Scrabble Association, Singapore
Mailing address: 10 Anson Road, #16-16 International Plaza, Singapore 079903
Web master: webmaster at

History of Scrabble in Singapore

The earliest record that the Association has of any organized Scrabble activity in Singapore comes from a note by the late Terry Hollington, who relates how as an RAF officer in Hong Kong, he was introduced to the game during a holiday in Singapore in 1956 or 1957. (Terry's letter was published in the April 2001 SA News.)

National Championships were held from 1978 to 1984 at the Mandarin Hotel, which was also the sponsor. Those were the days before word lists and personal computers; the dictionary used then was the two-volume Shorter Oxford and word judging left much to be desired. The tournaments were knockouts held over successive weekends.

Singapore was an early user of a points penalty for wrong challenges as a deterrent to wanton challenging. The penalty was originally 10 points but 5 points was subsequently found to be adequate.

After the Mandarin era, the National Championships were held at Teck Ghee Community Club for while. Hong Kah East (since renamed Jurong Green) Community Club became a staunch supporter of the game during the 1990s and remains a major organizer of events.

The current Scrabble Association was formed in September 1996 by a core group of enthusiasts. Activity has increased substantially, with more tournaments and events, the most lavish thus far being the Channel NewsAsia 1st World Masters at the Grand Hyatt in 1999. Singapore players now frequently travel abroad to play, while Singapore tournaments are frequently attended by players from overseas.

Return to Scrabble Association home page

© 2020 Scrabble Association
Last updated: 9 Nov 2002