WESPA Committee News

With the passing of Steve Polatnick, the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA) has appointed Mina Le as their International Committee co-chair, and representative on WESPA's Executive Committee.

Mina has penned this profile, by way of introduction.

New WESPA Executive Committee Member - Mina Le (USA)
I’m an otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeon located in south Florida in the United States. I started playing Scrabble in my mid- to late twenties, via the Facebook app called Lexulous. I googled whether there was a place I could play in person, and thereby discovered the twin clubs of the Twin Cities of Minnesota (U.S.A.), directed by Carol Dustin and Steve Pellinen respectively. I benefited from having started with a good vocabulary prior to any word studying, dropping words like OCARINA and CARDAMOM in my first tournament in 2009, and obtained my initial strategic training from the book Everything Scrabble.

I’ve played NASPA (North American Scrabble) tournaments in sixteen U.S. states and one Canadian province. In 2015 I became one of only about two dozen women in the United States with a rating over 1600, the traditional threshold for defining an expert. That same year I switched from the North American TWL dictionary to the international CSW dictionary, and I plan to start playing abroad starting with the 2018 Mattel World Scrabble Championship in the United Kingdom. I’ve already gotten to interact with Scrabblers outside North America by playing in the Facebook Scrabble League, and by running a series of online “Virtuals” tournaments in 2015 with my co-directors Zachary Dang and Randi Goldberg, where players from six continents faced off at the Internet Scrabble Club. But nothing compares to plinking plastic tiles on a rotary board!

I love Scrabble for the excitement, the creativity, the strategy, and the triumphant lucky feeling when a great play appears. It allows me to bring in outside knowledge, whether from medicine or poetry or my dad’s gardening hobby (which is how I knew CATTLEYA, one of my favorite bingos I’ve played), and it also rewards studying, therefore providing a lifetime sport where there’s always room to improve and grow. I especially enjoy the sense of belonging to a community of kindred spirits, and much treasure the love and friendship I’ve found with Scrabblers in widespread locales.