Forum Thread: Who won/lost this Scrabble game? Help decide.

Recently a hotly-contested Scrabble game was concluded and a winner was decided by a very slim margin, only 3 points. Kudos to the victor and it was much deserved as it was her first victory after a string of many many defeats.

But wait...after the score was tallied, the game put away, and victory toasts were made it was discovered there was 1 tile left in the bag. Obviously this 1 tile could have swayed the game greatly.

Is this game then null and void or should the victor still hold on to the win?


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1 Response

In tournaments, that one tile is usually ignored, which means the "winner" is still the winner.  It does not change the outcome of the game.  If the tile was noticed before the game ended, it would be a little bit different...

In regards to missing tiles, the official tournament rules from NASPA state:

  1. If one or more tile(s) are found in your area (not in the bag) AFTER the game has ended (Rule V.D), they are ignored.
  2. If one or more tile(s) are found in your area (not in the bag) BEFORE the game has ended, but after the bag is empty, place them in the bag (unseen, if possible), call the Director for assistance, and try to decide who should have drawn them. That player then receives the tile(s), and play resumes without penalty. If the determination cannot be made, or if time is too short to continue deliberating, then play resumes without the found tile(s).
  3. If you find at least one tile IN THE BAG within 20 seconds of the end of the game, and both players have not yet signed or initialed the tally sheet, then the player who should have drawn it, gets it. If both players then have at least one tile on their racks, the game continues.
  4. If a tile is found in your area or in the bag DURING A FINAL PLAY ADJUDICATION then the player who should have drawn it, gets it. The challenge, if not yet adjudicated, may be rescinded if the tile goes to the player who had "gone out," but only if the tile is found outside the bag. (See Rule V.D.)

You can download a PDF of the complete Official Tournament Rules (February 2, 2010) right HERE.

As for friendly games of Scrabble at home, all players for that game should come to a mutual agreement as to what should happen, but the easiest thing to do is follow the tournament rules, so there's no fuss.

Hope I helped!

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