Forget the countless rounds of Monopoly your kids think of with
the mention of a board game. With the help of a local inventor, a
new game has given both parents and children a new way to compete
Somers resident Ifay Chang introduced his board game Scrammble to
the market in 2003 after receiving positive feedback from
after-school programs and public workshops.
Scrammble is similar to Scrabble, but Scrammble players rack up
points by creating different words from letter cards, not tiles, and
participate simultaneously rather than taking turns.
"Kids don't have the attention span for Scrabble," Chang said.
"Scrammble makes you really concentrate and makes your brain really
The first Scrammble Tournament continues today and tomorrow at
the Mahopac Public Library with qualifying players from last week's
competition and public workshops.
Participants must be in third through 12th grades and can play in
one of three divisions: single, family or student team.
There will be a tournament judge, and prizes include cash, books,
puzzles and other word and board games.
The game employs vocabulary and math elements, and players can
"steal" words from one another as community cards are drawn.
Children's vocabulary is built when players introduce new words
and children question them for the sake of points, Chang said.
Taylor Grodin, a third-grader at Somers Intermediate School, has
attended two of Chang's Cablevision workshops on Scrammble in the
He and his mother said they found the game entertaining.
"You get to make lots of words and learn new words and finally
know what they mean," 8-year-old Taylor said. "It's pretty fun, and
it's one of my favorites."
Chang first introduced Scrammble to the "Reach" program at Somers
Intermediate School in the winter of 2003-04. After receiving
positive feedback from students and teachers, Chang was invited to
teach the game at libraries throughout the area and recently started
promoting it on cable television.
Ben and Luigi Abbate, 15-year-old twins from Somers, were
introduced to the game through friends.
"It's challenging, interesting, and descriptive in words," said
Ben, a sophomore at Somers High School. "Whoever knows the most
words does the best."
Initially, Chang created the game as a way for the whole family
to build his children's vocabulary and thinking skills.
"Adults and family must be involved in learning," said Chang, who
has a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of
Rhode Island and is as chief executive officer of TLC Information
Services, a company he founded.
"Even just one day a week, my own kids really benefited from