Rules of the London Scrabble ® League:

Fixtures Rules

Download a hard copy of these rules here
Issue: August 2015

Arranging these fixtures is a daunting task. The following should be noted so that the enjoyment of the many will not be spoiled by the thoughtlessness of the few.

  1. A member who is unable to attend a fixture, listed or otherwise, must contact the host or hostess as soon as possible. A minimum 48 hours' notice of cancellation should be given, except in the case of absolute emergency.

  2. The cancelling player must not arrange for a substitute to arrive unannounced at the match. The host/hostess may choose to find his/her own substitute, or request the cancelling player to find one.


  3. A player who does not arrive at a fixture, having failed to inform the host/hostess at all, is liable to the penalties set out in Rule 15 below.

  4. Fixtures, once started, must be completed except in the case of illness.

  5. Except by prior arrangement, members should not arrive for fixtures before 7.20pm.

  6. If for any reason a player finds that he/she is going to be late for a fixture, he/she should endeavour to contact the host/hostess. Fixtures start at 7.30pm and every effort should be made to complete the three games by 11.15pm at the very latest.

  7. Three-player League evening

    If more than 20 minutes late with no prior notice, a player is deemed to be a non-attender (see Rule 3). If ALL players agree then one of the following options can be chosen. If all three players do not agree the fixture is abandoned:

    Option 1: (When you do not want to play Option 2 - i.e. 2 boards at once)

    Round 1: A plays B with C sitting out
    Round 2: A plays C with B sitting out,
    Round 3: B plays C with A sitting out.

    The sitting out players A, B and C are credited with 1 win (4 points) with their average score taken from the latest League Table published in the current Newsletter (or check the current table) and used to calculate their final accumulative three-game totals. It is then scored as a normal League evening as per current results sheet. High game points are awarded to an actual game played and not an average score. The player who has not turned up (player D) is noted on the score sheet, and gets 0 points.

    Option 2: Three rounds are played, one player playing the other two simultaneously, ie

    A plays B and C, 
    B plays A and C, 
    C plays A and B.
    Each win......3 points
    1st place......6 points
    2nd place......4 points
    3rd place - according to aggregate score ­
    1400 and over......3 points
    1200 - 1399......2 points
    1000 - 1199......1 point
    less than 1000......0 points
    For the two highest individual game scores......1 point

    Two-player League evening

    1. It will consist of 3 games
    2. Each win = 4 points: (draw = 2)
    3. Based on the overall totals the additional points will be:

      750- 899......1 point
      900-1049......2 points
      1050-1099...... 3 points
      1100-1199......4 points
      1200-1299......5 points
      1300-1399......6 points
      1400-1499......7 points
      1500 and over......8 points

    4. Only one match per month will be permitted by the same members.

    5. If only two are present they can both check challenges.

    6. Both  players must be fully paid-up League members.

    7. No points are given for high scores.

  8. Although games should take up to approximately one hour, each player should make their own moves within 30 minutes. Where a player is perceived by others at the fixture to being excessively slow over several moves it is reasonable to ask that player to speed up. Where the player does not speed up it is reasonable to ask the player to make their move within a specified time (say 3 minutes - check watch or clock). If they do not make a move it counts as a pass.

  9. Tournament tiles are those which are smooth on one side (indicating letter or blank) and with a moulded indentation on the reverse. Such tiles, which come in a variety of colours and designs, can be easily taken out of the tile bag and placed face down on the table without there being any doubt as to which is the face and which is the reverse. Tiles which do not meet these criteria (i.e. tiles which are smooth on face and reverse, or where the face indicating the letter is raised) should only be used as a last resort. Players who visit a host who uses such tiles are entitled to bring their own set of tournament tiles, and insist on these being used.

  10. Members needing a lift after the match should arrange this beforehand. (Members who use public transport should take this into consideration when filling in their venue forms.) Asking for a lift at the fixture itself may put a member under an obligation that he/she is not willing or able to meet.

  11. Once matches are completed, the results are sent to the Results co-ordinator.

    Once matches are completed, the results should be sent to the Results Co-ordinator, Moira Conway, via the program. It is essential when completing the score sheet that the host's name is listed first and the other three players are listed in the order the host has played them. If no-one present uses the app, then the result sheet can be posted, emailed (please do not send PDFs) or telephoned to Moira Conway. (Please see the current members' Address List for full contact details). If posting please write clearly on the envelope ‘Scrabble results’.

    Whenever the table is produced it shows the average points scored by each player first. These average points are the player's points added up and divided by the number of fixtures they have played. In the event of the average points being the same the program lists the players in order of their average game score starting with the higher.

    A copy of the results should be kept in case the original goes astray.

  12. If any member is unable to play for all or part of any month he/she should use to indicate on which dates they cannot play or by notifying the League Fixtures Organiser at the start of the month before. The precise deadline is stated at the end of each month’s Fixture List. (For example, if unable to attend fixtures in June, notice to be given by 7 May.)

  13. Members should notify the Membership Secretary of any change of address, telephone number, mobile number, e-mail address or other contact medium in advance wherever possible.

  14. Any member wishing to complain about breaches of the London Scrabble League's Rules, or any other matter, is asked to WRITE, except in case of Rule 3 above, where a telephone call is sufficient, to the Complaints Officer.

  15. Players in breach of the Fixture/Games Rules are liable to suspension; persistent offenders may be expelled from the League.

  16. A minimum of ten matches per season must be played to qualify for any of the League prizes of which six must be pre-arranged fixtures from the monthly fixture lists. The Committee reserve the right to review the award of prizes claimed in dubious circumstance and in this the Committee's decision is final.

Fixtures: Guidance Notes

The basic activity of the London Scrabble League is to arrange matches to suit members' stated preferences (frequency/days/location/home or away/smoking etc) and the co-operation of all members is vital if this system is to work well.

Please ensure that you give good notice of any change to your stated preferences and, once fixtures have been issued, treat them as an entirely firm commitment. Do not cancel a fixture unless circumstances make it totally necessary. Your care over this will make fixtures less prone to the inconvenience of changing them or, worse, to the all-round disappointment of spoiled or cancelled evenings.

Whilst the following points are not rules as such, they are strongly recommended, and members will find it to everyone's advantage to follow them.

  1. The success or our twice yearly League competition depends on the wide range of players to be drawn on: we urge members not to narrow the field by refusing fixtures because, for example, they might not like playing certain individuals.

  2. Unless unanimously agreed otherwise, each player draws a tile to determine who plays whom, in Game 1. The two closest to A pair off, leaving the remaining two to do likewise. A blank tile supersedes an A.

  3. At the start of each game, both players again pick letters, and the one nearer to A plays first (blank supersedes A).

  4. The winners of Game 1 play each other in Game 2 (losers likewise). In the event of a tie in Game 1, the tied players should draw tiles, with the nearest to A (blank supersedes A) playing the winner of the other game.

  5. The host/hostess usually serves refreshments (tea/coffee/biscuits etc) between the second and third games. This is a good opportunity to take a short break from playing.

Additional Notes and Reminders

4th Required

Fixtures are included with the monthly mailing containing the Newsletter and member's details update. They are normally set out in a sets of four alongside the corresponding day of the week with the first name becoming the host. There are occasions when the computer program fails to find enough players whose options coincide with the host, or coincide with his/her own fixture requirements, in which case a '4th Required' is shown. It is generally the responsibility of the host to find a '4th Required' although members wishing to play additional matches are free to 'phone the host and ask to make up the four required for the evening.

Non-members (maximum of two) can take part in fixtures on an occasional basis; they are especially welcome when a member has to cancel at short notice. Non-members are given League points (see results sheet) though such points do not figure in the League table.

Self-arranged Fixture

Any member is free to call upon any other three members to play a fixture of their own chosing at any time and at any place. Newer members should refrain from arranging their own fixtures for at least their first season until they have played a full season and gotten to know a few members.

Always be courteous and polite when 'phoning members up. 'Phone calls before 8.00 am and after 10.00 pm are to be avoided.

Do check the current "Address List" for individual players preferences as to when they are likely to be free to play. Listed below is a reminder of the options.

A) Weekday afternoons
B) Saturdays    
C) Sundays    
D) Public holidays (inc. Dec 20-Jan 2 approx.)

Smoking Codes

The program used to create fixtures takes into account, whether a member hosts, the hosts you are willing to visit, the day you are wanting to play and how often a month you wish to play, plus the individuals' smoking requirements. All venues are NON-SMOKING unless marked with a '$' on the host/address lists. If any of the details are found to be incorrect, need altering or you have a change of circumstances, the preferred method is via the LSL Database program. Members can login by their user name and password and edit their details. Alternatively you may let the Membership Secretary, Gerry Saunders know via email or post as soon as possible.

Hosts and New Members

New members are designated on the Fixtures Lists by an asterisk against their name (usually for the first two/three months of play only). It is strongly recommended that a host makes prior contact with a new member, as a gesture of welcome, to ensure the new member is going to attend and then reconfirm things like how to get there, time of start, parking, what to bring, what not to bring, playing equipment etc for the good of the host and other 2 players as much as for the new person.

Normal four-player League evening scoring

Each win......4 points
1st place......6 points
2nd place......5 points
3rd place......4 points
4th place - according to aggregate score ­
over 1050......3 points
900 - 1049......2 points
750 - 899......1 point
less than 750......0 points
For the two highest individual game scores......1 point

A reminder when completing the score sheet to list the host’s name first and that the other three players are listed in the order the host has played them.

Mobile 'phones

While mobile 'phones are becoming more popular and their use very convenient for contacting other people, please be considerate and do not use them during London League matches. Many an evening has been disrupted or ruined due to one of the players having to answer, and sometimes making, a call using a mobile 'phone in the middle of a game. Please be aware that although this is not a hard and fast rule, persistent offenders may be reported to the Complaints Officer and possible penalties imposed on the individual.

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