It’s the battle of the wordsmiths. Now in its 11th year, the All Island Senior Citizens Scrabble Tournament will pit over 50 participants against each in a series of fiercely contested games. Vocabularies are strained and words are unearthed amid chaotic letters as competitors prepare to plumb the depths of the dictionary to earn their points.
The winner walks away with not only the rolling trophy, but the glory that comes with it. However, most competitors will tell you that win or lose, it’s the great company that makes the whole event so appealing.
Organised under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Association of Senior Citizens (SLASC), the competition is divided into two groups. The first – Group A – is run in strict compliance with international regulations and dictionaries. The more serious players are to be found here, reveals Indrani Athukorale, who along with Delryn Wijesinha (chairperson of SLASC) is one of the organizers of the event. The second – Group B – is non-competitive in that the play is considerably more relaxed as players adopt the “old fashioned style,” and the rules are lenient, she adds. Unlike Group A, Group B players continue to turn the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary for their words.
While a victory in this arena will win you a prize, it is only those competing in the round of Group A games who are considered eligible for the Deshbandhu Clara Motwani Memorial Cup. Donated by Goolbai Gunasekera, the cup is in honour of her mother who was herself an avid scrabble player. Aside from the rolling trophy, spot prizes will also be awarded by the adjudicator to those who can claim the highest word score, highest score in a single game as well as the highest number of bonus words.
Those interested in participating should contact Mrs. Athukorale at 102/1, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo – 7; tel: 2696993. To be eligible, you need to be over the age of 50. The tournament is to be held on November 14 at the Hilton Colombo. Registration is Rs. 700/- per head and includes snacks and refreshments. Registration officially closes on the 7th. Late entries will, however, be accepted after the payment of 50/- as a latecomers fee.