About 75 participants from 20 Valley schools are expected to compete in the second Central Valley Boardgaming Championships from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the University Dining Hall at Fresno State.

The event is presented by the Youth Boardgaming League, an after-school enrichment program for K-12 students that helps develop critical thinking and communication skills using strategy and communications-based board games, said Dr. Greg Thatcher, the program developer and event coordinator who is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health at Fresno State.

“The board games program focuses on helping adolescents build life skills such as setting realistic expectations, determining ideal maneuvers in a dynamic situation, understanding the need to practice in order to improve, learning how to positively celebrate success and graciously handle defeat and, most importantly, how to have fun in a constructive and beneficial way,” Thatcher said.

The students from Fresno, Kings and Merced counties will compete in 12 events based on a broad class of tabletop games, mostly originating from Europe.

The board games generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times (20 minutes to 2 hours), direct and indirect player interaction and attractive physical components, Thatcher said.

Game events will include Liar’s Dice, Splendor, Can’t Stop, Ingenious, Ticket to Ride, King of Tokyo, Hey!: That’s My Fish!, Ten Days in the USA, Qwirkle, Tsuro, For Sale and Formula Motor Racing.

The winner of each event will receive a plaque and a T-shirt. Last year’s school champion was Sunnyside High School, which won five of the nine tournaments.

Individual winners for the first tournament last year were Emmanuel Aquino of Fresno High (For Sale, Ticket to Ride); Luis Ruiz of Glacier Point Middle School (Ingenious); Rubi Rodriguez of Parlier Junior High (Can’t Stop); and Dalton Ryan (Formula Motor Racing, King of Tokyo); Albert Wyrick (High Society, 7 Wonders) and Glenn Parrish (Liar’s Dice), all of Sunnyside High.

Random drawings for other prizes will be made throughout the day for participants. Each participating school also will receive games for their program.

Registration is limited to students from the after-school programs, but public gaming and prizes will also be available.

For more information, contact Thatcher at gthatcher@csufresno.edu or 559.797.2628.