Scrabble in Ghana started in the early 80's, as an ordinary indoor sports confined to the homes of ardent players like Gaddy Laryea, Bobo Neequaye and Tolu Sawyer. Competitions were organised at the weekends and prizes were obtained from payment of registration fees. A common practice at these meetings was putting something "under the table" as incentive on a winner takes all bases aside the overall official prize money. This betting thing was really the driving force for weekend jamming sessions.
As time went on the game became a little more competitive and tournaments were held at much bigger venues. It was the involvement of Mr Gaddy Laryea that saw Scrabble being giving more corporate attention. Mr.Laryea who was then the Advertising Manager for the now-defunct Pioneer Tobacco Company Ltd. used his influence to get PTC to sponsor several tournaments Mention must be made here of the Awudome Scrabble club which was the first real organised club in Ghana. Names such as Tolu Sawyer, Victor Wireko and Joe Jackson were a few prominent players of this club.
As more and more players started attending these weekend tournaments the idea of a national scrabble championship was considered and after serious discussions with PTC the first National Scrabble Championship was organised by the Awudome club and sponsored by PTC, at the now-defunct Star Hotel. About 50 players participated in the event. At the end of proceedings Eddie Coleman emerged the first national Champion. The National Scrabble Championship has hitherto remained an annual event. The list of National Champions is listed at the end of this report.
The Awudome Scrabble club took up the responsibility of organising the National open and all other ordinary tourneys. It was in 1990 that the idea of the formation of a National Scrabble Association was born. After several meetings with stakeholders the national association was formed and was named Scrabble Association of Ghana (SCAG) So all tournaments including the National were now under the jurisdiction of SCAG. The first president of SCAG was Mr. Kofi Adimado with Gaddy Laryea as vice.
Sponsorship began to pour in from several companies such as Unilever, Kumasi Brewery Ltd, Keda Development Ltd, Media Majique, and the game began to grow in many respects. At the first national the entire tourney was limited to only six(6) games using the King of the Hill system which meant that you needed to win all 6 games(depending on the number of players) to win a tournament. If you lost a single game that was the end of your aspiration for the national title. Later the Swiss system was introduced and number of games increased to give players a fair chance of winning i.e. you could lose one or two games and still win a tourney. All this while results were collated manually as software such as AU pair were not known. 16 games now played at the national open over two days.
The World Scrabble Championship came to the attention of SCAG and for the first time Ghana decided to participate and presented two players, Akosa Sapong and George Fobil in 1991. Although there had been several World Tourneys they were organised on the terms of the individual countries US and Britain i.e. the use of only their word sources-Webster for US and Chambers for Britain. It was in 1991 that the first true WSC was held as both countries agreed to use both dictionaries. Ghana has been a participant of the biennial event till date and presently has three (3) slots.
As a result of the wide exposure of some Ghana's players such as C.M Placca and Michael Quao at international events there has been a large introduction of Scrabble material that has kept players abreast with international standards. Book on strategy such as OSL, rules and systems of play, and software such as Maven, Quackle, Lexpert, AU pair etc. have really improved the standard of play. Also the Internet Scrabble Club (ISC) where players play online is now a very common feature in Ghana.
One of the major achievements of SCAG is the incorporation of the Association into the National Sports Council (NSC). The NSC has supported SCAG in many ways and has occasionally sponsored the Ghanaian teams to international events though it must be said that being a relatively new competitive sport on the scene, it's not been easy getting some of our programmes through for funding by government. For instance we were dealt a severe blow last year when the government failed to' sponsor our team to the World Scrabble Championship in 2007 in India and also the African Championship in Kenya this year (2008).
The Association is currently under the chairmanship of Mr. Bennet Kpentey with Chrys Placca as vice and Michael Quao as Treasurer. The Secretary-General is Christiana Ashley of the NSC.