Ballarat Scrabble Club goes up on the tiles in its new home | The mail


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Scrabble isn’t quite 100 years old, but it’s one of those games that seems to have been around forever. It’s both accessible and intimidating, and as Ballarat Scrabble Club President Marjorie Clark points out, every game will always be different. From schoolchildren (and barflies) spelling out creative curse words to grandmasters racking up over 800 points in a game – the world record is currently 850 points, held by Toh Weibin of Singapore – this is the kind of board game that makes a lot of people instantly competitive. The Ballarat club, affiliated with Scrabble Victoria, is much more accessible. Every Tuesday around 10 a.m., the members get together for a cup of tea and some games – this will keep you alert, but not to the point of overturning the board. Equipped with Lazy Susans and custom tile bags, this is more of a social outing over lunch. The club recently made the Russell Square club rooms its new home, and now the hope is to attract new members. “The more we get, the more fun we can have,” Ms. Clark said with a smile. “Over the last few years we’ve had to move around a bit, trying to find a good place, and it’s one of the best we’ve found, we’re very happy to be here.” There are around 18 members in the club at the moment, although not everyone is there every week. Scrabble dictionaries are allowed, just to check the spelling of words, never to look for a better word. The pandemic has shut down in-person games for a while, but it’s slowly bouncing back. READ MORE: Ballarat Chess Club‘s Begonia Open features biggest field in 55th consecutive year “We like to play the best we can, we have a small prize every week, but it’s more friendly than competitive,” said Mrs. Clark. “I think the attraction is it’s just to see how much you can do.” It’s really good to come back – it’s empowering, it gets your brain working and it gets you out of the house. “Overall it’s a good thing. Ms Clark said she got into the board game about 20 years ago. “My husband and I moved to Bairnsdale, someone named Sylvia lived on Raymond Island and she regularly hosted Scrabble games, and she taught me a lot,” she said. “Pretty early on I remember playing with Sylvia, when I was learning I wrote a seven letter word on a three word score and she was just stunned, especially since she was in the advanced class. ” IN THE NEWS For more information call Val at 5342 9517, or just show up to watch a game starting at 10am Tuesday at Russell Square – all gear will be ready to go. “We mostly have newbies here,” Ms. Clark said. “We are happy to help anyone who wishes.” Have you signed up for the Courier’s variety of news emails? You can sign up below and make sure you’re up to date with everything that’s going on at Ballarat.


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