National School Scrabble Championship

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The National School Scrabble Championship, now called the North American School SCRABBLE® Championship, is a Scrabble tournament for 3rd-8th graders held annually in North America since 2003. In 2018, 3rd graders were allowed to compete for the first time; prior to 2012, 5th graders were the youngest grade allowed to compete. 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 (with Aune Mitchell) and 2008 (with Logan Rosen). Matt Silver 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) until 2018, when the team of Jeffrey Pogue (CT) & Noah Slatoff (ON) finished with a perfect 9-0 record. The champions finished 6-1 in 2010, 7-1 in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, and 8-1 in 2017. 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 did not compete. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Andy Hoang, Erik Salgado, Bradley Robbins, and Evan McCarthy were champions that returned. 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 5 tournaments: 2009, 2012, & 2013). California and Connecticut players have since then won 3 National titles: California players Zach Ansell (2015 and 2017), Jem Burch (2016 and 2017), and Cooper Komatsu (2016); Connecticut players Matthew Silver (2007 and 2008), Aune Mitchell (2007), Logan Rosen (2008), and Jeffrey Pogue (2018).[9]

Canadian teams were permitted to compete in this event starting in 2010, and 2011 saw the first Canadian champions: Alex Li and Jackson Smylie from Ontario. In 2018 Noah Slatkoff, also from Ontario, was champion (with Jeffrey Pogue from Connecticut).

In 2014, champion Thomas Draper became the first three-time finalist. The 2014 NASC was the first tournament to return to Providence since 2009. 2015 was the second 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. In 2018 the first U.S.-Canadian team won. Selected games from these tournaments were aired live with commentary on the internet.

In 2017, champions Zach Ansell and Jem Burch both won for the second time, but with different teammates. Zach won with Noah Kalus in 2015, and Jem won with Cooper Komatsu in 2016.

In 2017, High School and Challenge divisions were added to the event. The 2017 High School division winner was Kevin Bowerman (NC), who was champion (with Raymond Gao) in 2013; Challenge division winners were Audrey Benford (MD) and Dina Lacugna (CT). In 2018 the High School division winner was Noah Kalus (NY), who was champion (with Zach Ansell) in 2015; Challenge division winners were 5th graders Ian Whitehurst (CT) and Kevin Zeng (NY). The team of Knox Daniel and Logan Strzepek who had earlier that year scored a record 749 points in one game, came second two consecutive years.

Past winners[edit]

Year Winners Runners-Up Location Event Director Winner's Prize Total Prize Pool
2018 Jeffrey Pogue (CT) and Noah Slatkoff (ON) Knox Daniel and Logan Strzepek (VA) Philadelphia, PA Judy Cole and Jason Keller US$10,000 US$23,000 [11]
2017 Zach Ansell and Jem Burch (CA) Knox Daniel and Logan Strzepek (VA) Foxborough, MA Jason Keller US$10,000 US$20,500 [12]
2016 Jem Burch and Cooper Komatsu (CA) Matias Shundi and Javier Contreras (NC) Foxborough, MA John Chew US$10,000 US$20,500 [13]
2015 Noah Kalus (NY) and Zach Ansell (CA) Matias Shundi and Javier Contreras (NC) Pawtucket, RI John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [14]
2014 Thomas Draper (NJ) and Jacob Sass (TX) Jack Miklaucic and Nicholas Miklaucic (NC) Providence, RI John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [15]
2013 Kevin Bowerman and Raymond Gao (NC) Thomas Draper (NJ) & Sam Masling (DC) Washington, DC John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [16]
2012 Andy Hoang & Erik Salgado (NC) Thomas Draper & Nicholas Vasquez (NJ) Orlando, FL John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [17]
2011 Alex Li & Jackson Smylie (ON) Evan McCarthy & Bradley Robbins (NH) Orlando, FL John Chew US$10,000 US$20,000 [18]
2010 Evan McCarthy & Bradley Robbins (NH) Timothy Bryant & Kevin Rosenberg (NY) Orlando, FL Ben Greenwood US$10,000 US$20,000 [19]
2009 Andy Hoang & Erik Salgado (NC) Paolo Federico O'Murchu & Nicholas Vasquez (NJ) Providence, RI Ben Greenwood US$10,000 US$20,000 [20]
2008 Logan Rosen & Matthew Silver (CT) Dorian Hill & Joey Krafchick (GA) Providence, RI Ben Greenwood US$5,000 US$10,000 [21]
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 Greenwood US$5,000
2004 Thomas Bao & Eric Johnston (CA) Boston, MA Ben Greenwood &
Joe Edley
US$5,000
2003 Nick Amphlett & John Ezekowitz (MA) Boston, MA Ben (Loiterstein) Greenwood &
Joe Edley
US$5,000 [22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2011 National School Scrabble Championship Rules and Regulations
  2. ^ http://www2.scrabble-assoc.com/Images/Images/rules12%20final.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.scrabbleplayers.org/tourneys/2008/nssc/build/player/1/100.html
  4. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/playing-scrabble-champions-10382170
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zTSZGg9vJ8
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jimmy+kimmel+school+scrabble+champions
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo0ncg-2zPY
  8. ^ "2012 NSSC Finals Commentary". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  9. ^ http://www2.scrabble-assoc.com/sublinks.asp?id=1&sid=142
  10. ^ http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150517005061/en/3500322/Bi-Coastal-Student-SCRABBLE-Team-Brings-Home-W-I-N
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5]
  16. ^ "2012 NSSC Prize Chart". Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  17. ^ "2012 NSSC Prize Chart". Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  18. ^ "2011 NSSC Prize Chart". Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  19. ^ "2010 NSSC Prize Chart". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  20. ^ "2009 NSSC Prize Chart". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  21. ^ [6] Archived August 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ School Scrabble[dead link]

External links[edit]