Dear WGPO Directors and Players,
To help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many local clubs have decided to cancel upcoming meetings. These actions are part of a nationwide effort to “flatten the curve” and save lives. The Executive Committee (EC) and Board of Player Representatives (BPR) unequivocally supports these actions.
Unlike rated tournaments, our local club system includes many clubs that are not officially affiliated with any organization. The BPR and EC recognize that we cannot mandate suspension of activities for all clubs nationwide, however, we strongly recommend the temporary suspension of all in-person club related activity until at least April 30th.
While playing our game in person is a core part of our organization’s mission, it does not allow for social distancing. People sitting in close contact, facing each other, and touching the same tiles only provides opportunities for the virus to spread within our community. We are also learning that the virus can be spread easily through people who are not yet symptomatic. The CDC makes it clear that it typically takes between 2-14 days after exposure for symptoms to appear. Simply asking those exhibiting symptoms to stay home is not an effective way to protect our club members, especially since COVID-19 has the highest death rate with one of our core demographics (those over 60).
The time for social distancing is now. Increasingly, governmental agencies are calling us to “hunker down.” WGPO asks that our clubs follow this advice.
The Executive Committee of WGPO and the Board of Player Representatives
After careful reflection and discussion with Tournament Directors and the Board of Player Representatives, the Executive Committee is announcing a suspension of all WGPO tournaments until at least April 30th. There will be ongoing review to assess whether tournaments in May and beyond will be cancelled as well. This decision was not taken lightly, but is designed to protect the health of our players and our communities in light of this serious, life-threatening illness. Additional guidance for WGPO affiliated clubs will be coming soon. Questions or concerns can be addressed to
Stay healthy, stay safe, and protect each other.
This year’s Greeneye event has been cancelled due to concerns related to the Coronavirus (Covid – 19). While I am extremely disappointed that I will not get to share this fun weekend with all of you, I believe that an abundance of caution is warranted here to protect the health of all our players as well as well as for our organization to do our part in minimizing the impact of this virus on our society.
From Peggy Grant:
Thirty-two Scrabble® enthusiasts, from coast to coast and 18 different US states and Canadian provinces, converged in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina over President’s Day weekend. We were greeted by warm temperatures (relative to the rest of the country) and southern hospitality in Greenville, SC. We enjoyed 20 games under the seamless direction of Bennett Jacobstein of California.
The winners were:
Division A: 1st– Berry Keith, 2nd– Maddy Kamen, 3rd– Andy Hoang,
Performance- Keith Hagel
Division B: 1st– Susan Bertoni, 2nd– Cheryl Melvin, 3rd-Zana Anderson,
Performance- Susan Blanchard
Division C: 1st– Betsy Wood, 2nd– Robin Schlauch, 3rd– Patricia Yovonovich,
Performance- Peggy Grant
We enjoyed a group dinner outing, in which we had lots, and lots, and lots, of time to meet new people and rekindle old friendships. The players were a cordial group, who voiced their enjoyment of having competitive Scrabble® come to Greenville. We hope to be able to return in 2021!
We had some sunny days and some that were not as sunny, but the tournament room was well-lit and comfortable every day. Saturday’s delicious Italian buffet lunch added to the ambiance. Several of us staying at the hotel enjoyed an upgrade at no extra charge.
We missed Barbara, who was off on a cruise. Bennett was an able substitute. Director Larry Rand, as usual, kept the tournament running smoothly.
Photos at https://vanrandtravel1.smugmug.com/Phoenix-2020-Scrabble-tournaments/