Mahjong or Mah Jongg?

Stuart Watkins

Mah Jongg, or Mahjong, is a popular game in SaddleBrooke, as it is around the world. It is a tile-based game developed in the 19th century in China and spread throughout the world. Four players sit around a table, and each has a set of tiles to start with. Then the scramble to win begins.

When I heard from a friend that Holly Ravitz had just returned from a tournament in Phoenix, it piqued my curiosity. Asking to interview her led to this article.

But there is more to the story. Oro Valley has a Mah Jongg league called the Dangling Dragons. Holly Ravitz won first place last year, and this year, her sister Janice Shinn was the winner. Both Holly and Janice started playing the game about 50 years ago. Rachel Hayden has been playing for about 17 years, and Vivian Herman started playing in 1961 when her son was born.

As I am writing this article, Holly and Janice are off in Mesa competing in another tournament.

These four meet in each other’s homes every week. There are beginning player groups and groups of more experienced players of Mah Jongg meeting at other times and other places in SaddleBrooke. If you are interested in learning more or joining a group, check for notices in the SaddleBrooke Progress and Saddlebag Notes.