Scrabble is a family favorite for tons of family worldwide, with Asia being no exception. Harvinderjit Bhatia, a successful pro player, wants to take Scrabble to the next level.
In 2015, Bhatia among others introduced India’s first Scrabble League – Wordaholix in association with the Scrabble Association of India. This league helped to revolutionize the way it was played. Over the past four years, the number of players has doubled. At the three-day annual tournament, they have seen played aged from 16 to 75 from all backgrounds coming together to play competitively.
Bhatia talked with Economic Times about Wordaholix and the future of Scrabble in India. He created Wordaholix because it “gave a twist to this individual-player game and turned it into a League Championship to promote it nationally and have regional teams participating – like IPL or Kabaddi League for the mind.”
He believes that Scrabble has a strong chance of making it to international sporting events, like an Olympic/Asian Games Champion and the World Championships. Bhatia says, “Globally, Scrabble associations are trying to get accreditations from their respective Sports Ministries.”
He believes that “Indians, by nature, are competitive, and innately strong in English, Math and Logic, which is why we find competitive Scrabble simpler.”
He also points out that the current World Champion is India-born Akshay Bhandarkar, who currently resides in Bahrain.
The eventual goal of Bhatia is to create awareness and train participants for the World Youth Scrabble Championships. They want to train Indian children to win the World Youth Scrabble Championship.
Through events like Wordaholix, Bhatia says “ the first thing is to create awareness about the mind sport from a young age. Schools need to encourage students to train and participate in inter-school Scrabble competitions. This will be a huge push for the sport.”
As Scrabble continues its spread around the world, it will be interesting to see what this game has in store for younger generations.
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