- 17 Letter Tiles
- 216 Category Cards (432 categories)
- Divider Card
- Card Tray
- Timer (30 Seconds)
- Game Board
- Rule Sheet
Object of the Game
Capture Letter Tiles by selecting words that contain the desired letters and pulling the letters off the street before the opposing team can pull them back.
The first team to capture eight Letter Tiles wins Word on the Street!
Divide the players into two teams. If there is an odd number of players, decide which team should have the extra player.
Place the game board between the two teams, as shown in the graphic below.
Place each Letter Tile on the corresponding letter on the "Median Strip" (middle lane) of the game board.
Select which side of the Category Cards will be used for the game. The categories on the blue side are a bit more challenging than those on the green side. Place the Category Cards in the card tray, with the selected side facing forward.
Place the timer and the card tray at one end of the game board, within reach of both teams.
Determine which team will take the first turn.
Teams alternate taking turns "on the street" until one team has captured eight Letter Tiles. A turn on the street consists of the following five steps:
A player from the team on the street draws the first card from the card tray, and places it on the table, with the selected color facing up, and reads the category aloud. At the same time as the card is drawn, a player from the opposing team flips over the timer.
Players from the team on the street brainstorm words that fit the category printed on the Category Card. See Allowable Words.
The team must agree on one word, say the word aloud, and move each Letter Tile that corresponds with a letter in the selected word, before the time runs out. See Moving the Tiles.
When time runs out, a player from the opposing team says "Stop" and the team on the street must immediately stop moving Letter Tiles. That team's turn is now over and the Category Card is placed in the back of the card tray. See Challenging a Word Selection or Spelling.
The opposing team becomes the new team on the street and begins its turn with Step 1 of Playing the Game. Note: Make sure that all the sand in the timer has run through before starting a new turn.
Word selections must be in the form of a single word.
Any word in the English language is allowed, including words that are capitalized, such as the names of persons and places.
Singular and plural forms of words are both allowed as long as the selected word fits the category named on the Category Card.
For example, "Olives" would be allowed for the Category Card "A Pizza Topping" because olives are generally considered one topping. However, "Pineapples" would not be allowed because it is generally written as "Pineapple" when listed as a pizza topping.
Present and past tense forms of words are allowed as long as the selected word fits the category named on the Category Card.
For example, "Cooked" would be allowed for the Category Card "Something a Player did Today" because it is the correct tense, but "Cooked" would not be the correct tense for the Category Card "Something you can do with an Onion".
Hyphenated words are only allowed when the hyphen is part of a name, such as in "Zeta-Jones" or "Winston-Salem".
Compound words are allowed because they are a single word.
For example, "Sandbox" is allowed because it's a single word, but "Sand Dollar" is not allowed because it is two words.
Challenging a Word Selection or Spelling
During the brainstorming phase of the game, players from either team are free to suggest any words they wish. After the time is up and the tiles have been moved, if the opposing team thinks that the team on the street has made an error in either spelling or word selection, they may raise a "Challenge".
A challenge may result in either the team on the street having to move tiles back, or the team raising the challenge losing their next turn.
Spelling, Hyphenated Word, and Compound Word Challenges:
All players should work together to attempt to determine if the selection is a single word and is spelled correctly. If the dispute is not resolved by consensus, a dictionary or other reference may be checked.
If the spelling is found to be correct, the Letter Tiles remain in their new positions and the team raising the challenge loses their next turn.
If the spelling is found to be incorrect, all tiles moved before the error remain in their new positions and the tile moved in error and all subsequent tiles are returned to their previous positions.
If the selection is in fact two words rather than a compound word, or is not allowed because of the use of the hyphen, all Letter Tiles for the word, or words, are returned to their previous positions.
Word Selection Challenge:
If the opposing team challenges a word selection, the team on the street must explain why they believe their selection fits the category on the card. If a majority of the players accept the explanation, the Letter Tiles remain in their new positions.
If a majority of the players reject the explanation, all Letter Tiles for the word are returned to their previous positions. If there is an equal number for and against, the Letter Tiles for the word are returned to their previous positions and the team on the street restarts their turn with a new card.
Moving the Tiles
Each Letter Tile is moved one space, toward the team on the street, for each time that letter appears in the selected word.
Once the first Letter Tile has been moved, the team may not change their selected word.
Members of the team on the street spell the word aloud and the tiles are moved, in order, as the letters are announced.
Only one player from the team on the street may move the Letter Tiles, per turn.
The opposing team is not allowed to move tiles.
If a team moves a Letter Tile off their side of the street, that team has captured that tile. Captured Letter Tiles never move back onto the street.
Teams may select words which include letters that have been captured but the captured Letter Tiles are not moved.
Captured Letter Tiles remain next to the board to show how many tiles each team has captured.
Team B selects the word purple:
P is announced and moved one space
U is announced but no letter is moved
R is announced, moved off the board, and is now captured by the team on the street, Team B.
P is announced again and moved another space
L is announced but no letter is moved because the L was already captured by the opposing team, Team A.
E is announced but no letter is moved
Part of the fun, and challenge, of Word on the Street is trying to throw the team on the street "off course".
During the brainstorming phase, the opposing team is encouraged to suggest words for the category, regardless of how helpful or distracting they may be.
For example, the opposing team might suggest "Red" for the Category Card "A Color" because it would limit the team on the street to only two Letter Tiles. The opposing team might even suggest "Rhinoceros", which does not work at all, but might distract the team on the street and waste their valuable time!
Although "Sidetracking" is permitted during word selection, in the spirit of the game, players should be honest when addressing questions of allowable words. See Allowable Words.
End of the Game
The first team to capture eight Letter Tiles wins Word on the Street!
The letters included in the game are: B,C,D,F,G,H,K,L,M,N,P,R,S,T,V,W,Y. The vowels A, E, I, O and U, and the letters J, Q, X and Z were excluded to streamline the game.
Category Cards do not include any time references. All categories should be assumed to include people, places, things, and events from the past and present.
Some Category Cards refer to either "A player" or "one of the players". These cards refer to the people currently playing the game.
When the complete set of cards has been played, the Divider Card will be in the front of the card tray.
Shuffle all Category Cards and place them back in the card tray with the Divider Card in the back. You are now ready for many more hours of fun playing Word on the Street!