1986: Scrabble lovers unite with creation of new club

Posted at 5:30 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 05:30:02-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Board games and puzzles have become quarantine staples for many during the pandemic, and while there’s an infinite supply of newcomers, many classic board games continue to stand the test of time including Scrabble.

According to Hasbro, Scrabble can be found in three out of every five American households.

Despite its widespread popularity, serious Scrabble players are often left searching for players of a similar caliber.

In fact, the void of serious Scrabble contenders led to the creation of Indianapolis’ first Scrabble club 35 years ago this month.

Former WRTV reporter Debra Darnell spoke with several members of the Indianapolis Scrabble Club on February 26, 1986.

“It is fun here to play with people who really know how to play,” said one player. “The average people you meet, they just place words.”

The club was founded by Jerry Miller, a journalism professor at Franklin College.

Miller’s club provided Scrabble players with a steady stream of competitors with the hope of hosting an eventual tournament.

That goal was realized later that year when the first Central Indiana Scrabble Tournament was held on the campus of IUPUI in August 1986.