Whether your best word is CAT or CATHARSIS, the local Scrabble Club is the place to be if you’re a word fanatic.
The Barrie Scrabble Club meets every Wednesday at 12 Chase McEachern Way and since opening in May, many players have been trying hard to out-word each other.
Club organizer Michael Zacharko said his long-time passion for the game led to him starting Barrie's first such club.
“The closest one is in Toronto and that’s just too far for some,” said Zacharko. “I’ve been a lifelong player and really wanted something that could have everyone meet and compete weekly. We started this and it's been a lot of fun so far.”
The tournament-style event gets underway at 6 p.m. and lasts until around 9:15 p.m. with two or three 50-minute games. The $5 entry fee includes the games, small prizes and light snacks with coffee, tea and cold drinks available.
The club is open to players of all skill levels and Zacharko said it is very welcoming for those who are novice players.
“There are some people who don’t have a lot experience, but love to play when they can. We would love to have them out,” said Zacharko. “There isn’t the pressure a new person may feel when starting out at another club. For those with more experience, it’s very competitive and challenging.”
The local club is also a recreational member of the North American Scrabble Players Association (NAPSA), which oversees 152 clubs around the continent.
Players are ranked based on their skill and position in the NASPA and compete for big money prizes with the latest NASPA champion winning $10,000.
The Wednesday night league in downtown Barrie doesn’t have that kind of prize, but Zacharko knows anyone who comes out will have a great time.
“My wife and I run this and we’ve seen so many people come through the doors since we began who not only get to compete but also have fun doing it,” said Zacharko.
“It’s an inexpensive and friendly night out.”
You can bring your own Scrabble board and if you don’t have one, there are some available. For more information, contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org