with a maximum of 6 people, and outdoor events up to 30 people,
though obviously weather may be a factor for those. Any interested
parties must take responsibility for ensuring their compliance with any
appropriate regional or national restrictions.
Larger indoor events are under review pending the updated guidance
in June. If anybody is planning an event after the restrictions are
lifted, I would suggest liaison with the ABSP and potential entrants is
advisable before booking a room, etc. Please be aware that currently
there is no public liability insurance in place as we let the policy
lapse while we were inactive. I have been in contact with the insurers
and will contact club reps to discuss whether they wish to take up the
insurance again from July.
Also, the ABSP have moved the provisional booking of the BMSC forward
another year so we will most probably hold the AGM on Zoom again.
We are still hoping to provide an NSC in Bristol on the second weekend
of October, which was moved from last year.
Fingers crossed, things can get back to normal sooner rather than later.
Last updated: 25 May 2021
New Year's Honours List
Happy New Year! Despite a strange and difficult year, with few
tournaments taking place before everything had to be shut down, some
players achieved a lot in a little time. Wayne Kelly
rounds up the award winners for 2020 and a few other statistics too.
As stated in earlier in the year, we decided against awarding the Most
Improved Player and Highest Rated Player as these are competitive prizes
which would be hard to award given the very short space in which they
would have been competed over. The MIP performance so far will be carried
over to the end of 2021.
Titles are individual achievements though so we did not think it would
be fair to impede players progress.
There was only one potential new titleholder for 2020 and I am pleased
to say that Craig Solomons has achieved his Expert
status with 5 170 flat ratings in a row. Craig actually managed 175
games in the year so it definitely would have been a crime to discount
the whole year.
ratings data on the ABSP database website has been updated, however
where the 2020 data would have spoiled a player's run, a > symbol
indicates the years data has not been entered. Other data lower than
170 has been included for those who were not currently part-way into
achieving a title.
The only new 170+ performers this year were Moses Peter (182) and Ying
Ming Poh (175).
Next year does not seem to be able to yield any new titles, except with
some big performances above current averages.
If anyone has any query regarding their individual performance then
please get in touch - though I only have data for those who played 30
games or more and had a flat rating of over 150.
Happy New Year!
Last updated: 1 January 2021
2020 has been a strange year for all of us, but it has certainly had
major effects on the game we all love.
Earlier in the year, there were some committee changes that went
unannounced due to COVID-19 and all that went with it, and there are
also some further changes as we enter 2021.
Firstly, we had a change of Youth Officer, earlier in the year as James
Burley left the committee due to work commitments. We would like to
thanks him for his efforts on the committee and his work at filling the
void with online events.
Sumbul Siddiqui took over the Youth role in May, but with the current
situation it has been difficult to make much progress. We welcome Sumbul
and once we are back out in the open, her enthusiasm will help immensely
in making progress in this area.
The big changes, however, are with the officers.
Mike Whiteoak will be stepping down as Chairman at the end of
the year, and back into his role as Ratings Officer and Tournament
Co-ordinator. Mike only ever intended to be a short-term chairman, and
he has helped keep the ABSP moving during some difficult times. We are
glad we are not losing his expertise from the committee and he agreed
to stay on in his important role.
Wayne Kelly will be taking over as Chairman from January, and we are glad
to say Ross Mackenzie will be rejoining the committee as Treasurer. Ross
was an excellent Treasurer and Chairman during his time on the ABSP
committee previously and can only be an asset to all of us going forward.
We'd also like take this opportunity to thank you for your support
in this difficult year and remind all those that have not yet renewed
that 2021 subs
are a minimum of £6 for 2021 only. Thanks also to those who have
renewed and further donated already.
2021 is still very much up in the air for everything but we hope we can
start to return to normal when it is safe to do so.
In order to keep access to the members-only
ABSP Discussion Facebook group, the ABSP Online League
and the ABSP database, please make payment on the ABSP
website by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque to Nuala O'Rourke. There is also an option to make an extra donation as you see fit.
Many thanks & Happy New Year
Last updated: 31 December 2020