[upcoming] Calgary Scrabble tournament (March 24-25, 2012)

It’s been a while, but I’ll be participating in a tournament. I’m participating in the Calgary Scrabble group‘s 20th Annual Spring tournament. As of March 10th, I’m playing in the >1200 division. You can see the current roster here.

Since I haven’t played Scrabble in quite some time and have done very little studying, my expectations are very low. I’m the ninth seed of 11 at the moment with 5.3 expected wins. Hopefully this tournament will give me the motivation to start preparing for this year’s upcoming nationals in Orlando.

Looking Ahead: 2011 US National Scrabble Championships in Dallas, TX

We’re just under two weeks away from the 2011 US National Scrabble Championships in Dallas, TX. So far, it seems like attendance is around 336 participants and is down from previous years as has been the trend (see this post about attendance at the National Scrabble Championship over the years).

This year, there are only four divisions instead of the usual five. As such, I’ll be competing in Division 3 (1100-1399). At the time of writing, I am seeded 19th in my division with an expected win total of 17.6. Given the change in division ratings, I’m not sure how I’ll do this year. I haven’t done as much studying as I had hoped so I’m not feeling too confident about my abilities – especially against better talent.

In any case, I’m looking forward to a great week of Scrabble and hope to see as many people there.

See you in Dallas!

NSC 2011 (Dallas) registration & news (Doh!)

Looks like registration for the 2011 National Scrabble Championship in Dallas is now open. The tournament will be held from August 6-10, 2011.

Some notable changes from past tournaments:

  • Division Re-Alignment: One fewer division than in the past with division breaks at 1700, 1400, and 1100
  • Entry Fees: A new $50 entry fee for youth (under 18)
  • Lunch Bird: A four game tournament held during the second half of lunch

Well, it looks like my plan for being seeded at the top of my division have gone-up in flames. In the past, there was a 1300 division and I was hoping to place (if not win) the division. Looks like my tournament will be a bit more challenging than originally expected as now I’ll be in the middle of the pack for the 1100-1400 division (presumably named C or 3).

In any case, I hope to see you there. I know I’m still planning to attend and have a great time.

Of tiffs, trademarks, tournaments, and other troubling signs in the Scrabble world

To change things up a bit, I’m not posting a recap of games from yesterday’s club night. Instead, I’m going to write about some “storm clouds” in the Scrabble tournament scene. As you may know, the National Scrabble Association (NSA) decided to withdraw from the tournament scene in 2009 to focus on School Scrabble. Makes sense as the NSA probably makes very little money off of the tournament players. As a result, the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) emerged to take leadership over the tournament scene in North America.

Apparently, not everyone is happy with how things are run and apparently an alternative group has formed. This group calls itself the Word Game Players’ Organization (WGPO). From the snippets of information I have, there seems to be some discontent with how NASPA operates and perhaps the individuals who essentially operate NASPA. WGPO seems to be trying to establish itself and has held a series of tournaments independent of the NASPA sanctioned tournaments which are publicized on Cross Tables.

As someone who isn’t intimately involved with NASPA, WGPO or any of the leadership within the Scrabble world, I’m not really sure what the fuss is all about. All I do know is that running an organization (especially a volunteer one) is very challenging. Are people that dissatisfied that splitting and forming a separate group is the only solution? I’m not sure that competing associations is the best thing for the Scrabble tournament scene.

At the end of the day, I’m only looking for opportunities to play a game that I enjoy against other people in a competitive (but friendly) environment. I get some of that within a local club context, but I also like the challenges presented by tournaments and from a tournament scene. All of the other stuff, like politics and pride doesn’t really interest me. Here’s hoping that some resolution can be found before a “cold war” breaks out between the people involved.

Studying update … 3s are killing me!

Haven’t been playing much Scrabble lately as I’ve been busy with some projects. However, as of late, I’ve been doing some studying while I’ve been traveling back and forth on the GO train.

While I seem to be improving considerably on the power tiles (Q, Z, X, J 2-7), the simple 3s are just killing me. I seem to be getting nearly half of them wrong or missing them completely. Ugh!

Anyone else have problems with 3s?

Hold the date! Mississauga Scrabble Tournament – June 12, 2010

Details for the upcoming Mississauga Scrabble tournament on June 12, 2010 have been released (cross-tables – entrants list)

It’s an eight game tournament (seven games round-robin with the final a “king of the hill”).

Look forward to seeing you at the tournament!

2009 National Scrabble Championship

Decided to attend this year’s National Scrabble Championship (Division 4 <1300).

Hope to see you in Dayton!

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