up to the Boston SCRABBLE® Club

Beginners Guide to the Boston, MA SCRABBLE® Club

First of all, this web site has some general guidelines for beginners which are not specific to a particular club. The following description is specific to the Boston Club.

Before attending for your first time, it is best to contact the director. This will help assure that a club regular will be attending that night, and it will also be a way of your being sure the club is not cancelled for that night.

When you first visit the Boston SCRABBLE® Club, it is not necessary to bring anything, since the club provides deluxe boards, mostly wooden racks, Protiles, and even chess clocks. If you are fussy and don't like the traditional wooden racks, then you would be advised to bring along your own favorite rack; the club does actually have 2-3 blue plastic racks, but they tend to be grabbed up rapidly. You may want to bring preprinted score sheets and letter tracking sheets, but you can get blank paper and pens/pencils at the club.

The club does not provide preprinted letter tracking sheets, so you would be advised to bring these if you choose to use them. If you are indeed a beginner at club play, you may find it too distracting to track letters on your first few club visits. You could also ask one of the veteran players to give you some of these.

Protiles are plastic tiles sold by folks around the country, which have nothing to do with Hasbro. These tiles are especially good, since there are no discernable patterns which can be felt on the tiles, unlike the wooden Hasbro tiles. Sherrie Saint John sells Protiles in the Boston area.

As a club beginner, you are not forced into using a chess clock, but you are encouraged to play with one to get a feel of it. As you are getting familiar with clock use, you would not be penalized for going overtime. Normally, there is a 10 points per minute penalty for exceeding the 25 minutes in which you should be making all your plays. When you begin a game with a clock, you should have a clear agreement about whether overtime penalties will count. When nothing is mentioned, it is assumed you are playing by "normal" rules, and thus penalties would be in effect.