Fair adjudication of challenges

It is important that certain rules be followed in order to ensure the fair adjudication of challenges.

Main principles

  1. The challenger may challenge one, more or all of the words newly formed by his/her opponent in their previous turn only.
  2. All such word(s) must be announced at the time of the challenge. There is no additional reward or penalty associated with winning or losing a challenge to multiple words.
  3. The reference for the challenge must be the Club-accepted lexicon as defined in Rules. The lexicon may be maintained in either electronic or printed form — see forward.
  4. In the case where multiple words are challenged:
    • The challenge is successful is any of the challenged words is invalid (i.e., not found in the lexicon).
    • Neither player must be informed, or given any clue, as to which word(s) are invalid! Doing so might influence ensuing play.
  5. If an electronic device (e.g., smartphone, tablet or computer) is consulted, either player (or both players) may perform the challenge, as long as the following specific rules are followed:
    • The device and its software must be configured correctly — see forward.
    • Both players must be shown the operation of the electronic device.
  6. If a printed source is consulted for the challenge:
    • Only an experienced third party (i.e., neither opponent), who is familiar with these rules, may be asked to adjudicate the challenge. This prevents either opponent from seeing other words (especially those which are alphabetically close to any of the words challenged).
    • The word judge must use the official printed source. (The text under “Casual consultation of the lexicon” below describes unacceptable sources.)
    • The word judge must not give any indication or hint as to
      • Why the word(s) are not valid
      • In the case of multiple words challenged, which word(s) are not valid. (It is recommended that the word judge check all words, even if the first word checked turns out not to be valid.)
  7. The loser of the challenge may appear to the Club director if he/she believes the adjudication was not performed competently or fairly. The director’s decision will be final.

Use of Android devices for adjudication of challenges

The Club recommends the use of the Scrabble Checker application (free).

  1. The following settings must be applied:
    • Dictionary = OWL3
      If a different dictionary (e.g., CSW12) is shown, tap the setting once more and select the correct one.
    • Highlight unacceptable words = off (unchecked)
      As the app says, “Not recommended for tournament”.
    • Definition lookup = off (unchecked)
  2. All words being challenged must be entered at the same time.

Use of iOS devices for adjudication of challenges

The following program is available for use on the iOS operating system (iPads and iPhones). The Club has not yet evaluated it (and document required settings) but we believe it can be used appropriately.

  • Zarf (in Word Judge mode)

Note: iOS support for Zyzzyva has apparently been suspended.

Not valid — OSPD (Official Scrabble Players Dictionary)

The OSPD book shown in the image below may not be used to adjudicate words in Club (or any tournament) play! Because the OSPD is intended for “recreational and school use”, certain acceptable words deemed offensive have been redacted.

You may click on the image below for online consultation of the OSPD (also not valid for Club use, of course).