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] [photo of 2009 World Scrabble Champion Pakorn Nemitrmansuk]
See also our list of players arranged by past WSC performance.

Year Dates Place Players Winner
1991 27–30 September London 48 5+3+3+3+3 Peter Morris (USA)
1993 27–30 August New York 64 18+3+5 Mark Nyman (UK)
1995 02–05 November London 64 18+5 David Boys (Canada)
1997 20–24 November Washington 80 21+5 Joel Sherman (USA)
1999 04–07 November Melbourne 98 24+5 Joel Wapnick (Canada)
2001 13–17 December Las Vegas 88 24+5 Brian Cappelletto (USA)
2003 21–24 October Kuala Lumpur 90 24+5 Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand)
2005 17–20 November London 102 24+5 Adam Logan (Canada)
2007 9–12 November Mumbai 104 24+5 Nigel Richards (New Zealand)
2009 26–29 November Johor Bahru 108 24+5 Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand)
2011 12–16 October Warsaw 106 24+5 Nigel Richards (New Zealand)

National Allocations

Effective 2009, a formula has been established for determining sizes of national teams, replacing an older system which had been in place since 1997.

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 ranks of only N of the N+W players contribute to the average, choosing the N players whose pre-WSC WESPA tournament ratings are highest among the N+W, considering unrated players as rated lower than rated players, and breaking ties in favour of better-ranked 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.