I went last night to a meeting of the Lexington Area Scrabble Club. They were quite hospitable, and I had a good time. Some differences between their competitive games and a living room game include:

  • Only two people play at once.
  • Use of a chess clock to impose a time limit on games to 50 minutes (25 minutes per player). Penalty of 10 points per minute over the limit.
  • They use a dictionary from the National Scrabble Association as their official word list
  • Challenging someone’s play and being wrong results in a lost turn. Same if your word is challenged off the board.

To make it easier for newcomers, the Lexington Club (and many others) eases some of these rules – overtime penalties aren’t enforced, challenges don’t lose you a turn (but they still do your opponent), and you get to refer to a cheat sheet of all the acceptable two- and three-letter words.

I did okay – 1 win, 2 losses – and met some nice folks. I’m usually climbing on Thursdays, so I might not make it back for a while, but it’s possible I’ll play in a small tournament tomorrow. We’ll see.

posted February 21, 2003 – 7:22 am
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