WORLD YOUTH SCRABBLE CHAMPIONSHIP 2014
DATE: Friday 29th August to Sunday 31st August
LOCATION: Colombo, Sri Lanka
VENUE:Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH)
ACCOMMODATION: Sovereign Corporate Hotel Email the hotel directly, mentioning Scrabble. firstname.lastname@example.org Also send a copy of your booking to Lakshan Wanniarachchi email@example.com Quoted prices for the hotel (if booked direct) are Double Room for US$80 per night, including breakfast Single for US$70 per night, including breakfast. Triple rooms are also available. If you choose to stay elsewhere (or book the same hotel cheaper via booking.com/agoda etc) then you will be required to pay an extra fee of US$20 per player.
GETTING FROM HOTEL TO VENUE: Free shuttle buses travel between the hotel and the venue. If you want to walk, it is 3.5km and takes about 45 minutes
NUMBER OF GAMES: 24
REGISTER: either between 4 and 6pm Thursday August 28 or between 9 and 9.30am Friday August 29. T-shirt sizing will also be at this time. Bring proof of age to registration.
SCHEDULE: Play begins Friday, and finishes late Sunday afternoon (you can thus book flights out of Colombo from approximately 7pm onwards)
DON'T BE LATE: Your clock will be started if you are late for a game. If over 25 minutes late, you will forfeit. Games are grouped into twos and threes. Stay in the playing area for those two or three games, except for quick comfort breaks.
TIMETABLE: Friday 11am to approx 8 pm – 8 games
Saturday 8am to approx. 6pm – 9 games
Sunday 8am to approx. 4pm – 7 games
FORMAT: Open event – that means everyone plays in one section. Players vying for age group Championships will still be required to match older players. The first draw will be random, with no same-country matches. The second draw will be based on results of round 1 (matching players with someone who performance is closest to theirs, ie Australian version of Swiss draw.) Draws will be lagged for most games, meaning no waiting time, except for the final few games. There will be resets, with repeats, after games 10 and 17. You could play one opponent three times. Near the end, an assured placegetter will be not matched against a viable contender (this is called Gibsonisation).
TIME: 25 minutes per player
RULES: WESPA version 2
DICTIONARY: Collins Scrabble Words 2012 (CSW)
CHALLENGE:Free challenge (ie no penalty for challenging correct words). Both players go to an adjudication computer.
RATING: This tournament will be WESPA-rated
ELIGIBILITY: You must be born 1/1/1997 or later. Passports or ID cards will be checked.
ENTRY DATE: Entries must be received by 11th July. Anyone entering after that date will pay a late fee of US$50. Late entries will not be included in the souvenir booklet. The organiser reserves the right to refuse late entries (due to lack of equipment etc.) In 2013, some players arrived at WYSC without having been correctly entered in time – they were forced to compete in the Open side event instead of WYSC. Once correctly entered (by July 11th), you will receive a form to complete, with information about yourself and your playing experience.
QUOTAS: Any country that is not a WESPA member may send 2 players, without paying an entry fee. Additional players pay an entry fee of US$100 or equivalent. (Consider joining WESPA – it may cost less!) The host country, Sri Lanka, may send 20 players, without paying an entry fee. All other WESPA countries get up to 10 free entries. We welcome players in excess of quotas, who will pay US$100 entry fee. National associations advise organisers which players gain free entry.
COST OF WYSC: All players and parents/ chaperons are responsible for booking and payment of their own transport and accommodation. There is no entry fee for players who have been entered by their national Scrabble association, as part of national quotas.
ENTRY FEE: For non-quota players – US$100 (note that, if entry is submitted late, there is also a late fee of US$50, making total fees of US$150). Entry fees are payable before play commences (ie at registration, or earlier)
LATE FEE: Players entered after 11th July pay a late fee (equivalent of US$50). This may be in addition to non-quota fees. Payment must be received before pay commences.
QUALIFYING: National associations will establish local qualifying criteria (which vary between countries, but are often based on a rating system). Countries should set their own criteria and quotas for those receiving subsidies/sponsorship, and advise WYSC organisers of any “non-qualifying” players, who are to pay an entry fee. One example of a qualifying system can be found on the Australian website. There are very high standards set for those who will receive some financial assistance from the local Scrabble organisations – the remainder are welcome to compete, but must expect to pay extra. http://scrabble.org.au/ratings/selective/2014WYSC.html Note that this is based on young players who compete against adults – school tournaments do not count.
NON-QUALIFYING PLAYERS: Anyone can enter WYSC, even if you do not enter through your National Association. However, an entry fee will be charged (US$100).
BEGINNERS:For the sake of everyone else, please ensure your child can score accurately. They must understand basic rules (eg how to challenge) and display good sportsmanship. If they appear to be floundering, they may be asked to sit out some games, to facilitate smooth running of WYSC.
PLAYING FAIR: At WYSC 2013, a few inexperienced players caused holdups and disruptions. They were slow, consistently scored inaccurately, disagreed on final scores, and were unfamiliar with basic rules. Some displayed bad sportsmanship, including a loud verbal argument during play. A number of tiles “going missing” under long tablecloths required us to remove the tablecloths! An important Scrabble tournament is no place to “turn on the waterworks”. Other players should not be required to cope with the tears of an immature child - crying is considered manipulative, as is any other form of intimidation. Please prepare players properly for high-level competition (The best way is to compete in normal tournaments, against adults, before attempting WYSC.)
From 4 pm to 6pm Thursday 28th August, there is a free training session (covering rules and sportsmanship issues) to assist new players. We require some experienced players to assist.
PRIZE STRUCTURE:Trophies (plus in some cases, prize-money) for:
- Placing – top 10 finishers
- Age Group Champions (a player may receive more than one award)
- best player born 1/1/1999 or later
- best player born 1/1/2001 or later
- best player born 1/1/2003 or later
- best player born 1/1/2005 or later
- best player born 1/1/2007 or later
- Encouragement Award – youngest player to finish in the top 25 (usually aged around 12 or 13)
- High Word
- High Game
- Best Novice - not competed in WYSC before.
- Best Player from a New Country (ie country which has not competed before)
- Best National Team – results will be collated for the top 3 finishers from each country. Countries with fewer than three players will not be counted.
OTHER EVENTS IN SRI LANKA:Young players (plus parents/teachers etc) are encouraged to join other events at the same venue, prior to WYSC (maybe come for 10 days, and play 3 tournaments in total) This will assist in overcoming time-zone problems, as well as giving players great experience against the world’s top players. All tournaments are WESPA-rated.
- Sri Lanka Open – Friday August 22 to Sunday August 24
- Seniors World Championship – Tuesday 26 to Thursday August 28
- Side tournament to Seniors World Championship – Tuesday 26 to Thursday August 28
- Side Tournament for adults during WYSC – Friday August 29 to Sunday August 31
Addressing some concernsKaren Richards says: Some people suggested they boycott travelling to Sri Lanka, as a form of protest for events which have happened there in the past. My personal view is that, if I don’t travel to Sri Lanka, the only people I am hurting are my fellow Scrabble players (and friends). It is certain that the Sri Lankan government would not even notice my absence! Below is a statement from the local Scrabble players, if you do have concerns. My teenage son, Alastair, and I competed in Sri Lanka in 2011. We felt welcome and safe. The world’s top players compete there regularly. Please do not allow politics to rob your children of this enriching experience, and opportunity to make worldwide friends for life.
The Sri Lanka Scrabble League says: Sri Lanka waged a bitter war against terrorism for three decades and the atrocities, killings and violence that the innocent civilians faced from the terrorists at the time were appalling. The present government under the leadership of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse was able to eliminate the terrorists and bring about harmony in the country. People in all four corners of the country enjoy peace and freedom unlike in the years before May 2009. The Sri Lanka Scrabble League is an independent body in the sovereign state of Sri Lanka that strives to establish and promote the game in the country. It is noteworthy that the Sri Lanka Scrabble League’s membership itself is a fine example of the unity and peace that prevails among the citizens of the country. Our members come from all walks of life, different races and religions. However, there has been impartial treatment to all may it be tournaments, election of office bearers, selections for international tournaments or even mere trainings. Further, the Sri Lanka Scrabble League has no political persuasions and the membership wishes to continue as an independent organization. Many international entities have made several attempts to defame our country for reasons best known to them and it is best that those remain their own individual opinions instead of a barrier to Sri Lanka’s progress and continued amity amongst our people. Sri Lanka has hosted five international tournaments previously and a list of names of the foreign participants as well as local participants can be made available for anyone who wishes to contact them and obtain confirmation or proof of the actual situation that prevails in our island nation. It is sincerely hoped that all foreign nationals who intend to participate at the numerous Scrabble tournaments that are to take place in Colombo in August 2014 are not dissuaded from doing so by those with politically corrupt agendas. Yours sincerely,
Praveeni Jayasekera, Secretary - Sri Lanka Scrabble League
Wimal Fernando,President - Sri Lanka Scrabble League
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