Association of British Scrabble Players

Rolling System

At the 1998 AGM it was agreed to adopt a new rating system, effective from January 1 1999. The following pages explain how ratings are calculated for an individual tournament and how these are used to calculate the overall rating under the new system. Useful information about all aspects of the ratings system, such as why we have one and how it came about, can be found in this helpful guide, compiled by the ABSP's ratings officer John Grayson.

From the introduction of the new system until December 31st 2010, the calculation was based on each player's 100 most recent games, with weightings of 150 to 51.

From January 1st 2011, the calculation uses 150 games where available, with weightings of 225 to 76.

An example at the end of this file shows a calculation based on fewer than 150 games.

Ratings Points

Here is an example of Player X's record at the Penzance tournament:

1Player A161 
2Player B157 
3Player C154 
4Player D167 
5Player E155 
6Player F167 
7Player G160 
8Player H159 
9Player I154 
10Player J156 
11Player K155 
12Player L156 
Total 190175

Adding the ratings of all of the player's opponents gives 1901. The tournament rating is this figure plus 50 points for each game won, less 50 for each game lost; in this example 1901 + 350 - 250 = 2001 tournament rating points. The tournament rating for the event is the average number of rating points per game, which is 2001/12 = 167 rounded.

Note: If players of markedly different ratings play (i.e. more than 40 points apart) then the rating difference is fixed at 40. (For example, if the player, who was rated 169, played someone rated under 129, then she would use 129 as her opponent's rating for calculating her own rating.)

A further note is required in the instance of playing unrated players. They work out their rating from their first tournament in the manner described above. Their opponents then use that post-tournament rating to work out their own ratings points.

Finally, the effect of the lowest allowed rating, currently 50, is that the lowest allowed tournament performance rating is also 50. In other words, if the calculation of a performance is below 50, a value of 50 is used instead.

Overall Tournament Rating

Before Penzance, Player X's games history was as follows (most recent first):

TournamentGamesRating Points

In the Weighted Rolling System, the games are weighted so that the more recent ones count more heavily. The weights used are 225 for the most recent game, down to 76 for the oldest game where the full quota of 150 games is available. The most recent tournament is the 22-game BMSC, and so these games would be weighted at 225, 224, ..., 204; this is an average weight (AW) of 214.5. Multiplying the rating points (RP) by the average weight (AW) gives the number of weighted rating points (WRP) for the tournament, which is 714928. The full list of calculations is given in the table below:


Player X's rating at this point would be 3,410,177 (sum of WRP) divided by the sum of the weightings (22,575), to give a rating of 151 rounded.

For the new rating after Penzance, 12 games from the oldest tournament, Fishguard, are discarded. The new calculation is:


Note - because 12 of Fishguard's games have been discarded, the 1552 in the RP column is calculated as (3416 * 10 / 22). Player X's rating would now be 3,447,656 divided by 22,575, which is 153 rounded.

Finally, an example of the weightings used when a player has fewer than 150 games.


The same calculation (sum of the WRP column divided by the sum of weights) is used as for the previous examples.
The values here are 763980 divided by 5325 which is 143 rounded.

Data Protection Act: In joining the ABSP I accept that personal information relating to Scrabble, including my rating and my photograph, may appear on the ABSP website and in ABSP publications. I accept that the ABSP will not be responsible for use or misuse of personal information.

SCRABBLE® is a registered trademark. All intellectual property rights in and to the game are owned in the U.S.A. by Hasbro Inc., in Canada by Hasbro Canada Inc. and throughout the rest of the world by J.W. Spear & Sons Ltd. of Maidenhead SL6 4UB, England, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc. Mattel and Spear are not affiliated with Hasbro or Hasbro Canada.

ABSP © 2016

Contact Us