Board games, the benefits and the UI Scrabble league 2023


Praise Olorunfemi

Board games have been in existence for a long time. In fact, records have it that, the origin of board games could be as old as writing itself. However, mankind has seen a good deal of evolution in these board games across centuries. Google will describe board games as “a game that involves the movement of counters or other objects round a board.” Amongst the number of board games in the world today, a few are being recognised and played here in Nigeria and played both for leisure and professionally. A similitude of such also applies to the University of Ibadan. Although board games have been organised in the faculty before, it has not gained as much popularity as such. In fact, there is no standing-organised team or competition whatsoever on board games in the faculty.

What are the benefits of board games?

Participation in board games comes with advantageous benefits. Here are some benefits of participating in board games:

Effective Stress Management: Board games, from studies, have been realised as a means to attain calmness in the body and the system. Participating in board games, sometimes, if not most times, leads to bouts of laughter which stimulate the endorphins. This can help in boosting serotonin, relieve symptoms of anxiety, and increase enthusiasm in other areas of your life.

Enhancing Brainpower: Many traditional board games like Chess, Scrabble, Ludo, Monopoly, and Checker have been said to stimulate both the creative and analytical sides of the brain. According to Central Connecticut State University, even the simplest act of learning the rules and playing a new game might help your mind become stronger.

Developing the memory, logic and reasoning faculties: Many popular board games can assist kids, teens, and young adults with problem-solving, decision-making, postponing gratification, and dealing with mistakes. All these mentioned areas are very crucial points students will encounter every day of their lives. Games like Chess, Scrabble, Ludo, Monopoly, Checkers, etc can very much encourage and help a student develop sustained concentration and focus.

Building connections: Aside from academic reasons, a popular benefit of going to school is believed to be for the sake of meeting with people, and learning to be a balanced social and sociable being. Organising board games will contribute to this development in no little way.

The common board games in this part of the world are chess, scrabble, ludo, and monopoly. Although none of these games is being played as a tournament in the faculty, nevertheless, the scrabble game is beginning to gain more recognition in the University.

A brief history of Scrabble in UI

Narrated by Emmanuel Enyi on the evolution of the Scrabble game in UI, The UI Scrabble Club started in 2018. The fold was initiated by a pair of Postgraduate students named Oluwaseun Olubalusi, an MSc student in the department of Linguistics and African Languages, and Augusta Obidinnu, an MSc student of the Faculty of Science (department unknown as at the time of this report).

They formed a WhatsApp group immediately after the Inter-Hall sports competition of the University of Ibadan Sports Council. And then, they started meeting up for regular playing sessions, most of these meetings held at the Pepsi stand at SUB. “Fast-forward to 2019, the vibes were still very much present, and that was even when I (Emmanuel) resumed my undergraduate program at UI. I am a student of Linguistics”, Enyi said.

“Also, at the beginning of 2020, Augusta and Oluwaseun left UI, after completing their various Postgraduate programs. That was when I became Captain of the UI Scrabble Club, and began repackaging the club and bringing necessary changes to our outlook. We had our first logo as a club, we started playing online Scrabble tournaments, and we even had prizes for those. All through the lockdown, Scrabble was not dead in UI, because we had a series of online tourneys and championships by utilizing online Scrabble software. It was fun. In 2021, UISC had its first-ever Scrabble Championship at the University of Ibadan. It was open to all students of UNIBADAN who play Scrabble. We held it at Bello Dome, we had cash prizes (courtesy of our Alumni), and also, it was a free registration event, and was played in 2 categories (male and female). Thanks to the UI Scrabble Club, Scrabble has a whole different and savvy outlook compared to how it was in the past.”


In light of this, the UNIBADAN Scrabble League 2023 has been announced, and is set to commence on March 25th. The tournament is expected to “run for three match days, starting on March 25th and culminating on April 5th, 2023”. On each day of the match days, there will be a seven-round play, with players locking horns in a battle of wits, word artilleries, strategies, and tactics. It will be a time word smiths will have to unsheathe their word-smithing katanas and daggers, in either a friendly or fierce duel. The competition is scheduled to take place at the Cricket Pavilion. One interesting thing to note about the current development of the scrabble game is that “The league will be UISC-rated, and players will have the chance to earn points towards their UISC ratings. This means that participants will be able to earn UISC rating points based on their performance.”

Like any other competition, there is also an entry requirement for UI Scrabble league competition. First, each participant has to register with a sum of one thousand naira only, which is open to both male and female students. Irrespective of being a “seasoned Scrabble player or just looking for some good old-fashioned fun”, the event is open to all. Also, there are prizes to be won, definitely. The winner of the competition “walks away with a scrabble board, a gold medal, and fifteen thousand naira in cash”. While “the runner-up will receive a silver medal, a scrabble board, and ten thousand naira, and the third-place finisher will get a bronze medal, a scrabble board, and five thousand naira.”

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