Learn How to Play Scrabble
The goal of ScrabbleSite.com is to provide news and resources for players who are looking to learn how to play Scrabble. Other Scrabble resources can be found on the Internet; my goal is for this site to be the best Scrabble resource on the Internet.
The game of Scrabble lends itself to this kind of site. Hardcore Scrabble fans memorize long lists of words, compete in tournaments all over the world, and like to share their victories and defeats with other Scrabbleheads. ScrabbleSite.com is meant to be a jumping-off place for all things Scrabble, from news on tournaments to word lists for help with the game itself.
My name is John Clifton, and I've been playing Scrabble for twenty years. What began as a table game I played with the family as a kid has, over time, turned into a lifelong interest in the study of Scrabble strategies. Scrabble is not like other word games: it requires as much planning as chess, as much familiarity with math as the most complex puzzle games, and rewards vocabulary as much as it does the luck of the draw.
But this site isn't about me or why I love Scrabble, not really. I mean ScrabbleSite.com to be the best online resource for other dedicated Scrabble players. I'm going to write mostly about Scrabble, my obsession with the game, news from the Scrabble tournament world, and anything at all related to Scrabble.
Why I Started ScrabbleSite.com
You'll read lots about my own experiences playing Scrabble, by far my favorite word game and one of my favorite games in general. I offer these because I think they probably mirror the same experiences of other Scrabble players, from the biggest competitive tournaments to the smallest private home games. The ways we are alike and different are just as interesting to me as the game itself.
That's really what ScrabbleSite.com is all about. Sure, I played Scrabble as a kid, but I was never really into it, didn't understand that there were strategic elements to the game, and wasn't really encouraged to get any better at it. It wasn't until high school, and a board game night with a girlfriend's family, that I realized how complex and entertaining the game could be.
It wasn't until I used Scrabble as a tool in my classroom that I really fell head over heels for the world's favorite crossword game.
How I Use Scrabble in the Classroom
I don't like to talk too much about my real life, the one I have outside of the Internet. Suffice it to say that I worked for decades as a teacher. I found Scrabble really useful in the classroom.
The first time I used Scrabble at school was as a way to distract students during standardized testing. Some students don't participate in this testing, depending on the grade they're in, and I figured Scrabble was a healthy distraction that would keep students' brains working but not tax them too much during testing.
Those first games of Scrabble in the classroom eventually led to an unofficial Scrabble club that met in my classroom once a week after school, which eventually turned into an official club (with pictures in the yearbook and everything!) that continues to this day. That club plays all sorts of games, not just Scrabble, and they've found ways to incorporate gaming into their other classes, their study sessions, and other educational settings.
Scrabble is a great educational tool not just because it rewards a good vocabulary or because it breeds healthy competition . . . it also happens to be fun. I've found that Scrabble and other smart people games are good for classrooms with a little tension in the air. Games like Scrabble encourage conversation and good sportsmanship, and the students don't even realize they're playing something educational. It's a great distraction and a great teaching tool, which is probably what really launched my new found obsession for the game. I'm in favor of any helpful tool in the classroom.
I played in my first Scrabble tournament at the urging of some of my students. A bunch of my Scrabble Club regulars had eagerly entered youth tournaments locally, and I have to admit I was a little jealous of their participation. So it didn't take much hounding for me to play in my first tournament.
I'm not saying I'm going to run the tables at the official World Scrabble Championship or anything, but in the years since I started competing at official Scrabble tournament events, I've met some of my best friends, played some great and some awful Scrabble, and visited a couple of foreign countries, all in the name of competitive word gaming.
As a member of the NASPA (North American Scrabble Players Association), I am invited to and participate in a lot of Scrabble tournament events. A need to compete at this level drove a lot of my initial interest in hardcore Scrabble strategy, and that time spent studying the ins and outs of the game has forged some life-long friendships and created amazing memories. The last couple of decades of my life is a long series of big life events punctuated by Scrabble.
For example, at the 2000 National Scrabble Championship event in Providence, I spent most of my time on the phone with my daughter while she gave birth to her first son. They had a home birth in Boston, and I managed to complete my tournament participation AND visit with my first grandchild and his mother and father all in one long weekend. Scrabble has become such a big part of my life that it's all wound up with big life events, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Scrabble on the Internet
Something about Scrabble attracts intelligent people. Not every good Scrabble player was a Rhodes scholar, in fact, some of the best Scrabble players I've had the privilege of turning tiles with aren't even college-educated. But there's one thing in common among all my Scrabble buddies, and that's an inquisitive nature.
Inquisitive, intelligent people also have a big presence online. That means the Internet is crowded with information about Scrabble. The Internet brings people together, and for fans of a particular board game, movie, or food use the Internet to get together, share, and even compete.
That's why Scrabble has such a big presence on the Internet. We Scrabble folk are spread out all over the world, and it's only through the power of Facebook, email, and Skype that I manage to stay in touch with Scrabble playing friends in the UK, in China, and even just a few states over.
ScrabbleSite.com started as a way for me to stay in touch with Scrabble competitors all over the world to share photos and stories from Scrabble tournaments and private games. I realized during the planning stages that Scrabble fans want a single place to find all the Scrabble resources they need. ScrabbleSite.com is a challenge to myself: can I create the ultimate Scrabble website?
ScrabbleSite.com Site Map
There are currently five main sections of ScrabbleSite.com. Let's take a quick look at each of them.
Congratulations, you found the home page! Besides listing all the other sections of the site and giving some basic background about yours truly, check out the home page at ScrabbleSite.com for updates to the site. The home page is meant to be your jumping off point for all things Scrabble. It's also (hopefully!) the only page where I'll talk a ton about myself. That's because I want ScrabbleSite.com to be dedicated to you, the Scrabble fan.
The blog at ScrabbleSite.com is your source for the basics on Scrabble: stuff like how to play Scrabble, lists of good Scrabble words, Scrabble rules for swapping letters, Scrabble game strategy, and other bits of insight that me and other Scrabble fans want to pass on directly to you.
The blog will be the least formal section of the site, and you may even catch some more personal ramblings from time to time. It's also the best way for Scrabble fans to interact with me and other fans. Leave a comment on the blog if you want to get in touch with me or other fans of our favorite word game.
The News section of ScrabbleSite.com is dedicated exclusively to Scrabble news links. This section will hold all the relevant links I can find to news from Scrabble tournaments, Scrabble in the media, and other news links of interest to the average Scrabble player.
The term Scrabble news may seem funny to some, but Scrabble has a ton of events, tournaments, private games, and other aspects of the Scrabble lifestyle. It's hard to keep up with it all, unless you have a place like ScrabbleSite.com to check regularly for updates.
The Scrabble Websites section of ScrabbleSite.com is where I'll do most of my general linking. Look here for links to the official Scrabble website, Scrabble tools online, and the blogs and gaming pages of my friends and fellow Scrabble junkies.
Scrabble players are a tight-knit group of smart folks who bond over the game of Scrabble and often not much else. We're people who may not normally mix, brought together by a common love of a board game. I will try to give back some of that love by linking to my Scrabble and other gaming buddies in this section of ScrabbleSite.com.
Other Game Websites
This final page at ScrabbleSite.com, Other Game Websites, is a rundown of my favorite websites about games. This is the least Scrabble-intensive spot on the site. Games are my biggest hobby, and I play so many different types of games that it would be foolish not to include as many links here as I can. From collectible card games to Live Action Role Playing, I participate in the whole spectrum of the world of games. Look here for my favorite links about gaming.
I'm also going to spend a good deal of space linking to other Scrabble websites on the Internet, and not all of these links will be in neat little categories. Scrabble sites with strategy lessons or the latest headlines from the Scrabble community are important for those of us who love the game, and I imagine plenty of these links will make their way into the pages. I like stories about famous or interesting people who play Scrabble, and I love all the attention the game is getting lately, thanks to a couple of popular Scrabble documentaries, so I'm all in favor of more attention for Scrabble. If you want to meet ordinary Scrabble players like yourself, some of the links I'll put on the ScrabbleSite.com website will lead to Scrabble forums and chat rooms on the web.
I may also link to other gaming content. I play lots of games, from RPGs to board games to casino gambling, so it's likely that some stories about me at the blackjack table will pop up from time to time.
Recently, ScrabbleSite.com added the Other Games Sites section to highlight other beloved games. In this section, we'll recommend other sites about games: board games, card games, video games, etc. Most gamers we know enjoy all kinds of games, and Scrabble players are surely no different.
So welcome to ScrabbleSite.com. Look around, enjoy some of the links to Scrabble resources, memorize some word lists, and then bookmark me and make sure to check back often for the latest on Scrabble in the news, Scrabble online, and my personal adventures in tournament Scrabble play.