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August 5, 2003
Like others before them, these ESPN competitors will be among the best in the world, many training five hours a day to stay at the top of their game. But they're not taking extra batting practice, working on their foul shot or going to the driving range. Instead, these pros take the dictionary to bed at night, study specialized wordlists and play marathon matches against the computer. They are the SCRABBLE® ALL-STARS, and on August 16-18 they'll travel to the Providence, Rhode Island to battle it out for a $100,000 purse and $50,000 first prize. The action will be taped and telecast on ESPN in the fall, the first televised SCRABBLE® match in history.
For the 40 million people who play SCRABBLE® in the U.S. and Canada, this will showcase the tournament scene that has grown steadily over the last decade. "Any way you look at it, this is going to be historic for both our game and for television," explains John D. Williams Jr., Executive Director of the National SCRABBLE® Association, Greenport, NY. Williams said the 25 competitors at the 2003 SCRABBLE® ALL-STARS CHAMPIONSHIP include nine former World and National SCRABBLE® champions. Both parties in the event -- game manufacturer Hasbro and ESPN -- agree that the time has arrived for big-time SCRABBLE® on television. Last year's bestseller WORD FREAK by Wall Street Journal reporter Stefan Fatsis chronicled the characters and intensity of the competitive SCRABBLE® scene and has been optioned by Academy Award winning director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, Wonder Boys, L.A. Confidential). According to NSA's Williams four documentaries are in various states of production about SCRABBLE® and its enthusiasts. Last year's National SCRABBLE® Championship in San Diego attracted over 700 competitors from all over the world, ranging in age from 11 to 94. There were over 6 millions hits following the action on the NSA website.
The 2003 SCRABBLE® ALL-STAR CHAMPIONSHIP will consist of 18 preliminary rounds on August 16-18, followed by a best-of-five final late morning on August 18th. Play will take place in room 551 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence. An average game takes 50 minutes. Most players have memorized the 120,000 words in the Official SCRABBLE® Players Dictionary. For more information on the event and the tournament SCRABBLE® scene, visit the NSA website at www.scrabbleassociation.com.
HASBRO is the owner of the registered SCRABBLE® trademark in the United States and Canada. © 2011 HASBRO. All rights reserved. "SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game" is the proper way to refer to this unique group of word games and related properties marketed by HASBRO. "SCRABBLE®" is not a generic term. To use it as such is not only misleading but also does injustice to the company responsible for the trademark's longtime popularity. All we ask is that when you mean SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game, you say so.
The SCRABBLE® trademark is owned by J.W. Spear and Sons, PLC, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. outside of the United States and Canada.
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