After years of poor attendance in the Wagar Women’s Knockout Teams and the Machlin Women’s Swiss Teams, the ACBL Board of Directors unanimously decided at last week’s meetings to remove both events from the NABC lineup.
The Wagar KO will not be played at the 2017 Summer NABC. The Machlin Swiss will be played for the last time at the 2017 Spring NABC in Kansas City.
The Wagar will be replaced with a four-session women’s pairs contest as those events continue to attract a good number of entries. The two qualifying sessions will be played on Monday, July 24, 2017, and the two final sessions will take place the following day.
There will be no replacement for the Machlin, as there is already a women’s pairs event at the Spring NABC.
District 13 Director Suzi Subeck noted that the Board had established benchmarks for the failing contests several years ago, with the understanding that the events would be retained if a sufficient number of entries could be consistently generated. With that did not occur, the Board terminated the events.
“Our primary concern with removing these contests from the calendar is that foreign teams who used to enter these contests might no longer attend the NABCs. We hope they continue to do so by entering the pairs contests instead,” Subeck said.
The Wagar was the oldest women’s team contest on the ACBL calendar. It was first played in 1933 and was formerly contested for the Coffin Trophy. The modern contest was played for the Wagar Trophy, although it had undergone format and name changes. Until 1976, it was a four-session event scored by board-a-match. It was contested as a three-session championship until 1972, and it was held at the Fall NABC until 1963. It became part of the summer schedule in 1986. In 1976 the event became a North American Championship Women’s Knockout with Swiss qualifying. In 2014, the Board declassified the contest as an NABC+ event, meaning that a win in the event no longer qualified players for the title of Grand Life Master.
The Machlin was first played in 1982. It was also declassified as an NABC+ event in 2014.