Hong Kong Scrabble Challenge 2019

Amazing Scrabble experience for all local and overseas players!

Hong Kong Scrabble Players Association is organising the Hong Kong Scrabble Challenge 2019, an open Scrabble tournament for all local and overseas players. The top division of this event will be WESPA-rated.

The Challenge will be a two-day event for the top division, and a one-day event for the lower divisions. Players will play 3 to 17 rounds of Scrabble depending on their division.

Participants can, upon request, receive a certificate of participation upon completing the tournaments to recognise their efforts.

As a non-profit organisation, we will be collecting an entry fee to cover the costs of running this prestigious tournament. All overseas players can enter the Challenge for free.

Tournament information

Division Date and Time Rounds
A 13 July 2019: 09:15 to 20:00 (Registration starts at 09:00)
14 July 2019: 10:00 to 19:00
B 13 July 2019: 13:30 to 19:00 (Registration starts at 13:00) 5
C 13 July 2019: 09:30 to 13:30 (Registration starts at 09:00) 3

Lunch break will be arranged for Division A players. The finishing time of the tournament may vary subject to the actual tournament schedule.


13 July 2019
CIRCOOP Coworking Space
Corporation Park, Room 1122, 11/F, Lobby B, 11 On Lai Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin

14 July 2019
Hughes Room, 1/F, Foreign Correspondents’ Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong

Divisions and format

Dictionary: Collins Official Scrabble Words 2019 (CSW19) will be used as the official dictionary. Collins Official Scrabble Words 2019 is published on 2 May 2019. More information can be found on WESPA website.

Time limit: Each players has 25 minutes to play each round.

WESPA rules version 3 is applicable to all divisions.

There will be 3 divisions:

Division A

17 games:

  • 13 July 2019: 10 games (first 2 games random draw, Australian Swiss Draw (sometimes lagged) for the remaining games)
  • 14 July 2019: 7 games (first 5 games Australian Swiss Draw with one repeat allowed. Last 2 games King-of-the-Hill (KOTH))

5 points unsubstantiated challenge penalty, Gibsonisation rules apply

This division will be WESPA-rated and HKSPA-rated.

Division B

5 games, first 4 games Swiss Draw (first game random draw, sometimes lagged subsequently), last game KOTH

5 points unsubstantiated challenge penalty

This division will be HKSPA-rated.

Division C

3 games, first 2 games Swiss Draw (first game random draw), last game KOTH

Free challenge

Two- and three-letter word lists will be provided during all games. Players are allowed to refer to it but they are not allowed to write on it. They cannot bring in their own word list too. This division will be recognised by HKSPA.

Allocation of division

Local players: Players with Hong Kong Representation Status or Affiliation Status under the Hong Kong Player Statuses Regulation are deemed as local players. Players will be allocated to a division according to their peak ratings. The peak rating, including provisional ratings, from 30 June 2018 to 28 June 2019 will be used to determine the division of the player.

  • Division A: HKSPA Ratings 1500 or above
  • Division B: HKSPA Ratings between 700 and 1499
  • Division C: Without HKSPA Ratings or with HKSPA Ratings below 700

Subject to the Association’s discretion, players may play up a division provided that they can show, to the Association’s satisfaction, their competence in competing in the Division, best supported by previous local and/or overseas tournament experiences. A player who wants to play up a division should indicate his or her intention to do so and provide justification for the Association’s consideration in the online application form. Moreover, players with provisional ratings 1500 or above but have played for less than 30 HKSPA-rated games may select to play in Division A or B at their own choice.

International Players: Players who are not local players are deemed as international players.

  • For players with HKSPA ratings: They will be considered using the same mechanism as a local player.
  • For players without HKSPA ratings: The organiser will consider their WESPA ratings and ratings in their National Association (if any), experiences and preference of the players to allocate them into an appropriate division. International players are kindly requested to let the organiser know their prior experiences and preferences during application process.


As there are doubts over the legality of Scrabble tournaments with prize money in Hong Kong, for the safety of our players, there will only be trophies and medals for our winners.

For Division A

  • Champion: Trophy
  • 1st Runner-up: Medal
  • 2nd Runner-up: Medal
  • 3rd Runner-up: Medal

For Division B

  • Winner: Trophy
  • 1st Runner-up: Medal
  • 2nd Runner-up: Medal
  • 3rd Runner-up: Medal

For Division C

  • Winner: Medal
  • 1st Runner-up: Medal
  • 2nd Runner-up: Medal
  • 3rd Runner-up: Medal

For each division

Results from each division will be calculated separately. For school awards, a school must have at least 3 players playing in a particular division in order to be eligible.

Individual Youth Awards

  • Best Under-18 Player (born on or after 1/1/2001) – medal
  • Best Under-16 Player (born on or after 1/1/2003) – medal
  • Best Under-14 Player (born on or after 1/1/2005) – medal
  • Best Under-12 Player (born on or after 1/1/2007) – medal

Players may receive more than one award, e.g. the Best Under-16 Player might as well be the Best Under-18 Player

School Awards

  • Best Player from a School – medal

For the whole Challenge

  • High Word – medal
  • High Game – medal

Certificates of participation will only be given to participants on request.

Entry Fee

In order to cover the cost of running the tournament, including rental of the venue, HKSPA will collect entry fee from Hong Kong residents joining this tournament.

Full-time primary and secondary students HK$150 HK$80 HK$40
Other Hong Kong residents HK$200 HK$100 HK$50

Hong Kong residents playing in Division A and B must be HKSPA member, session 2018/19. There are no free quota for HKSPA School Members. Players who are currently not a HKSPA member must pay the membership fee ($60 for student membership or $150 for general membership) on or before the Challenge.

Light refreshments will be served on 13 July 2019 free of charge in the venue for all players. Lunch is not included. Players in Division A are expected to purchase lunch in the venue on 14 July 2019 at their own cost.

For Division A players, the entry fee includes WESPA Rating Levy.

In view of the considerable travelling expenses borne by the overseas players, they could enter the event for free.

How to enter:

Please fill in the online application form on or before 7 July 2019.

Entries are normally accepted on a first-come-first-served basis, while overseas players have priority over local players.

The organiser reserves the rights to refuse entry or make changes to the division arrangement. Enrollment is also subject to quota.

Applications after the deadline will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. A late charge of $20 should apply in addition to the original entry fee. Late entrants are not allowed to compete in any school award.

Verification Policy:

Players are required to bring their HKID Card (for local players - birth certificate if they do not have a HKID Card) or Passport (for overseas players) for verification purposes. For students, they should also bring their Student ID Card (student handbook if they do not have a Student ID Card). Players who fail to bring the required documents may not be allowed to play / being charged HK$50 administrative fee.