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Lexington Scrabble® Club 2008-2009 Season

This reports on the season which ran from September, 2008 through August, 2009.

The Lexington, Massachusetts Scrabble® Club #108 has been running continuously since it was started by Edie Berman and Muriel Sands in January, 1980. We meet nearly every Thursday night of the year in a comfy basement meeting room of the First Parish Church, situated on Lexington Green behind the Lexington Minuteman Statue. Judy Horn has been directing this club for about 24 years. Judy Cole serves as associate director. Mike Wolfberg joined the club within its first month of existence, and he took on the role of club statistician within the first year. The club has operated with its own rating system, designed primarily by Alan Frank, since early 1981. Ratings are based on the percentage of points each of the players scores in each game. The club web site includes a detailed description of this system.

We are sorry to report the death of one of our long-term club players: Ellen Miller passed away during this season. She had served as Judy's assistant director for many years. Although we had not seen her at the club in quite some time, veteran player Dolly Mattisen also passed away during this last season.

Two of our active players, Hilda Siegel and Elaine Patterson, moved to Southern Florida this season. They continue to participate in Scrabble® clubs and tourneys in Florida.

This is a report of the highlights of this club's Sep-08 through Aug-09 season. In this season, individuals played 4762 games, and so there were 2381 games in all. The average score in all of these games was 387. These numbers were 5806, 2903, and 388 for the previous season. Two seasons ago, the average was 380. Four seasons ago the club average was 13 points less. It is likely the new words in the OWL2 contributed to the increases in the average.

Of the 4762 individual games, 4364 were played by an "active player". We define an active player as someone who played at least 20 games in the season. The average score of the active players was 388 for the season. These numbers were 5439 and 388 for the previous season.

Average attendance thoughout the season was 22.2, and with 49 sessions. These statistics indicate that each player plays on the average of about 4.4 games per session. We realize this is higher than in many other clubs, and so some of this club's achievements in one season should be understood in this context. The average attendance in the previous season was 24.8.

147 different players have attended the club in the past 2 years. During the 2008-2009 season there were 50 active players, namely those who played at least 20 games, and here are the top 30, ordered by decreasing club average rating (not shown here, but these are in the other table below) :

 Seth Lipkin           - averaged 425, won 37 of 50 games
 Rod MacNeil           -          438      32    41
 Merrill Kaitz         -          428      42    55
 Alyssa Faria          -          416      35    46
 Richard Buck          -          425     131   188
 Jamie Ryan            -          440      78   110
 Brad Whitmarsh        -          443      24    32
 Evans Clinchy         -          421      49    68
 Mark Fidler           -          405     116   165
 Joel Horn             -          417     164   240, scoring 100,179 points
 Ben Harrison          -          426      84   115
 Steven Saul           -          413     110   173
 Bruce Adams           -          405      73   114
 Mike Wolfberg         -          422     111   165
 Leigh Bernstein       -          413      26    41
 Carl Durdan           -          410      22    39
 Elaine Patterson      -          385      11    22
 Judy Horn             -          402     153   264, scoring 106,939 points
 Bob Becker            -          403      55    83
 Navee Angsuputiphant  -          422      14    21
 Chris Sinacola        -          405      35    64
 Jake Bergmann         -          404      47    82
 Joev Dubach           -          377      10    23
 Barbara Revkin        -          385      18    31
 John Cheras           -          374      38    76
 Ellen Miller          -          382      20    36
 Larry Katz            -          386      91   180
 Thomas Stumpf         -          387      13    29
 Rob Rosenthal         -          360      18    38
 Diana Spiller         -          370      27    38

Also of note:

 Trx. Kt. played 323 games and scored 111,171 points.
 Judy Cole played 309 games and scored 113,385 points.

These high-rated players attended our club during the season, but failed to
play the  minimum of twenty games to qualify to be considered as active:
Ian Weinstein, John O'Laughlin, Jere Mead, Jesse Day, Joey Mallick,
Doug Brockmeier, Jon Shreve, Karl Higby, Chris Guilbert.

Season Average Ratings of the Top 44 Players who Played at Least 20 Games
   1783.47    Seth Lipkin                 1700.79    Joev Dubach
   1782.81    Rod MacNeil                 1695.39    Barbara Revkin
   1772.55    Merrill Kaitz               1687.26    John Cheras
   1767.57    Alyssa Faria                1682.12    Ellen Miller
   1760.41    Richard Buck                1677.33    Larry Katz
   1756.51    Jamie Ryan                  1672.76    Thomas Stumpf
   1755.57    Brad Whitmarsh              1669.82    Rob Rosenthal
   1751.46    Evans Clinchy               1661.57    Diana Spiller
   1750.24    Mark Fidler                 1647.12    Judy Cole
   1747.80    Joel Horn                   1640.20    Jane Conti
   1747.50    Ben Harrison                1635.49    Linda Giovinazzo
   1746.80    Steven Saul                 1635.47    Tim Lutts
   1740.87    Bruce Adams                 1621.24    Marshall Finn
   1738.89    Mike Wolfberg               1618.26    Betsey Wood
   1734.13    Leigh Bernstein             1590.46    Ron Lacer
   1720.59    Carl Durdan                 1586.97    Scott Richmond
   1711.51    Elaine Patterson            1581.22    Catherine Day
   1706.42    Judy Horn                   1579.36    Trx. Kt.
   1705.17    Bob Becker                  1559.47    Marek Janota-Bzowski
   1703.67    Navee Angsuputiphant        1558.89    Wayne Yorra
   1703.46    Chris Sinacola              1545.64    Jackie Prince
   1702.60    Jake Bergmann               1534.01    Hilda Siegel

There are many notable achievements this season:

Club Web Site

The club's web site continues to be at http://wolfberg.net/scrabble/lexington, and it is also reachable using the shorter http://LSC.wolfberg.net. You can also click on the "Clubs" box at http://ScrabbleClub.com to get there.

During this season, Mike Wolfberg provided photos of most of the club players listed in the club web site's roster.

NSA ratings

We usually have about 6-12 players in the top 100 rated tournament players in North America, based on the National Scrabble® Association (NSA) ratings. Since July, 2009, ratings are provided by the NSA-replacement, NASPA, the North American Scrabble® Plyers Association. Our club roster lists NASPA ratings of active players; these are updated a few times each year.

ISC Players

Several of our club members are active at the web-based Internet Scrabble® Club. Our club roster includes ISC handles for many of these folks.

Challenges and Postmortems

The club has continued to use the WHAT program on one or two laptop computers available to all players at the club. Players tend to handle their own challenges using the program, and they often check on racks, etc. after a game is completed to see what was possible. Since WHAT can provide definitions, this is an efficient method of doing postmortems.

High Games

The highest game score in a club session during this season was 650 by Judy Horn. In that game, she made a 203-point play of FaRTHEST. Other over-600 games: Joel Horn 644, 615, 606, Jamie Ryan 638, Seth Lipkin 627, Leigh Bernstein 607.

Most Games

Trx. Kt. played the most games during the season, with 323 games, which is lower than her last season's number. Four seasons ago she played 406 games, which broke the record for the most games in a season. Judy Cole played 309 games during the season.

Most Wins

With 164 wins, Joel Horn had the most wins. Judy Horn had 153 wins.

Most Points

With a total of 113,385 points, Judy Cole scored the most points in this season, Trx. Kt. scored 111,171 points.

Highest Percentage Above Average

In order to qualify for the highest percentage above average accolade, you must have already played at least 20 games in the season. The highest such game was Judy Horn's 650, and that was 61.4% above her average. The runner-up was Betsey Wood with a 59.9% game.

Many Bingos by One Player

For the fourth time in club history, a 6-bingo game was played. Leigh Bernstein played: POINTEd, CAULKED, FOUNTAIN, MOLDIER, DISTEnD, and LIFTERS.

High Losing Score

The highest loss during this season was Steven Saul's 473 (to Alyssa Faria's 474).

High Bingo

There were no very high-scoring bingos played, and it may be that Steven Saul's 194-point gLAZIEST was the highest single play of last season.

Many Sequential Bingos

Jamie Ryan played a game with 4 sequential bingos starting on his second play of the game: CAVALIER, CHARGED, BIZARrE, OPTIONaL. Jamie also played a fifth bingo in that game.

With this accomplishment, Jamie tied the club record, which has been done several times in club history.

High Non-Bingo

Judy Cole set a new record with a 111-point non-bingo. Her opponent, Thomas Stumpf, had just played SINUATE 15F, and so she was then able to position ZINGY at 14J, with the Z on the TLS and the whole word doubled.

The previous record of 109 points set by Arnie Horowitz had stood since 2001 and was tied in the 2007-2008 season by Bruce Adams.

On 26-Mar-09, Judy Horn made a 104-point non-bingo by playing QAIDS horizontally at the lower right of the board, with the Q on the TLS. QAI played above IRT, which was at the end of OUTsKIRT already on the bottom row. Several turns later in the game Judy made a 203-point FaRTHEST as a triple-triple through the S at the right end of the top row. She scored 650 in this game.

On 16-Apr-09, Leigh Bernstein made a 103-point play with ZOOEY at A4 alongside WRACK already at B6.

High-Scoring Bingo

See the description of Judy Horn's 203-point play in the previous section.

High Tie

The highest tie score of the season was 438-438 in a game between Richard Buck and Ben Harrison.

This may be the third-highest tie in club history; this is uncertain.

Many Wins Above 500

With a club record of 18 games in a club session in which the winner exceeded 500, it is rare that we notice something worth announcing for this category. We do not know the most games for this category during the 2008-2009 season.

Many Losses in the 400's

The highest number of high losses was 11 on 11-Jun-09, when club attendance was 23.

High Total

Judy Cole and Mike Wolfberg had a game total of 1028, the 6th highest in club history. Judy Horn and Leigh Bernstein scored a total of 1008 points.

High Session Attendance

The highest attendance during this season was 29 players.


Mike Wolfberg made a 6-way overlap. On the board positioned vertically was the opening play of CANTEEN made by Judy Cole. Mike then played HOARSEN vertically next to it starting after the A.

This Club at the 2009 National Scrabble® Championship

Several of our regular club players attended the 2009 National Scrabble® Championship in Dayton, OH in August, 2009. Here are their most significant accomplishments:

More Details

Further details for many of the club records mentioned above can be found on this club's statistics page.

back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on December 14, 2012.