Seattle SCRABBLE® Club
[North American SCRABBLE® Players Association Club #253, Seattle]

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    The Last Word (Monthly Tournament Newsletter)

2 February 2017
Adam Henderson will direct May 13th Tournament

Adam Henderson is our newest apprentice director and will be directing his first tournament on Saturday, May 13th, 2017. Jane Bissonnette will be mentoring Adam through the tournament.

Details and signup information for the tournament can be found on Adam's Tournament website.

See who's signed up so far.

20 January 2017
Scrabble Game Night at Page 2 Books in Burien

For those Scrabble players in the South end:

Page 2 Books is starting a monthly games night at the store, and we're launching it with everyone's favorite vocabulary game. We'll have multiple tables set up, some fun prizes and giveaways, and Scrabble dictionaries and games for sale. In the future we'll be adding other games. Come join the fun.

Friday January 20
6 p.m.

457 SW 152nd St., Burien

Note: if you do go, remember that this is an open event so be gentle with the other players.

1 December 2016
NASPA announces Rules Update going into effect 4 January 2017

NASPA announced today that an update to the Official Rules has been published that goes into effect 4 January 2017.

The new rules are available in a PDF that can be viewed or downloaded. You can also read a list of the changes on the NASPA website.

23 August 2016
Night Construction on Roosevelt Way NE Starts August 22nd

SDOT announcement on Roosevelt Paving & Safety Project:

Zone D night work begins tonight (August 22nd)

Night work in Zone D, between NE 45th and NE 40th streets, 
begins tonight at 6 PM. 
This week, crews will focus on drainage work and preparing 
to install electrical conduit for new bus islands at NE 45th 
and NE 42nd streets. 
Zone D is the last construction zone to complete as part of 
the Roosevelt Paving & Safety Project. Due to volumes of people 
walking, biking, and driving, improvements in Zone D will be 
built at night. 

What to expect during construction in Zone D: 

Construction will occur on weekday nights, between 6 PM and 5 AM

Roosevelt Way NE will be reduced to 1 lane as early as 6 PM 
but 2 lanes will be maintained during the 
evening commute hours, from 3-6 PM

Noisy activity, like jackhammering and saw cutting concrete, 
must be complete by 10 PM

Pedestrian detours and some traffic control around bus island 
construction may be in place around construction zones during 
daytime, non-work hours

Some periodic daytime work may occur, including survey, 
material loading/unloading, saw cutting, 
jackhammering, and concrete pouring

On-street parking restrictions will be in place on Roosevelt Way NE 
between NE 45th and NE 40th streets

Bike lane will be closed; people on bikes should follow signed detour 
or merge with traffic

Bus stops may be temporarily closed or relocated; for more information 

Steel plates on the road and rough pavement after grinding

Some noise, dust, vibration, and light will occur during nighttime work

We will maintain access to shops and businesses at all times. 
Please continue to eat, shop, and play on Roosevelt Way NE 
throughout construction! 

Remaining work in Zones C and E

Temporary pavement markings are in place in Zone C, between NE 53rd 
and NE 45th streets, and in Zone E, on the University Bridge. 
Crews will return in about 2-3 weeks to paint final pavement markings. 

King County Metro will install bus shelters on new transit islands 
in the coming weeks.

Bike detours along the Roosevelt Paving & Safety Project

The protected bike lane is now open in Zones A and B, between 
NE 65th and NE 53rd streets. 
The Zone C protected bike lane will open in about 2-3 weeks, 
when crews return to paint permanent lane markings. 
For Zones C and D, people on bikes should follow the 12th Ave NE 
neighborhood greenway between 
NE Ravenna Blvd and NE Campus Parkway to reconnect and 
cross the University Bridge. 
We will paint the protected bike lanes on the University Bridge 
in about 2-3 weeks, when crews return to paint permanent lane markings.
Be careful not to park in the new protected bike lane. 


Our team works directly with residents and businesses on Roosevelt Way NE 
for construction or access impacts. 
We will continue sending weekly email updates and keep the project webpage 
up to date through the end of construction. 
Please forward this email to those you think will be interested or share 
this link to sign up to receive weekly construction 
updates via email.
For general impacts and what to expect during construction of the 
Roosevelt Way Paving & Safety Project, visit the project webpage at: 

Questions or concerns? 

Contact the project team at (206) 727-3575 or 
Thank you for your patience and support through construction. 
We will strive to minimize construction impacts as much as possible. 

Eric Tweit, SDOT Project Manager 
Jeremy Walliman, SDOT Resident Engineer 
Paul Elliott, SDOT Community Relations/Outreach 

10 August 2016
Jane Bissonnette places 4th in Division 3 at Nationals

Jane Bissonnette being congratulated by Chris Cree at 2016 Nationals

Congratulations to Jane Bissonnette, who finished in fourth place in Division 3 at this year's Nationals in Indiana!

The image on the right shows Jane being congratulated for her performance by Chris Cree

See links in the article below for more details on the tournament.

6 August 2016
Nationals in Indiana

Nationals has started and you can follow along at home a number of ways:

Follow Seattle-area players:

30 July 2016
NASPA announces minor update to OWL3

NASPA sent an email yesterday evening announcing what appears to be a minor update to the Official Tournament and Club Word List (aka OTCWL2014 or OWL3). This updated list, which they are calling OTCWL2016 and we are referring to as OWL3.1, is set to go into effect for club and tournament play 1 September 2016.

The changes appear to be as follows:

  • Incorporating the Errata from OTCWL2014 into a new printing: OTCWL2016
  • The addition of 1106 new words (all of which are at least 9 letters long)

They have made the list of new words available on the NASPA website*, so you can see the changes and print your own addendum. One nice thing they have provided is a list of all the new words along with definitions. It is not clear if the new printing will use a higher quality paper than the cheap 2014 printing (although there are rumors to that effect), nor do we know if they are using a monospace font in the new printing (for easier adjudication).

While they are offering a discount for purchasing new print copies (if you order by August 3rd!), it doesn't seem economical to bother given the uncertainty of the quality of the printing and the fact that we can just append the new word list to the 2014 printed book. For these reasons, club does not plan to order printed copies of the OTCWL2016 or coordinate a bulk order.

*Documents for newly added words:

  • OTCWL2016 New Words : One-page list of words newly added to the OTCWL2016 (OWL3.1)
  • OTCWL2016 New Words : Two-page list of words newly added to the OTCWL2016 (OWL3.1) Updated 8/2 with typo fix
  • OTCWL2016 New Definitions : 7-page complete list of words (with definitions!) newly added to the OTCWL2016 (aka OWL3.1)
  • OTCWL2016 Errata : Errata for the new the OTCWL2016 (aka OWL3.1) - ONLY needed if you purchase the new book
  • OTCWL2016 Errata (2-up) : Errata for the new the OTCWL2016 (aka OWL3.1) - ONLY needed if you purchase the new book

NASPA also announced that "a new version of NASPA Zyzzyva that includes OTCWL16 as well as the Collins SCRABBLE Word List 2015 will be released in August."

That is all the information we have [updated August 1st with links to new word documents]. Please direct any questions to NASPA.

8 June 2016
Scrabble at Freeway Park in July

Once again, our club has been invited to participate in the Seattle Chamber Music Society's "Music Under the Stars" events at parks in Seattle this summer. The dates this year are: July 8, 15, 22, and 29 (all Fridays), at Freeway Park, from 6:30pm until 9:00pm (or dark). They will have tables and chairs for us, free BBQ (and they've said you can bring your own food to grill as well). Each night, there will be a live student performance, followed by KING-FM's broadcast of a Seattle Chamber Music Society concert streamed directly from Benaroya Hall.

You'll of course need to bring your own equipment (board, tiles clock, writing instruments) each time you attend.

Directions: enter Freeway Park from Seneca Street, between 6th Ave and 7th/Hubbell Place.
If you can't take the bus, then your best bet to find parking is up the hill.

16 May 2016
Future One-Day Tournaments in Seattle

With the recent low turnout for the May 14th tournament, and the cancellation of the June 18th tournament, director Lynn Dreyer is looking into other possible formats and locations for future one-day tournaments. To that end, she has sent a detailed survey to previous tournament players asking for input.

If you have not received a survey, but would like to weigh in, please e-mail Lynn.

May 30th Update: Next one-day tournament announced!   July 16th tournament details

12 April 2016
Category Prizes back down to $1

It was an interesting experiment, but the club attendance can't support giving out more prize money, so we're back to just $1 for each Category Prize.

23 March 2016
West Seattle Scrabble Club Announced

Tod Taylor has asked me to post the following announcment:

Claudia and I are excited to announce the first meeting of the

West Seattle Scrabble Club

on Wednesday April 13, 5-9pm

at Chaco Canyon Restaurant
3770 SW Alaska St
Seattle, WA 98126
(restaurant closes at 9)

We will meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday.

Our intention is to play up to 4 games and have a single prize each evening for Highest play, highest game and possibly a category word for the evening.

We are asking $2 per player. All money will be given back as prizes after we have covered any minor expenses such as making copies.


Tod Taylor, LMP

For more information, email Tod or email Claudia.

29 February 2016
The March 26th tournament has been cancelled

Director Lynn Dreyer has a scheduling conflict, so the March 26th one-day tournament has been cancelled.

Players signed up for March have been moved to the April 16th tournament (or other future tournament of their choice).

19 January 2016
Category Prizes go up to $3

Starting with last week's club session (January 12th), the category prizes are $3 for each winner. They had been just $1, in order to build up the club savings, but the club is doing well enough that we can afford to give out more in prizes again.

7 January 2016
One-Day Tournament Schedule for 2016 Announced!

Lynn Dreyer and Rebecca Slivka are working together to organize one-day tournaments for 2016. The first five have been sanctioned by NASPA and you can sign up any time (click on one of the date links below for details).

New for this year: we are offering a Collins (CSW) division!

You can also learn about these and other tournaments on our Tournaments page.

15 November 2015
Please pack out your trash and recycling

University Friends Meeting has notified us that we are supposed to dispose of all garbage/recycling before we lock up the Social Hall after club. If any trash/recycling is left behind (even in the trash can), we will be charged a cleaning fee (minimum of $15).

To avoid this, we are asking all club members to take their trash/recycling home with them.

Thank you!

p.s. Yes, the soiled paper towels in the bathroom can still be put the bathroom trash can - but no outside trash. thanks.

5 October 2015
Construction closes NE 40th Street through October

As we all discovered last week, NE 40th Street (between Roosevelt Way NE and 9th Ave NE) is closed because of construction across the street from University Friends. The closure began September 28th and will continue through October 28th.

Recommended detour routes:

From the South:

  • Head NORTH across the University Bridge
  • Exit Second RIGHT, onto Eastbound NE Campus Parkway
  • Turn LEFT onto 12th Ave NE, and then immediate LEFT onto Westbound NE Campus Parkway
  • Stay in the right lane, go under the Eastlake/Roosevelt underpass, and make a very sharp RIGHT onto 9th Ave NE

From the North:

  • Head SOUTH on Roosevelt Way NE (from 45th, say)
  • Turn LEFT onto NE 42nd Street
  • Turn RIGHT onto 12th Ave NE
  • Turn RIGHT onto Westbound NE Campus Parkway
  • Stay in the right lane, go under the Eastlake/Roosevelt underpass and make a very sharp RIGHT onto 9th Ave NE

Rebecca has signed up for the monthly construction bulletin on this Exxel Pacific project ("41st & Roosevelt"), so we should get advance warning for any future closures in the area. The project manager said that this should be the only major closure of NE 40th, since the City of Seattle had them change from many short closures spread out for months to the single one-month closure we are dealing with now.

Note: As of November 3rd club session, NE 40th Street has reopened. There are no plans to close it again (that we know of). The November Construction Bulletin shows what is happening with the project and closures of neighboring streets and sidewalks.

26 September 2015
Portland v. Seattle Challenge Results

Mike Baker directed the Annual Portland v. Seattle Interclub Challenge this year. Looks like Midori Howard was in the money, but otherwise the Portlanders were at the top. Check out Mike's report below:

Today, 32 players representing Portland and Seattle met in the middle, in Chehalis, Washington, to contest our 28th annual interclub challenge. Despite Portland's substantial rating advantage last year, Seattle won the day and took our trophy. :-)

This year, Portland had a strong day and won it back, 68 1/2 games to 43 1/2. Kolton Koehler had a monster day and won the A division, 7-0, +1202, running about a 535 average (!). Scott Smith came from the 15th seed out of 16 in the B division, to win with a 6-1, +324 record, gaining about 120 rating points.

The tournament ran extremely smoothly, with no problems and no director calls, which made it a pleasure for me. Thanks to all the players, and especially to Jane and George Bissonnette, who got everything set up and ready to go, while I was busy connecting and firing up the computer.

Mike Baker, Director

New ratings available at

Chelalis 9-26-15
Results after Round 7 of 7
Division A
Rank  Name (Seed)                 OldR   R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6   R7  Wins  Sprd  PerfR  NewR  
  1.  Koehler, Kolton (A003)      1877  W15   W6  W11   W8  W12  W14  W16   7.0  1202   2612  1917  
  2.  Johnson, Dave (A008)        1735   L8  W12  W14  W16  W10  W15   W6   6.0   600   2216  1775  
  3.  Jacobi, Gunther (A005)      1803  W11   L8  W12  W14  W16  W10  W15   6.0   312   2226  1828  
  4.  Peltier, Nigel (A002)       1878  W10  L15   L6  W11   W8  W12  W14   5.0   318   1962  1885  
  5.  Valentine, Keith (A012)     1532  L14  W16  W10  W15   L6  W11   W8   5.0   279   1904  1570  
  6.  Taylor, Tod (A011)          1588   W7   L1   W4  W13   W5   W9   L2   5.0    53   2022  1641  
  7.  Baker, Michael (A004)       1840   L6  L11   W8  W12  L14  W16  L10   3.0    55   1538  1816  
  8.  Goodwin, Daniel (A007)      1758   W2   W3   L7   L1   L4  W13   L5   3.0  -157   1638  1746  
  9.  Howard, Ronald (A009)       1703  L12  W14  W16  L10  L15   L6  W11   3.0  -164   1496  1682  
 10.  Christensen, Rachel (A015)  1428   L4  W13   L5   W9   L2   L3   W7   3.0  -173   1614  1446  
 11.  Clark, Ken (A010)           1658   L3   W7   L1   L4  W13   L5   L9   2.0   -90   1424  1636  
 12.  Sjoholm, Alec (A006)        1769   W9   L2   L3   L7   L1   L4  W13   2.0  -223   1458  1738  
 13.  Cornelison, Betty (A014)    1462  W16  L10  W15   L6  L11   L8  L12   2.0  -251   1270  1444  
 14.  Grubb, Chris (A001)         1919   W5   L9   L2   L3   W7   L1   L4   2.0  -445   1471  1882  
 15.  Henderson, Adam (A013)      1483   L1   W4  L13   L5   W9   L2   L3   2.0  -525   1410  1477  
 16.  Kearn, Robert (A016)        1330  L13   L5   L9   L2   L3   L7   L1   0.0  -791   0752  1297  
Division B
Rank  Name (Seed)                 OldR   R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6   R7  Wins  Sprd  PerfR  NewR  
  1.  Smith, R Scott (B015)       0812  W15   W8   L7  W13  W14  W16  W12   6.0   324   1664  0931  
  2.  Howard, J Midori (B005)     1299   W9   T5  W11  L10   W6   W4   W3   5.5   484   1694  1335  
  3.  Hamilton, Ruth (B001)       1458   W8   L7  W13  W14  W16  W12   L2   5.0   418   1448  1457  
  4.  Lackaff, Thomas (B002)      1432   W7  L13  W14  W16  W12   L2  W15   5.0   388   1425  1431  
  5.  Coatney, Laurie (B013)      0972  L12   T2  W15   L8   W7  W13  W14   4.5   204   1287  1005  
  6.  Meyer, Alan (B003)          1404  L13  L14  W16  W12   L2  W15   W8   4.0   197   1211  1385  
  7.  Bissonnette, George (B011)  1072   L4   W3   W1   L9   L5  W11  W10   4.0    91   1270  1093  
  8.  Sjoholm, Chris (B012)       1020   L3   L1   W9   W5  W11  W10   L6   4.0  -155   1266  1046  
  9.  Manson, Joanne (B014)       0951   L2  W15   L8   W7  W13  L14  W16   4.0  -227   1186  0975  
 10.  Kaplan, Charley (B004)      1367  W14  W16  L12   W2  L15   L8   L7   3.0    52   1014  1331  
 11.  Bergeron, Leesa (B008)      1171  W16  W12   L2  L15   L8   L7  W13   3.0   -32   1010  1154  
 12.  Bissonnette, Jane (B006)    1238   W5  L11  W10   L6   L4   L3   L1   2.0   -70   0910  1210  
 13.  Goodwin, Alice (B010)       1102   W6   W4   L3   L1   L9   L5  L11   2.0  -364   0844  1081  
 14.  Dreyer, Lynn (B009)         1132  L10   W6   L4   L3   L1   W9   L5   2.0  -386   0870  1111  
 15.  Garvin, Norm (B016)         0766   L1   L9   L5  W11  W10   L6   L4   2.0  -388   0835  0774  
 16.  Finn, Claudia (B007)        1225  L11  L10   L6   L4   L3   L1   L9   0.0  -536   0216  1158  

5 August 2015
Tod Taylor places 4th in Division B at Nationals

Tod Taylor at 2015 Nationals

Congratulations to Tod Taylor for coming in 4th place ($500) in the second division! Tod just made the cutoff for the playoffs and won his quarterfinal series, but then lost in the semifinals. He was seeded 54th and came in 4th, so his rating should go up quite a bit, too. Nice job, Tod!

Alec Sjoholm won $125 for Division 1 Class C Rank: 2nd (I don't know what that means, but you can see all the Prizes at NASC Prizes. Alec also played at Table 1 on the first day so you can step through his annotated game.

Lots of Seattle players made the trek to Reno for this year's NASPA Championship tournament. There were 4 divisions, plus one Collins division, with playoffs each each division. After 21 games, the top 8 players in each division played in quarterfinal and semifinal matches yesterday, and finals today (meanwhile the remaining players continued in their respective divisions for glory, spread points, and a few dollars in prize money).

Former Seattle club players Charles Dupont won division C ($2500!), and Jim Porter came in 10th place and won $250 in Division B. Charles won Division D last year, and Division C this year, so next year...?
Not sure if anyone else won money because the NASPA results mix the playoff and non-playoff results.

8 July 2015
Club starts at 6:00 pm

Please remember that Club starts at 6:00 pm. We rent the Social Hall at University Friends Meeting for the 4 hours from 6pm to 10pm.

But, for quite a while now, the building has been unlocked earlier so we could get in at 5:45 or 5:30. Then folks started coming before 5:30, but we are not paying for that extra time and it is not on their schedule. UFM is being more security conscious now and not leaving the building unlocked, so the caretaker will not be unlocking the building until just 15 minutes before our scheduled start time (6pm), so the earliest we should expect to be able to get in is 5:45pm.

Please do not try to get into the building/Social hall before 5:45pm.

If you get there early, please just wait outside. Don't call the caretaker if the building is locked unless it is after 5:45pm.

Thank you.

18 May 2015
Scrabble at Freeway Park in July

Once again, our club has been invited to participate in the Seattle Chamber Music Society's "Music Under the Stars" events at parks in Seattle this summer. The dates are: July 10, 17, 24 and 31 (all Fridays), at Freeway Park, from 6:30pm until 9:00pm (or dark). They will have tables and chairs for us, free BBQ (and they've said you can bring your own food to grill as well). This time there will also be live music, which will be broadcast on KING-FM (98.1).

Like last year, we need at least 2-3 people to sign up for each night, and hopefully one those people will be responsible for bringing word list printouts, club info cards, and score sheets (I'll provide a packet for each week). If you already have a date you want to commit to, please let Rebecca know so she can add your name to the schedule. You'll of course need to bring your own equipment (board, tiles clock, writing instruments) each time you attend.

Midori and Alice playing Scrabble outside


Friday, July 10th    Dan Goodwin
Friday, July 10th    Alice Goodwin

Friday, July 17th    Claudia Finn
Friday, July 17th    Norm Garvin

Friday, July 24th    Norman Lemoine
Friday, July 24th    J. Midori Howard

Friday, July 31st    David Hirning
Friday, July 31st    Rebecca Slivka

Directions: enter Freeway Park from Seneca Street, between 6th Ave and 7th/Hubbell Place.
If you can't take the bus, then your best bet to find parking is up the hill.

7 April 2015
High-Scoring Game Sets New Club Records

Ken Clark and Mark Peltier battled a very fun, high-scoring contest at tonight's session. When it was over, they set lots of Club records for 2015, but, more impressively, they got on the ALL-TIME Club records page with THREE new All-Time records (!!) Not bad, considering Club has been keeping records for about 24 years.

Records set:

HI COMB SCORE:   1069  MIKE FRENTZ/RAFI STERN, 557 - 512 (03-24-09)
            NEW  1121  KEN CLARK/MARK PELTIER, 603 - 518 (04-07-15)
HIGH LOSS:        515  KEN CLARK to REBECCA SLIVKA, 550 - 515 (08-21-12)
             NEW  518  MARK PELTIER to KEN CLARK, 603 - 518 (04-07-15)
HIGHEST TURN:     230  for EJECTORS, KEN CLARK (07-23-96)
                  221  for ACQUIRES, MARK PELTIER (03-22-11)
                  221  for TIFFINED, RAFI STERN (10-02-12)
             NEW  221  for CORKAGES, MARK PELTIER (04-07-15)

You can replay the whole game step by step to see the details. Also, this was the last night at club to use the new word cheat sheets, but they didn't play any new OWL3 words in this game.

13 February 2015
Transition to OWL3 begins Feb 17th at club - with OWL3 Cheat Sheet

Beginning Tuesday, February 17th, we will start allowing the use of the new words at club. Because the new words do not officially go into effect until April 10th, players will be allowed to use and refer to the OWL3 Cheat Sheet [DRAFT] at club during the transition period. Players will also get free challenges for new words (i.e., you will not lose a challenge if one of the words being challenged is new to OWL3).

The OWL3 Cheat Sheet contains the following subset of the new words:

  • New Two-letter words (4)
  • New Three-letter words (66)
  • New Four-letter words (184)
  • New Vowel dumps
  • New J words (length 2-9)
  • New Q words (length 2-9)
  • New X words (length 2-9)
  • New Z words (length 2-9)
  • Errata for OTCWL2014 (40 additions, 47 deletions)
  • New Expurgated words
  • New Seven-letter words (high probability)
  • New Eight-letter words (high probability)

I have begun updating word lists on the Study Tools Page. Look for the +OWL3 symbol, identifying lists that have been updated with the new words.

10 February 2015
NASPA Announced New Words Go into Effect April 10th, 2015

With the release of an updated version of Zyzzyva that includes the new words (a.k.a.: OWL3 or OTCWL2014) this past weekend, NASPA has announced that the official date for using the new word list in clubs and tournaments is April 10th.

You can download the new version (3.0.3) of Zyzzyva from the NASPA website. Note that the new words are only available to current NASPA members; you will be required to "activate" your copy of the new Lexicon by allowing the program to go online and validate your membership at the NASPA website. Please direct any questions about the new words or the new Zyzzyva to NASPA.

During the last update, we had a transition period at club where we allowed players to use a sheet with the new words and get free challenges for the new words only, but this time there is no list of the new words only so we'll have to figure out something else to do. We'll discuss it at club over the next week or so.

8 January 2015
One-Day Tournaments for 2015

Jane Bissonnette is directing three one-day tournaments this year.
For details (and online registration and payment), please click a date below:

22 October 2014
Seattle Club Spotlighted on Local News

Last night, club was visited by reporter Josh Green of King 5 TV. He was interested in learning about our club and doing a story about the impact of the dictionary update. He filmed through the first game and interviewed several players. It aired on the 11:00 pm news last night, but you can also watch it online at: King TV (you'll have to wait through about 12 seconds of an ad before seeing the clip).

Seattle club was also mentioned in an article at a few days ago: New Scrabble Dictionary Disrepects The Game.

2 October 2014
Changes to Club Prizes Necessary to Balance Our Books

As was announced at club this past Tuesday, our attendance for the past year has not been enough to cover all our costs (rent, prizes, photocopying, website maintenance, batteries, new word list, etc.). This has eaten into the club savings and we need to make some short-term changes to build back the club reserves, and then longer-term changes to make sure we avoid a negative cash flow in the future.

Folks at club expressed the desire to balance our income and expenses by reducing prize payouts (the largest cost after rent), rather than by increasing the weekly club fee. They also preferred to still give out token $1 prize for the Category words, even if we stop giving out money for the other prizes (500+ game, 100+ word, Bingo Bonus, etc.). With those things in mind, we are making the following changes starting next week:

  • We will no longer pay prizes except for the Category Prizes, and those will be reduced to just $1 each.
    (note: we will still track the "Significant Events" (500+ games, 100+ plays, 75+ non-bingo, bingo bonus, triple-triple) and record them in the stats, there just won't be any cash prizes for those accomplishments.)
  • Everyone except new novice players will pay the club fee.
    (Rebecca Slivka, Jane Bissonnette, and Ken Clark had been exempt from paying club fees as a token compensation for their work to support the club.)
  • The club will no longer subsidize the one-day tournaments.
    (the club had only given $30-50 to each tournament, but even that adds up)

The plan is to do this through January 2015 and then see where we stand. This four month period should allow us to build the club savings back up, at which point we can see about adding back some of the prizes and how we can give some compensation to Ken for doing the stats every week and to Rebecca for directing, maintaining the club website, etc. However, we will not be able to go back to the previous level of prizes unless attendance goes back up to the levels we had several years ago. We also should anticipate that UFM might want to raise our rent in the next year or so (the last time they raised it was in October 2009, which was the first rent increase since we moved there in 2004).

Background: The last club fee increase was in July 2010, when the weekly price went from $5 to $6. Prior to that, we had a 5-month prize hiatus from July 2009 through December 2009. Also, we averaged 20 players per week in 2010, but we have only averaged 15 per week for 2014 (year to date).

Thank you for continuing to come and support the club!

20 September 2014
Seattle triumphs at Chehalis

The annual Portland vs. Seattle Interclub Challenge tournament was held Saturday, September 20th in Chehalis. It was a tightly contested tournament, but Seattle team edged out Portland by just 3 games.

See Full Results for details.

13 August 2014
Charles Dupont wins at Nationals

Charles Dupont receives trophy from Chris Cree for winning Division 4

Congratulations to Charles Dupont for winning Division 4 at this year's National Scrabble Championship, held in Buffalo, New York.

Charles won his last twelve games and finished with a massive spread of +3023.

Way to go, Charles!

photo credit: Patty Hocker

18 July 2014
NASPA Announces Rules changes

NASPA has announced that proposed Rules Changes will go into effect Tuesday, September 2nd Wednesday, October 1st Tuesday, October 14th.
Please review the proposed changes to familiarize yourself with the differences.

Sept 5 Update: Apparently the rules update has been delayed until October 1st (or perhaps later). We're waiting to see the revised rules (currently there is just a list of proposed changes). Stay tuned.

Sept 30 Update: Now they are saying October 14th, but there is still no complete version of the new rules available.

Oct 2 Update: You can now see the complete new version of the rules. Note that they are now publishing a condensed "player" version of the rules in addition to the Official Rules.

28 June 2014
Results of the June 28th tournament are in

Thanks to Jane Bissonnette for another smoothly run event. Complete results, with prize winners, and links to the cross-tables are posted at: June 28th Tournament Results

24 June 2014
NASPA Announces Word List update dates

NASPA has announced (on Facebook) that the new word list (to be released August 11th at Nationals) will be effective for tournament and club play starting December 1st. They will be selling the hardcopy at Buffalo and John Chew said: "the word list will be available for sale through our website by the end of August." An update to Zyzzyva should be available shortly after Nationals, as well.

We don't know the price yet, but since the new book is supposed to contain the entire word list (2-15) and the previous update was more than 8 years ago, we expect the price to be significantly higher than last time. If there is enough interest, Rebecca will coordinate a bulk order for club members to save on shipping. She will send an email to club members with the details when NASPA lets us know (probably not until the end of July).

That's all we know. If you have questions, please direct them to NASPA.

Update Aug 5: OSPD5 (definitions, expurgated, 2-8 letter words) will be available for sale starting August 8th. You can get it locally at Elliott Bay Bookshop: OSPD5 paperback ($8.50), OSPD5 hardcover ($25.95), OSPD5 large print paperback ($31.95).

Sept 30 Update: NASPA announced a delay in the effective date of the new words until they can provide a new version of Zyzzyva to players and directors that will restrict access to the new words to NASPA members. They made no mention of how the hundreds of discrepancies between OSPD5 and OWL3 will be handled. Check out our OWL3 Transition Word Lists to see some of the new words.

17 May 2014
Scrabble at Ken Clark's

Ken Clark will host Scrabble at his house on Saturday, May 17th. Please bring some food to share, your preferred score sheets and writing instrument, and your own equipment (if you have it). Starts at 3pm and goes until 10pm, or whenever.

Please let Ken know if you are planning on coming, and if you can bring a table & and chairs (he might need more, depending on how many show up).

12 April 2014
Results of the April 12th tournament are in

Thanks to Jane Bissonnette for another smoothly run event (held at the Seattle Chess Club) on April 12th. Rebecca Slivka won division B and Ken came in third; in division C, Jane Bissonnette came in 2nd followed by Alice Goodwin in 3rd; and Rafi Stern came in 3rd place in the top division. All the high play prizes were won by Seattle club members.

Complete results, with prize winners, and links to the cross-tables are posted at: April 12th Tournament Results

25 January 2014
Results of the first one-day tournament of the year are in

Thanks to Jane Bissonnette for another smoothly run event in a brand new venue (the Seattle Chess Club) on January 25th. Seattle players dominated the top three divisions, with Rafi Stern winning Div 1, Walker Willingham winning Division 2, and Jane Bissonette winning division 3 (with the best record and best spread of the entire tournament, wow!).

Complete results, with prize winners, and links to the cross-tables are posted at: January 25th Tournament Results

6 January 2014
NASPA Announces upcoming wordlist update for Summer 2014

NASPA sent an email today to its members about the long anticipated update to the word list. As you can see from the quoted message below, there are no firm dates about when the update will actually be available in electronic form, but if the last update is any indication we will hopefully get it at least 2 or 3 months before it becomes official.

TWL3/OSPD5 Update

The NASPA Tournament Word List - 3rd Edition is scheduled to be released for sale to NASPA members at the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship in Buffalo, NY this coming August.

NASPA's Dictionary Committee is turning in its research to Merriam-Webster at this time. What we do not know just yet is the exact timeline under which Merriam-Webster will operate.

We know that M-W wants to release the OSPD5 and the TWL3 at the same time. We know they want to do that at this year's NSC. What we do not know today is how long it will take to have a definitive list of new word inclusions (and any that might be expunged). We are scheduling a conference call with M-W within the next 2 or so weeks to determine as much as possible concerning the exact timeline for editing, prerelease and publication.

Once we know when an accurate updated list is available we will A.) Make it available to our members and B.) determine when the updates will be introduced into official tournament play.

The timeframe from "available to our members" to "determine when they will be introduced into tournament play" will be similar to previous updates.

Look for another update soon.

Best Regards,

Chris Cree, Copresident

Check the NASPA website for more information and updates (although as of 14 January 2014 nothing about the next update has been posted there).

24 and 31 December 2013
No Club December 24th or 31st

Because of holiday closures of University Friends, there will be NO club session December 24th or December 31st.

So December 17th will be the last session of the year (i.e., your last chance to affect your stats for the year).

24 November 2013
Rafi Stern wins California Open

Congratulations to Rafi Stern for winning this year's California Open. With only three losses, Rafi dominated the strong field, including last year's winner (and previous Seattle club member) Mike Frentz. Way to go, Rafi!

You can also see pictures from the event at a San Francisco Chronicle article.

21 November 2013
Jane Bissonnette Announces One-day Tournament schedule for 2014

Jane Bissonnette has announced that the first one-day tournament in 2014 will be held January 25th. It will be held at a new tournament venue, the Seattle Chess Club, in the Northgate neighborhood.

Additional dates for one-days in 2014 are tentatively set for April 12th and June 28th. Jane is still finalizing the location for those dates and the tournament information will be posted as soon as the locations are confirmed.

9 November 2013
Scrabble at Ken Clark's

While the Tacoma Scrabble Club remains on hiatus, Ken Clark will host Scrabble at his house on Saturday, November 9th. Please bring some food to share, your preferred score sheets and writing instrument, and your own equipment (if you have it). Starts at 3pm and goes until 10pm, or whenever.

Let Ken know if you are planning on coming, and if you can bring a table & and chairs (he might need more, depending on how many show up).

28 September 2013
Portland v. Seattle Challenge Results

Congratulations to Tod Taylor for winning the B Division at the annual Portland v. Seattle club challenge held in Chehalis, WA, on a very rainy September 28th. Alec Sjöholm had a great tournament, going 6-1 against the very tough A Division to earn second place, just one spread point behind the winner of the division.

Other Seattle players who earned prizes were: Adam Henderson placing 3rd and Ann Ferguson in 4th place in the B division; Karen Powell and Mike Lavoie placed 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the C division; and Dan Goodwin placed fourth in the A division. Tod Taylor also won a prize for high play (ACCIDENT 158 points), and Georgianne Fiorini for high loss.

Alas, the team results left the trophy in Portland. They won 69 games, to the Seattle team's 57.

Thanks to Mike Baker for directing the tournament.

Check out the results on or the NASPA cross-table to see the new ratings.

Division A - After Round 7 of 7
Rank  Name (seed)                    Wins  Spread  
  1.   P  Wiegand, Dave (A003)        6.0     423      $125
  2.   S  Sjoholm, Alec (A014)        6.0     422      $90
  3.   P  Walton, Noah (A002)         6.0     337      $70
  4.   S  Goodwin, Daniel (A012)      5.0     202      $50
  5.   S  Stern, Rafi (A001)          4.0     322  
  6.   P  Peltier, Nigel (A005)       4.0     281  
  7.   P  Koehler, Kolton (A008)      4.0     157  
  8.   P  Alexander, Steven (A006)    3.0     144  
  9.   P  Baker, Michael (A010)       3.0    -212  
 10.  S  Tongue, Geoff (A009)         2.0    -359  
 11.  S  Clark, Ken (A011)            2.0    -439  
 12.  S  Slivka, Rebecca (A013)       2.0    -497  
 13.  P  Zxqkj, Winter (A007)         1.0    -388  
 14.  S  Grubb, Chris (A004)          1.0    -393  

HIgh game - 657 - Kolton Koehler               $10
High loss - 444 - Winter                       $10
High word - ANTIROLL 122 - Kolton Koehler      $10

Division B - After Round 7 of 7
Rank  Name (seed)                       Wins     Spread  
  1.   S  Taylor, Tod (B008)             6.0     512      $120
  2.   P  Jacobi, Gunther (B001)         5.0     540      $85    
  3.   S  Henderson, Adam (B010)         5.0     429      $60
  4.   S  Ferguson, Ann (B002)           5.0     332      $45
  5.   S  Bissonnette, Jane (B009)       4.0      78  
  6.   S  Goodwin, Alice (B013)          4.0       2  
  7.   P  Hamilton, Ruth (B003)          4.0      -4  
  8.   P  Kaplan, Charley (B006)         4.0     -84  
  9.   P  Singhal, Ronak (B011)          3.0      19  
 10.  S  Howard, J Midori (B007)         3.0    -380  
 11.  P  Lackaff, Thomas (B005)          2.0    -227  
 12.  P  Meyer, Alan (B004)              2.0    -338  
 13.  S  Bissonnette, George (B012)      2.0    -529  

High game - 587 - Gunther Jacobi             $10
High loss - 421 - Gunther Jacobi             $10
High word - ACCIDENT 158 - Tod Taylor        $10

Division C - After Round 7 of 7
Rank  Name (seed)                    Wins  Spread  
  1.  P   Bergeron, Leesa (C002)       7.0     425      $110
  2.  P   Sutrov, Kathy (C001)         5.0     325      $80
  3.  S   Powell, Karen (C005)         4.0     190      $60
  4.  S   Lavoie, Michael (C004)       4.0     101      $30
  5.  P   Smith, R Scott (C010)        4.0      89  
  6.  P   Hess, Joel (C008)            3.0     204  
  7.  S   Connell, John (C007)         3.0     147  
  8.  S   Sjoholm, Chris (C003)        3.0     -17  
  9.  S   Fiorini, Georgianne (C006)   3.0     -76  
 10.  S  Garvin, Norm (C009)           3.0    -159  
 11.  P  Bailie, Michelle (C011)       3.0    -310  
 12.  'P' Sjoholm, Ian (C012)          0.0    -919  

High game - 473 - Kathy Sutrov            $10
High loss - 405 - Georgianne Fiorini      $10
High word - CLEANER 93 - Kathy Sutrov     $10

22 September 2013
Rafi Stern Wins Can-Am Challenge

Congratulations to Rafi Stern for winning the 2013 Can-Am SCRABBLE Challenge Tournament in Vancouver, BC, held September 21-22.

The tournament pitted the seven highest rated qualifying players from Canada and the United States against each other in a team challenge format. And, the US team won the challenge, too.

10 September 2013
New Rules Go Into Effect September 24th

The NASPA Rules Committee has released the updated, final version of the new Rules, which become effective September 24th (delayed from the previously announced Sept 5th effective date). Visit the NASPA website to read and print the Rules. A printed version will be available at club, but there are enough changes that you should review the entire thing yourself.

All club and tournament players are expected to know and follow the rules, so please use the next two weeks to familiarize yourself with the changes.

Highlights of a few changes are listed below (there are many more):

  • III.A.3. Clocks : Zarf timer app on iPad or iPhone may be used as a timer in tournaments or club
  • IV.B.5.b Overdraw Procedure : You used to have one minute while the clock was neutralized to decide which tiles to return to the bag, but now you have just 15 seconds and then your clock is restarted and then no time limit for your decision. The clock is neutralized again once a decision has been made and then restarted after tiles returned to bag and offender's rack
  • IV.I.1 When to Hold or Challenge : Once the tile bag is empty and there are no tiles to be draw, but before the game has ended, there is NO time limit for holding or challenging the play. But, if you concede the game by revealing your tiles, declare the point value of your tiles, or agree to a final score, then you can no longer challenge the last play (V.E. Neutralizing the Clock on the Out Play)
  • IV.I.2 Holding the Play : You can now draw courtesy tiles after just 15 seconds on hold (they still must be kept on a separate rack from your other tiles)
  • IV.I.3 Challenging the Play : A verbal challenge is no longer binding. You must declare that you are challenging AND neutralize the clock, or begin the adjudication procedure to indicate a binding challenge.

17 August 2013
Scrabble at Ken Clark's

While the Tacoma Scrabble Club remains on hiatus, Ken Clark is stepping up to host Scrabble at his house on Saturday, August 17th. Please bring some food to share, your preferred score sheets and writing instrument, and your own equipment (if you have it). Starts at 4pm and goes until 10pm, or whenever.

Let Ken know if you are planning on coming, and if you can bring a table & and chairs (he might need more, depending on how many show up).

24 July 2013
Rafi Stern finishes 8th at 2013 Nationals

Congratulations to Rafi Stern for finishing in 8th place in the top division at the 2013 National SCRABBLE Championship Tournament in Las Vegas, held July 20-24th.

The winner of the tournament was Nigel Richards (for the 5th time!). If you are interested in learning top level strategy, I encourage you to review the games played at the top table. They are annotated, with Quackle notes, and give you a chance to see what expert players choose to do. Nigel not infrequently forgoes bingos in the endgame in order to win.

Other Seattle club players who did well are Charles Dupont, who finished 12th in Division 4, Nancy Roeder who played up into Division 3 and finished 27 places above her seed rating, and Scott McManus who also played up into Div 3 and finished 12 spots above his seed rating.

24 July 2013
Rules Update Draft Available for Comment

The NASPA Rules Committee has a lot of changes proposed to the rules and have published the draft update on the website for comments. The new rules are planned to go into effect September 5th, so speak fast (i.e., send email to the Rules Committee) if you have any concerns/suggestions.

6 July 2013
Rafi Stern wins MSI event in Las Vegas

Congratulations to Rafi Stern for winning the top division at the Mind Sports International Tournament in Las Vegas, held July 5-6th. It was a hard fought battle in an elite group. Nice going, Rafi!

Cross-table results

1 July 2013
National SCRABBLE Association Announces Closing

Hasbro has cut funding for the NSA and will take over its functionality inhouse. See announcement from John Williams at NSA reproduced below.

FYI, Scrabble Word of the Day has already been moved to hosting at NASPA. It remains to be seen what will happen with the Casual Clubs list, Word Gear, etc. NASPA clubs and tournaments are not affected by this change.

June 3, 2013

Greenport, NY

National SCRABBLE Association Announces Closing

"After 25+ years, the National SCRABBLE Association (NSA) will be officially closing its doors, effective July 1, 2013. Hasbro will now internally manage all SCRABBLE brand marketing, publicity, Consumer Affairs and Community Relations Efforts.

We are choosing instead to focus on the amazing experience we've had over the years promoting the SCRABBLE brand and spreading the word about the world's greatest game. We sincerely thank everyone who has been a part of this effort."

John D. Williams, Jr., Executive Director

National SCRABBLE Association


Beginning July 1, 2013 Hasbro will internally manage all SCRABBLE brand marketing, publicity, Consumer Affairs and Community Relations to better align all SCRABBLE-related efforts with larger Hasbro marketing and community relations activities.

As we move forward towards that date, the NSA will be helping Hasbro create a comprehensive Internet source to answer consumer questions, assist in sales of product and provide a depth of learning materials. We have provided Hasbro with proper links for tournament and rated clubs to make it as smooth a transition for School SCRABBLE members, Library Members and Casual game players as possible. Hasbro is working diligently to have their Hasbro SCRABBLE website updated and ready in the next few weeks.

Since 1982 John D. Williams Jr. and the National SCRABBLE Association have played an instrumental role in promoting SCRABBLE playing with schools, communities and families, including the development of the renowned National School SCRABBLE Program. Together with his partner Jane Ratsey Williams and their amazing team their enthusiasm and hard work has brought the SCRABBLE game to tens of thousands of students, parents, teachers and families and has been invaluable to the brand.

Hasbro has not made a decision about the timing for the next National School SCRABBLE Championship. They encourage School SCRABBLE Clubs, organizations and literacy groups to continue to run SCRABBLE tournaments in their communities.

Will Hasbro continue the National School SCRABBLE Program?

Hasbro will continue to encourage SCRABBLE playing in the classroom and help provide parents and teachers the resources to implement SCRABBLE clubs in schools at a local level.

The company will still offer teachers a specially-priced School SCRABBLE Kit and resources on how to start School SCRABBLE clubs at

"It is with great sadness that the NSA staff will no longer do the outreach it has," says Jane Ratsey Williams.

"The SCRABBLE brand has taken us all over the world and introduced us to so many amazing people who have touched our hearts. All of us at the NSA want you to sincerely know what a special journey it has been for us. Please let us know if there is any assistance we can give you before our doors close July 1."

Who do I contact now?

  • To find the latest information on the SCRABBLE brand, products, rules, Casual or School SCRABBLE clubs and tournaments, visit
  • For press/media inquiries, contact
  • For Customer Service inquires, call 888-836-7025 or visit
  • For rated tournament information, contact: North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA) at
  • For questions regarding official SCRABBLE word sources, contact publisher: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
  • To reach John Williams privately or Jane Ratsey Williams

Old News

Read archived News and announcements on our Old News page.

Press reports of our Club or Club members

[Note: many of the older articles refer the previous club location and website]

Scrabble in the News

Just some links to articles of interest about SCRABBLE® See also Links Page which has lists of movies, etc., about SCRABBLE.

Scrabble in the Comics

Bill Amend's Foxtrot 2/19/2012:
Bill Amend's Foxtrot 2/19/2012

webcomic from
webcomic from

Pearls Before Swine:
Pearls Before Swine

webcomic from
webcomic from

Savage Chickens

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