July 29, 2022 by Laura Donnelly
James Donnelly, a rising senior at Hingham High School in Hingham, Massachusetts, placed third in the 2022 National Scrabble Players Championship’s Third Division played in Baltimore, Maryland, July 23 through July 27, 2022. The division included close to eighty players in all age ranges, from middle school to senior citizens. James also placed second overall in players under the age of 18 years old.
According to an article on the Baltimore Fish Bowl: This year’s championship in Baltimore featured 283 players from 10 countries.
James played thirty-one one-on-one games over the course of the four and a half days. His record in the tournament was 21 wins and 10 losses. His cumulative point spread was +1553.
In May 2022, James placed second in the North American School Scrabble Championship. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/06/30/metro/looking-v-i-c-t-0-r-y-hingham-high-junior-heads-national-scrabble-championship/?fbclid=IwAR3T9T3CqV47K18QJhuFEN9TCYfMMDsZII496_YhZYoPX-W29P-6WMDHOGk
James has been playing recreational Scrabble since he was eight years old, mostly against his mother and other family members. During the pandemic, James found a competitive Scrabble community on-line, discovered tournament play and quickly gained NASPA ranking. In May 2021, James finished seventh in the virtual North American School Scrabble Tournament-High School Division.
Unlike other school-aged players, James is self-taught. He does not have a coach or access to a Scrabble club or team. James spent the pandemic honing his vocabulary and spelling skills by reading the dictionary, practicing anagrams and studying strategic play.
The game of Scrabble is more than a game of luck. It requires advanced math computation, strategy, spatial relations and probability skills to master lexical decision.
For more information, please see: http://www.scrabbleplayers.org/w/Championship_Committee