Hong Kong Scrabble Challenge 2023

HKSPA invites all local and overseas players to a fantastic Scrabble experience!

The Hong Kong Scrabble Challenge is back! The Hong Kong Scrabble Players Association is organising the Hong Kong Scrabble Challenge 2023, an open Scrabble tournament for all local and overseas players.

This year, the Hong Kong Scrabble Challenge will be divided into three divisions. Division A will be a two-day WESPA-rated event featuring 15 games. Division B and C will be an one-day event.

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

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.

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.


Division Date & Time Format Eligibility Quota
A 12-13 Aug
09:00 - 19:00
15 games
Game 1 to 3: Init Fontes*
Game 4 to 8: Australian Swiss Draw (sometimes lagged) without repeat
Game 9 to 13: Australian Swiss Draw (sometimes lagged) with one repeat allowed
Game 14 to 15: King-of-the-Hill (KOTH)
Local players:
Played at least 25 HKSPA-rated games
HKSPA ratings 1000 or above
Non-local players: Prior competitive Scrabble experiences
B 13 Aug
10:30 - 18:30
6 games
Game 1: Random
Game 2 to 5: Australian Swiss Draw (sometimes lagged) without repeat
Game 6: King-of-the-Hill (KOTH)
Local players: HKSPA ratings 700 or above who are not eligible for Division A 20
C 12 Aug
10:00 - 17:00
5 games
Game 1: Random
Game 2 to 4: Australian Swiss Draw (sometimes lagged) without repeat
Game 5: King-of-the-Hill (KOTH)
Local players: HKSPA ratings 699 or below, or no prior ratings 20
*Init Fontes: Players will be categorized into 4 groups by their HKSPA ratings immediately prior to the tournament. Sub-divisions will be formed by selecting one player from each group to form a sub-division of 4 players. These 4 players will play a single Round Robin. If the total number of players is not divisible by 4 (due to players’ absence), there will be a group containing all the remaining players. They will play partial round robin and opponents / bye will be arranged by random.

The peak ratings from 1 January 2022 to the deadline of application, and the total number of games played as at the deadline of application will be taken to consider the division arrangement of the player.

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. Players eligible for Division C may apply to play in both Division B and C if (s)he wishes so. All applications will be carefully considered to ensure smooth running of the tournament.

Venue: 5/F, Spark City Cheung Sha Wan, 124-126 Castle Peak Road, Cheung Sha Wan

Quota: The quotas for each division stated above are indicative only. If the number of interested players exceeds the quota, the spot will be allotted to (1) overseas players, and (2) local players by HKSPA ratings as at the deadline of application. In case the quota of a particular division is full but there is remaining quota in a lower division, players may be arranged to play in a lower division. The organiser may revise the quotas with/without prior notice.

Format: Each players has 25 minutes to play each round. 5 points unsubstantiated challenge penalty, latest version of the Collins Official Scrabble Words and WESPA rules applicable to all divisions. Gibsonisation rules apply where appropriate. These are subject to changes at the discretion of the organiser.


Division A

  • Champion – Trophy
  • 1st Runner-up – Medal
  • 2nd Runner-up – Medal
  • 3rd Runner-up – Medal
  • Individual Youth Awards:
    Best Under-18 Player (born on or after 1/1/2005) – medal
    Best Under-16 Player (born on or after 1/1/2007) – medal
    Best Under-14 Player (born on or after 1/1/2009) – medal
  • Best Player from a School – medal
    (Applicable for school with at least three players in Division A)
  • Team Unity Award#

# For the "Team Unity Award", players will be divided into several groups according to their HKSPA ratings immediately before the tournament. For overseas players, they will be arranged into groups at the organiser's discretion. Each player may then choose their own team of players: one player from each of the other groups, plus themselves. At the end of the tournament, team scores will be computed, combining the individual results of each team's members. The player whose team scores the highest will be the prize winner. The "individual results" refer to the combination of number of wins and cumulative spread.

Division B and C, for each division

  • Winner – Medal
  • 1st Runner-up – Medal
  • 2nd Runner-up – Medal
  • Individual Youth Awards:
    Best Under-18 Player (born on or after 1/1/2005) – medal
    Best Under-16 Player (born on or after 1/1/2007) – medal
    Best Under-14 Player (born on or after 1/1/2009) – medal

For the whole tournament

  • High Word – medal
  • High Game – medal


Entry fees: To cover the cost of running the tournament, including venue rental, HKSPA will collect entry fees from Hong Kong residents joining this tournament.

Division A Division B or C Division B and C
Full-time primary and secondary students HK$150 HK$80 HK$120
Other Hong Kong residents HK$200 HK$100 HK$170
Overseas players Free of charge Not applicable

The entry fee for Division A includes the WESPA Ratings Levy. Lunch is not included. Given the considerable travelling expenses the overseas players bear, they could enter the event for free.

Deposits: Players in Division A are required to pay an additional HK$50 deposit together with their entry fees. The deposit will be refunded to the players on the second tournament day in cash.

HKSPA Membership: Hong Kong residents playing in the event must hold an active HKSPA individual membership on the date of the event. Players who are not HKSPA members should join HKSPA membership on or before the deadline of enrollment and pay the membership fee together with their entry fee.

Certificate charges: Certificates of Participation will only be given to participants on request. The certificates will be available to participants free of charge if the request is made during the online application. The request of Certificates of Participation and Certificates of Awards after the tournament will be subject to the Association's prevailing charges, i.e. HK$20 per certificate.

Payment method: To enhance the efficiency of the registration counter on the day, players are expected to pay the entry fee, deposits and membership fees to the Association's Hang Seng Bank account in advance. Payment instructions will be sent to enrolled players in due course. We accept payment by:

  • ATM Transfer (HSBC/Hang Seng Bank)
  • FPS (from any supported banks or stored value facilities)
  • Cash or cheque deposit using Cash/Cheque Deposit Machine
  • e-Cheque

Players who do not pay the fee in advance but only on the spot or players who pay the fees via bank counter (but not self-service machines) may be subject to a HK$50 administration fee (payable on the spot by cash only). Student players are encouraged to seek assistance from their parents, teachers or coaches in paying the entry fees if they do not have a bank account.


To enroll, please press here. The deadline for enrollment is 24 July 2023 (Monday) for overseas players and 31 July 2023 (Monday) for local players. The organiser reserves the right to refuse entry.

Equipment: Players are encouraged to bring their own rotating boards and tiles for use during the tournament. Please let us know by email (info@hkscrabble.org) or contact any committee members if you are going to bring your own equipment to the venue.

Late enrollment: 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 an HKID Card) or Passport (for overseas players) for verification purposes. Students, 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 payable on the spot by cash only.