The History

The World SCRABBLE® Championship has been held every second year since 1991, sponsored either by Mattel Inc. or Hasbro.

Past Champions

[photo of 1991 World Scrabble Champion Peter Morris] [photo of 1993 World Scrabble Champion Mark Nyman] [photo of 1995 World Scrabble Champion David Boys]
[photo of 1997 World Scrabble Champion Joel Sherman] [photo of 1999 World Scrabble Champion Joel Wapnick] [photo of 2001 World Scrabble Champion Brian Cappelletto]
[photo of 2003 World Scrabble Champion Panupol Sujjayakorn] [photo of 2005 World Scrabble Champion Adam Logan] [photo of 2007 World Scrabble Champion Nigel Richards]
See also our list of players arranged by past WSC performance.

Year Dates Place Players Winner
1991 27–30 September London 48 Peter Morris (USA)
1993 27–30 August New York 64 Mark Nyman (UK)
1995 02–05 November London 64 David Boys (Canada)
1997 20–24 November Washington 80 Joel Sherman (USA)
1999 04–07 November Melbourne 98 Joel Wapnick (Canada)
2001 13–17 December Las Vegas 88 Brian Cappelletto (USA)
2003 21–24 October Kuala Lumpur 90 Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand)
2005 17–20 November London 102 Adam Logan (Canada)
2007 9–12 November Mumbai 104 Nigel Richards (New Zealand)
2009 26–29 November Johor Bahru ? ?

National Allocations

Effective 2009, a new formula has been established for determining sizes of national teams, replacing an old system which had been in place since 1997. Although these rules have been drafted with the intent of long term use, they will be reviewed after the 2009 WSC and may be amended. This new system is the result of consultation with a WESPA subcommittee consisting of Philip Nelkon, Chief Toke Aka, Bob Jackman and Albert Hahn.

The following five players qualify for the WSC as wildcards: the current World Champion, the last losing WSC finalist, the WYSC Champion (if there has been more than one since the last WSC, the WYSC organisers must decide which one gets the wildcard), and two players from the WSC host country. In addition, the highest internationally rated player as of July 31st in the WSC year may be considered as a sixth wildcard, if he or she does not qualify otherwise.

Adjustments to national allocations are based on performance at the previous WSC as follows. Countries are ranked according to the average finishing rank of their players. (If a country has N players and W wildcards, the rank is computed as the average of the best N ranks among the N+W players.) Among the countries represented by more than one player, the bottom half lose a player and the top half gain a player, except:

  • If the number of such countries is odd, the country ranked in the middle does not gain or lose players.
  • If a country's allocation is already at 15, it does not gain a player (and therefore the total allocation will diminish by one).
  • Any countries represented by only one player will gain a player if their representative finished in the top half at the previous WSC. If this happens, a corresponding number of countries with larger teams is denied their increase, in order to keep the overall size of the event the same. (If the total number of players at the previous WSC is odd, finishing exactly in the middle counts as being in the top half. If more single-player countries are due to gain players than multiplayer countries, then no multiplayer teams gain players and the overall size of the event has to increase.)

For example, in 2007 there were 23 countries represented by more than one player and one country (U.A.E.) represented by one player who finished in the top. half. The bottom 11 of the 23 lose a player, and the top 11-1=10 of the 23 gain a player, along with the U.A.E.

If a nation is not represented by its full quota, it does not participate in the adjustment, and neither gains nor loses places. If it does so for two consecutive years, it loses one player (unless it only had one), and the overall size of the event drops by one.

Scotland will be awarded an extra place for the 2009 WSC, because the new system had not yet been announced when the 2007 WSC took place, and it would have been entitled to an extra place under the old system.