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2015 Canadian Women's Team Trials Cancelled

This year the Canadian Women's Team Trials were scheduled to be held in Kingston Ontario in Late July - early August. The CBF Board of Directors has cancelled these Team Trials. This is contrary to the Conditions of Contest and it was done without consulting the players.

In 2013 the CWTC was held in Toronto at the same time as the Canadian Open Team Trials and the Canadian Senior Team Trials. Five teams had signed up for the event but one team withdrew because of a medical emergency. Four teams played the event.

During the tournament the CBF arranged a meeting with the women to discuss the future of the Canadian Women’s Event. A large majority of the players who were participating in the Team Trails attended this meeting,

What follows is an excerpt from the article that Nadar Hanna wrote for the Canadian Bridge Federation Magazine that reports on the outcome of the 2013 meeting.

During the recent Canadian Bridge Championships (CBC) in Toronto, the CBF organized a meeting with the players participating in the CWTC to discuss their views on the reasons for the declining participation and ways of encouraging more women to participate in future CWTCs.

As a result of the feedback received by the CBF, the following changes will be in effect starting in 2014:

The trials to select the Canadian women’s team will take place the year before the world championships (i.e. the 2014 trials will select the team to compete in the 2015 Venice Cup). This will allow the trials to be held in the summer thus permitting more women (specifically teachers) to participate.

However, this means that the women’s trials will be held separately and not as part of the CBC which is usually held in late May.

In 2014 the Canadian Women’s Team Trials were held in Edmonton, Alberta in the Summer. The Board of Directors helped recruit for the event and I believe that there were 8 teams. The team of Francine Cimon, Sandra Frazer, Kismet Fung, and Isabelle Brisebois won the event and are scheduled to be the Canadian Women’s Team for 2015. (There may of course be a playoff with Mexico to determine which country sends a team to the 2015 Venice Cup.)

In 2015 the Canadian Women’s Team Trials were scheduled to coincide with a summer regional in Kingston, Ontario. This means the CWTC would not conflict with the Canadian Open Team Trials or the Canadian Senior Team Trials. For the 2015 Open Teams the following women players have signed up to participate: Pamela Nisbet, Ina Demme, Brenda Bryant, Julie Smith, Susie Cooper, Karen Billet, June Pocock, and Pascale Gaudrealt. I have been told that the following players plan to play the 2015 Senior Teams: Francine Cimon, Sandra Frazer, Katie Thorpe. Barbara Saltsman, and Sylvia Caley. There are possibly others but these are the ones that I know of. It might be pointed out that these players represent players from 4 teams that might easily show up in a Women’s.

Team 1:         Francine Cimon – Sandra Frazer (often play with Kizmet Fung – Isabelle Brisebois)

Team 2:        Katie Thorpe - Ina Demme (often play with Joan Eaton – Karen Cumpstone) 

Team 3:        Pamela Nisbet – Brenda Bryant, Barbara Saltsman – Sylvia Caley

Team 4:        Julie Smith, June Pocock (often play with Kathy Adachi and Susan Peters)       

What follows is copied from the Conditions of Contest for the CWTC 2015, which would have selected a team for World’s for 2016.


     a)    All teams wishing to take part in the CWTC National Final must submit their team entry to the National Coordinator no later than March 23, 2015.  This official team entry must include the following:

  • Team Captain’s name, ACBL number along with mailing address, phone number, and email address

  • $300 Deposit.

  • Name and ACBL numbers for all other team members

    b)    If fewer than 6 teams register, all deposits will be refunded and registration for a Canadian Women’s IMP Pairs Championship (CWIPC) will open. Pairs interested in participating will have until May 11, 2015 to register providing names, ACBL numbers, and a $150 Deposit. (See CWIPC COC for details on this event)

    c)   Late entries may be accepted ONLY to improve the movement. (i.e. if an odd number of teams or pairs enters)

For the 2015 Canadian Open Team Trials scheduled to begin May 23, 2015 the closing date for entries was March 23, 2015. For the 2015 Canadian Women’s Team Trials scheduled to begin July 28, 2015 the closing date for entries was also March 23, 2015. For the Open, players were expected to organize their teams 2 months before the event. For the Women’s, players were expected to organize their teams 4 months prior to the event!

The closing date was not well-publicized. It was apparently not mentioned in clubs in Montreal or Toronto. The Board of Directors did not recruit for the event and only 4 teams registered by the March deadline. Since that time it has become apparent that there are other teams that wanted to play but that they were not aware of the deadline.

After only 4 teams registered for the event, instead of working to recruit more teams, postponing the closing date, or holding the qualifying as an IMP Pairs, the CBF simply CANCELLED the event. The CBF has said that they intend to move the event back to Bridge Week where it used to be. The Women's would then once again conflict with the Open Team Trials and the Senior Team Trials. Let's look at what this would mean for one very popular World Class Player.  Katie Thorpe would have to chose between playing the Seniors with Martin Kirr or playing the Women's with Ina Demme. In the last 2 years Katie and Ina have won a Silver and a Gold in the Women's Teams but I'm sure that Katie also enjoys her partnership with Martin Kirr.

Some players had arranged their vacations so that they could play in the Kingston Team Trials. The CBF has cancelled these team trials and in so doing has effectively NULLIFIED the 2013 meeting of the women involved. The DEMOCRATIC conclusion that was reached at that meeting is now being vetoed by the CBF.

I think that the conclusions of the 2013 meeting should be honored and that the top Women players and future top Women players should be encouraged to play in Open Events. The fact is that in 2015 more than a dozen women will take the opportunity to play in the Open or in the Seniors. This is the one year that the CWTC is not scheduled to conflict with those two events.  As a player I would like to have the opportunity to participate in both the Women's and the Open.


Sylvia Caley         

8-time participant in CWTC, prospective CSTC 2015 participant 

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