Laura Finley, ABSP secretary, passes away
It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Laura Finley,
our long-standing and well-loved secretary has passed away today.
Laura was universally loved - cheeky, funny and forthright and a damned
hard worker for the Scrabble community. Salt of the earth does not even
come close. Condolences to all friends and family. We have lost one of
Wayne Kelly, ABSP chairman, 17th July 2021
Updates on Laura's funeral
The funeral for Laura Finley will take place on Monday 26th July from
10:00 at the Sunderland Crematorium, with a wake at Chester’s from
The service will also be livestreamed and then available for streaming
for the next 28 days. Full details have been kindly posted by Pauline
Johnson on the
ABSP Discussion Facebook page
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Great North Air Ambulance,
which many of you will know was a cause very dear to Laura’s heart. We
suggest any individuals wanting to do so make the donations themselves,
as they are likely to qualify for Gift Aid, assuming they are from
a UK taxpayer.
Laura had many, many years of tireless service and therefore the ABSP
will be donating £100 in recognition of such long and loyal work
for the organisation. She will be sorely missed by the committee and
Last updated: 24 July 2021
Rating of small invitational tournaments
As official guidance has recently changed, the ABSP is now permitting
invitational events to be rated. This means indoor events will be
sanctioned with a maximum of 6 people, and outdoor events up to 30 people,
though obviously weather may be a factor for those. Any interested
parties must take responsibility for ensuring their compliance with any
appropriate regional or national restrictions.
Larger indoor events are under review pending the updated guidance
in June. If anybody is planning an event after the restrictions are
lifted, I would suggest liaison with the ABSP and potential entrants is
advisable before booking a room, etc. Please be aware that currently
there is no public liability insurance in place as we let the policy
lapse while we were inactive. I have been in contact with the insurers
and will contact club reps to discuss whether they wish to take up the
insurance again from July.
Also, the ABSP have moved the provisional booking of the BMSC forward
another year so we will most probably hold the AGM on Zoom again.
We are still hoping to provide an NSC in Bristol on the second weekend
of October, which was moved from last year.
Fingers crossed, things can get back to normal sooner rather than later.
Last updated: 25 May 2021
New Year's Honours List
Happy New Year! Despite a strange and difficult year, with few
tournaments taking place before everything had to be shut down, some
players achieved a lot in a little time. Wayne Kelly
rounds up the award winners for 2020 and a few other statistics too.
As stated in earlier in the year, we decided against awarding the Most
Improved Player and Highest Rated Player as these are competitive prizes
which would be hard to award given the very short space in which they
would have been competed over. The MIP performance so far will be carried
over to the end of 2021.
Titles are individual achievements though so we did not think it would
be fair to impede players progress.
There was only one potential new titleholder for 2020 and I am pleased
to say that Craig Solomons has achieved his Expert
status with 5 170 flat ratings in a row. Craig actually managed 175
games in the year so it definitely would have been a crime to discount
the whole year.
ratings data on the ABSP database website has been updated, however
where the 2020 data would have spoiled a player's run, a > symbol
indicates the years data has not been entered. Other data lower than
170 has been included for those who were not currently part-way into
achieving a title.
The only new 170+ performers this year were Moses Peter (182) and Ying
Ming Poh (175).
Next year does not seem to be able to yield any new titles, except with
some big performances above current averages.
If anyone has any query regarding their individual performance then
please get in touch - though I only have data for those who played 30
games or more and had a flat rating of over 150.
Happy New Year!
Last updated: 1 January 2021
2020 has been a strange year for all of us, but it has certainly had
major effects on the game we all love.
Earlier in the year, there were some committee changes that went
unannounced due to COVID-19 and all that went with it, and there are
also some further changes as we enter 2021.
Firstly, we had a change of Youth Officer, earlier in the year as James
Burley left the committee due to work commitments. We would like to
thanks him for his efforts on the committee and his work at filling the
void with online events.
Sumbul Siddiqui took over the Youth role in May, but with the current
situation it has been difficult to make much progress. We welcome Sumbul
and once we are back out in the open, her enthusiasm will help immensely
in making progress in this area.
The big changes, however, are with the officers.
Mike Whiteoak will be stepping down as Chairman at the end of
the year, and back into his role as Ratings Officer and Tournament
Co-ordinator. Mike only ever intended to be a short-term chairman, and
he has helped keep the ABSP moving during some difficult times. We are
glad we are not losing his expertise from the committee and he agreed
to stay on in his important role.
Wayne Kelly will be taking over as Chairman from January, and we are glad
to say Ross Mackenzie will be rejoining the committee as Treasurer. Ross
was an excellent Treasurer and Chairman during his time on the ABSP
committee previously and can only be an asset to all of us going forward.
We'd also like take this opportunity to thank you for your support
in this difficult year and remind all those that have not yet renewed
that 2021 subs
are a minimum of £6 for 2021 only. Thanks also to those who have
renewed and further donated already.
2021 is still very much up in the air for everything but we hope we can
start to return to normal when it is safe to do so.
In order to keep access to the members-only
ABSP Discussion Facebook group, the ABSP Online League
and the ABSP database, please make payment on the ABSP
website by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque to Nuala O'Rourke. There is also an option to make an extra donation as you see fit.
Many thanks & Happy New Year
Last updated: 31 December 2020
Update on in-person rated tournament play
The ABSP committee met at the end of July to discuss a number of current
issues, and you can see a summary of decisions taken in the next
OnBoard. You will have also already seen some action as a result of the
meeting such as our polling on the slurs debate.
It has been some time now since we reviewed our position on face-to-face
events. Getting people back to playing over a board rather than a
computer screen is something we all want but government guidelines
have made it very difficult to allow tournaments as they used to be.
However, with some of the lockdown restrictions now eased and more things
opening back up, the ABSP have decided that small invitational events
for groups of 6 people or fewer, and 1-1 league matches that mostly take
place inside homes, will be allowed to be rated from Saturday 1st August.
Larger events in community centres, hotels, or other such buildings
will still not be sanctioned for rating until further restrictions
are lifted and these events can operate safely. Everyone can, and
must, make their own decision, whether the time is
right to get back to live play and we recommend players look at their
own individual circumstances and consider what precautions may be
necessary. We ask members to make the right choice for them, but also
respect other people's choices. We encourage all players to assess their
own risk levels, as they would other aspects of their daily lives. Any
players with underlying health conditions or in a high risk category are
advised to be extra cautious. If you choose to play any form of rated
Scrabble from 1st August, it will be at your own risk.
The ABSP's COVID-19 statement
has been updated in line with the above.
It is impractical for the 2020 AGM to be held face to face. However,
the ABSP need to hold an AGM no later than 15 months after the last one
to be within the rules of the association. We have therefore taken
the decision that this will be held online on the Zoom platform. The
date will be the afternoon of Sunday 1st November, and we are asking
for motions to be submitted by Monday 31st August to give us time to
prepare the agenda and get the pack to members. There'll be further
details on how to do this in OnBoard.
Whilst it may still be some time before we can
all meet again in person, don't forget there are regular events on ISC and
the ABSP Online
league to help you with your Scrabble fix, and to stay in touch with
the wider community.
Last updated: 16 August 2020