On the 12th of November, 1998, at 19:30 precisely, of course, history was made. 10 eager scrabblers got together in Tel-Aviv for the first session of the Tel-Aviv Scrabble Club. 13 people visited the club during season #1, playing in one division, 8 of whom have come every season since (Evan, Liliane, Gila, Ma'or, Phyllis, Julie, Chaya and Amos). In season 10, we had 39 participants in three divisions. We've come a long way since then, haven't we!
Ten seasons later, we're still here! So what have we achieved in the past 5 years of Scrabbling?
From Ken Fox to Harriet Berkelhammer
Organised by Evan, catered for by Jayne, 161 different people have played in our club. We can't possibly name them all. So here are a few. Harriet Berkelhammer had the longest name (and surname) in club history - 19 letters - more than 3 times the length of the shortest - Ken Fox. Speaking of surnames, can anyone pronounce Judith Robszyc's surname? Probably the most interesting surname in our club's history. And since we're on the subject of names, we've had 4 Ruths and 4 Davids. Well, this is Israel (we also had two Israels ) after all, isn't it?
Never get enough!
But names are not the reason we have been meeting for 5 years. We come to play! And playing Scrabble - lots of it - is what we've done. We've played a total of 6151 games. Some players played no more than a single game in their short-lived careers (only 3 such players). Others, however, have played a lot more. Liliane is the record holder - no fewer than 722 (!) games out of a possible 750. Quite something! Only Amos (691), Evan (664) and Gila (620) have also broken the 600 mark. We did our best to win as often as possible. Evan has had the most wins (521). However, while we all tried to win as many as possible, 35 games in the last 5 years ended in a tie. Our record season was season #7 - 6 ties. In season 3, we didn't have a single tie. Amos is our record holder here - 8 ties!
Since we're on the subject of winning, ever since season #1, we've had 9 playoff series. Evan has taken six club championship titles. Ma'or has two and Liliane one. Chaya, Paloma and Naomi are the only other players ever to have made it to the playoff finals in the top division.
Four Million and What?!
And we scored like mad in the process. 4,190,122 (four million one hundred and ninety thousand one hundred and twenty two!) points were scored. The highest score in our club's history is Evan's 619, almost six times visiting Janice Brenner's all-time high - 104 points. Many others have scored superbly too. 23 players broke the 500 mark at least once. At the other extreme, 14 players never even broke the 200 mark Ma'or had the best ever triple (total of three games in a single evening) - 1530. Ma'or and Evan (1513) were the only players with a 1500+ triple, followed closely by Naomi (1472), Ben (1456), Paloma (1436) and Shmuel (1409), the only players to break the 1400+ mark, all more than five times the high triple of Judith Arnold - 272 (two hundred and seventy two points in three games!).
Evan (415.8) and Ma'or (405.7) are the only players ever to have sustained a 400+ average over an entire season. Ben and Paloma are the only others ever to have sustained a 390+ average over a whole season. At the other extreme, Rose Michaelis only managed a 151.8 average over an entire season. Also a record of sorts
How ever did we manage to score so well? Well, partially, because of the thousands of bingos played. On some nights, as many as 56 (week 8 of season 7 and week 2 of season 10), on others, as few as 16 (week 6 of season 3).
Last (but not least)
All the above 676 words (count, if you don't believe me!) are not nearly enough to describe our club, which over and above being a wonderful Scrabble club, is a great assortment of fascinatingly wonderful people. This club would be nothing without all of you!
So, everyone, thank you all for 10 wonderful seasons. May the next 10 be as much fun!