National School Scrabble Championship

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The National School Scrabble Championship is a Scrabble tournament for 4th-8th graders held annually in North America since 2003. In 2012, 4th graders were allowed to compete for the first time ever. The School Scrabble Championship uses the SSWL dictionary which has offensive words such as "lez" or "jew" omitted. The competition is tournament Scrabble play, in which teams of two play for 25 minutes with digital timers similar to those used in the board game of chess.[1] The time limit was originally 22 minutes for each side until 2012 when the switch was made to coincide with the traditional times of the Adult Nationals.[2] The team with the most wins is determined the winner. If there are multiple teams with the same number of wins, spread is used to break the tie. Matthew Silver of Connecticut became the first competitor to win two consecutive National School Scrabble Championship titles in 2007 and 2008. He accumulated a 14-0 record in those two years.[3] In 2009, for the first time ever, the event was won by a team of 5th graders, Andy Hoang & Erik Salgado of Salem Elementary in North Carolina. They were the last team to finish the tournament with an undefeated record (7-0). Since then, the champion has finished either 6-1 (2010) or 7-1 (2011, 2012, 2013). The winners have often been invited to be on Good Morning America[4] and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[5][6] The event has also received recognition from president Barack Obama and NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who are advocates for the game themselves.[7] In 2012, Andy Hoang & Erik Salgado of North Carolina became the first team to win two NSSC titles, their first as 5th graders in 2009, and their second as 8th graders in 2012.[8] The 2013 NSSC was held in Washington D.C. 2013 marked the first time since 2009 that a previous champion will not be competing. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Andy Hoang, Erik Salgado, Bradley Robbins, and Evan McCarthy were champions that returned. Only Andy Hoang and Erik Salgado were the only ones to repeat during the streak. With Kevin Bowerman and Raymond Gao's win in 2013, North Carolina became the first state to hold 3 National titles (Winning 3 of the last 5 tournaments: 2009, 2012, & 2013), the most of all the states or districts in North America.[9]

In 2014, champion Thomas Draper became the first three-time finalist. The 2014 was the first tournament to return to Providence since 2009. 2015 was the 2nd year in a row where a bi-coastal team[10] won the tournament and the fourth consecutive time where a team from North Carolina played in the final game. Selected games from the tournament were aired live with commentary on the internet.[11]

Past winners[edit]

Year Winners Runners-Up Location Event Director Winner's Prize Total Prize Pool
2016 Jem Burch and Cooper Komatsu (CA) Matias Shundi and Javier Contreras (NC) Foxborough, MA John Chew US$10,000 US$20,500 [12]
2015 Noah Kalus (NY) and Zach Ansell (CA) Matias Shundi and Javier Contreras (NC) Pawtucket, RI John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [13]
2014 Thomas Draper (NJ) and Jacob Sass (TX) Jack Miklaucic and Nicholas Miklaucic (NC) Providence, RI John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [14]
2013 Kevin Bowerman and Raymond Gao (NC) Thomas Draper (NJ) & Sam Masling (DC) Washington, DC John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [15]
2012 Andy Hoang & Erik Salgado (NC) Thomas Draper & Nicholas Vasquez (NJ) Orlando, FL John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [16]
2011 Alex Li & Jackson Smylie (ON) Evan McCarthy & Bradley Robbins (NH) Orlando, FL John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [17]
2010 Evan McCarthy & Bradley Robbins (NH) Timothy Bryant & Kevin Rosenberg (NY) Orlando, FL Ben Greenwood US$10,000 US$20,000 [18]
2009 Andy Hoang & Erik Salgado (NC) Paolo Federico O'Murchu & Nicholas Vasquez (NJ) Providence, RI Ben Greenwood US$10,000 US$20,000 [19]
2008 Logan Rosen & Matthew Silver (CT) Dorian Hill & Joey Krafchick (GA) Providence, RI Ben Greenwood US$5,000 US$10,000 [20]
2007 Aune Mitchell & Matthew Silver (CT) Dorian Hill & Joey Krafchick (GA) Providence, RI Ben Greenwood US$5,000
2006 Aaron Jacobs & Nathan Mendelsohn (MA) Boston, MA Ben Greenwood US$5,000 US$9,250
2005 Scott Cardone & Asif Rahman (OH) Boston, MA Ben (Loiterstein) Greenwood US$5,000
2004 Thomas Bao & Eric Johnston (CA) Boston, MA Ben Loiterstein &
Joe Edley
US$5,000
2003 Nick Amphlett & John Ezekowitz (MA) Boston, MA Ben Loiterstein &
Joe Edley
US$5,000 [21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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