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The Golden Horseshoe SCRABBLE League (GHSL) was formed based on an impromptu lunch meeting held at the 2011 CNSC. Representatives of the Toronto, Mississauga, Oshawa and Cambridge clubs were present.


The purpose of the GHSL is to foster friendly but competitive play and goodwill among the NASPA SCRABBLE Clubs in southern Ontario. All NASPA clubs in southern Ontario within reasonable travel distance will be invited to form teams to compete in GHSL.


Players will create a three-person team to represent a specific member club. That club will serve as the venue for that team’s home matches. A team must be approved by the director of that club. Three players from a visiting club will play three players at a home club in each GHSL “match.” All matches will be held in conjunction with regular club nights hosted by GHSL member clubs. Whichever team wins the majority of the nine games will have won the match. A “season” comprises a series of matches where each club plays all the other clubs in the league once at home and once “on the road.” Whichever team wins the most matches over the course of the season will be declared the league champions.

Team Names

Each GHSL team has the option of adding a nickname to their club (e.g. Cambridge Cobras). If a club has more than one team in a division, a nickname to distinguish each team from that club will be mandatory.


Each team’s roster is restricted to six players. Only three of the players on a roster may compete in a match. Each team’s roster must be submitted to the GHSL Commissioner before the start of the season with a minimum of three players on it. Players not already affiliated with another team may be added anytime as long as the six-player maximum is not exceeded. A deadline to submit team rosters will be announced prior to each season. Except for extraordinary circumstances, no changes to the roster will be allowed. Any such changes must be approved by the Commissioner.

Skill Divisions

If interest in the GHSL warrants multiple skill divisions, the GHSL will be split into as many as three divisions based on players’ ratings:

  • “A” Division – no restrictions based on ratings
  • “B” Division – players must be rated no higher than 1399
  • “C” Division – players must be rated no higher than 999

All players’ ratings are NASPA ratings based on the day the first GHSL match is contested in that division. Clubs may have teams in multiple divisions and multiple teams per division. If a club has multiple teams, a player may play in multiple divisions as long as his/her rating fits the division’s ratings criterion. If a club has more than one team per division, a player may only play for one team in that division.


A league Commissioner will be appointed to serve a two-year term beginning in 2011. The Commissioner will devise the schedule, maintain team rosters, collect NASPA fees, and compile league statistics to determine an overall league champion. The Commissioner is empowered to resolve any and all GHSL disputes that may arise.

Player Eligibility

All GHSL league players must be NASPA members in good standing at the time of all matches. They must also be regular attendees at the club they represent. A player who plays at multiple clubs may only play for one club during the course of a GHSL season.

Commitment Expectations

All GHSL matches will consist of rated games. Each set of home-and-home matches versus the same opponent will be rated as a NASPA tournament. Meaningful tournament data require players to participate in both sections of home-and-home matches. Therefore the three players who represent a team in a match versus another club are expected to be the same three players who compete against that same club in the return match. Beyond that restriction, a club is allowed to change players match by match so long as all players meet the GHSL’s eligibility requirements and are part of the team’s six-player roster.


The visiting players are required to pay the usual fees that visiting players pay to attend the host club. The host club will determine if any prizes are to be awarded based on each club’s individual policies. Because GHSL games will be rated NASPA games, the usual NASPA participation fees (PF) of $0.50 U.S. per player per game shall be collected by the Commissioner at an appointed time. Each club is responsible for paying the PFs for its own players.


A league schedule will be devised by the league Commissioner. Each club will host every other club in its division once during the season. The schedule will feature home-and-home matches (i.e. two teams will face each other in consecutive matches, once at home and once away from home). No more than one night per week per club will be scheduled for GHSL play. Play will begin in September not before Labour Day. Each club will provide to the Commissioner a list of available nights that can accommodate league play. GHSL matches are to be played as scheduled. Only under extraordinary circumstances should matches be postponed. Any postponement and rescheduling must be approved by the Commissioner. The host club must report all results to the Commissioner as soon as possible. These results must include the scores and players from all nine games from the match. All rosters, schedules, statistics and scores will be made public.

Playing Rules

All league games shall be conducted under regular and current NASPA tournament rules and shall use the up-to-date lexicon. Any disputes during play will be handled by the host club’s director(s). The host club will create a system to determine the order of play at a particular session. It may be random or scheduled. The home team’s players will go first in the first- and third-round games of each match. The visiting team’s players will go first in the second-round games.

Insufficient Players on a Team

If a team has fewer than three players for a GHSL match, the absentee players will be considered to have forfeited all their games in the match.

Point System

A club that wins a GHSL match will receive two points in the league standings. The losing club gets no points. If a match ends in a tie (4.5 wins apiece), each club will receive one point in the standings. If two or more clubs finish a season tied in points, individual game results will serve as the tie-breaking mechanism. (i.e. The team with the most games won during the season will finish ahead in the standings.)

Championship Trophy

A championship trophy will be purchased or created for each GHSL division. Any costs related to the trophy will be split evenly among the teams in that division.