The Niagara Falls Review

Niagara to host internatio­nal Scrabble tourney

- ALISON LANGLEY

Wordsmiths from around the world will be in Niagara Falls in August to compete in the Internatio­nal Open of the North American Scrabble Players Associatio­n.

Scrabble at the Falls will be held Aug. 10 to 12 at Scotiabank Convention Centre.

This year’s lineup includes competitor­s from across North America as well as Australia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Malaysia, Israel, Germany and Japan.

“The players come from all different background­s and ages,” said tournament director Sue Tromblay, a resident of Caledon.

“Some start playing as children in school Scrabble programs and continue on.”

A lifelong fan of the classic board game, Tromblay began playing competitiv­e tournament Scrabble about 15 years ago.

“I use to play with my grandmothe­r when I was younger — and she almost always won,” she recalled.

As an adult, she was introduced to a local Scrabble club.

“I got hooked on the competitiv­e side of Scrabble and started studying lists of words in order to become a better player.

“As a competitiv­e player, I am always looking to play those words that are not commonly known, in order to draw a challenge from my opponent.”

Tremblay and Jason Broersma had been running small tournament­s in the Toronto area and Ottawa for several years before they decided to give Niagara

Falls a try.

“We realized that no one had ever held a tournament in Niagara Falls, such a short distance away, and a beautiful destinatio­n for people from all over the world to visit,” she said.

Last year’s tournament attracted more than 200 players from 10 countries. It was the largest Scrabble tournament held in Canada.

U.S. architect Alfred Butts came up with the idea for the popular board game in the 1930s. He combined elements of anagrams and crossword puzzles into a scoring word game first called Lexiko. It later became known as Criss Cross Words before being renamed Scrabble in 1948.

Today, according to Hasbro, a Scrabble game can be found in three out of every five homes in the U.S.

“I think Scrabble has endured as a popular board game for so many years due to the fact that it’s a popular living room board game which many families own, and it’s a learning game, for both word knowledge and strategy,” Tremblay said.

“Every game you play is different and the element of luck also gives the chance to a lower rated player to occasional­ly win against a higher rated one.

This is the fourth year the North American Scrabble Associatio­n has held a competitio­n in Niagara Falls.

 ?? DAN PEARCE METROLAND ?? The Internatio­nal Open of the North American Scrabble Players Associatio­n, Scrabble at the Falls, will be held Aug. 10 to 12 at Scotiabank Convention Centre.
DAN PEARCE METROLAND The Internatio­nal Open of the North American Scrabble Players Associatio­n, Scrabble at the Falls, will be held Aug. 10 to 12 at Scotiabank Convention Centre.

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