The Canadian Memory Championships will feature New Memory Disciplines

We will be significantly modifying our memory disciplines for this year’s 2020 Canadian Memory Championship. However, the Provincial Memory Championships will not change this year.

We are making this change in an attempt to make the sport more spectacular. We are also doing this in an effort not to cause any bitterness with the founder of our sport at the WMSC who doesn’t seem to appreciate some unnamed, unaffiliated, copycat organization(s).

In a way, the changes are major and in another way, it will be very much all the same as it was before.

The key difference to note here is that we are planning to evolve to a single period of memorization and recall.

Along a wall, we will have displays of 52 cards in 4 rows of 13 cards. Contestants will gather at the walls and will have 10 minutes to recreate the deck that is hanging on the wall onto nearby tables. The first person to finish this task wins.

If a contestant isn’t sure about some cards, he or she can leave his/ her recall deck on the table dash back to the memo display and then come back to the table to fix his or her cards. There will be a paper flap covering the cards that will need to be lifted to prevent contestants from just looking at the memo display from the recall table location.

We feel that having Speed Cards this way will make it much more interesting for the viewers who will be able to see the contestants going back and forth and who is about to finish first. The penalty system for decks that have errors in them remains to be determined but we’ll put up these details as soon as we finalize all the details. Suggestions are still welcome at this point.

I have made a few attempts at this game so far. My fastest time was of about 7 minutes by going back and forth 20 times or so using only my short term memory (3 cards at at time). In another attempt, I tried memorizing a row of 13 cards at a time and then going back for the next row. I managed this in about 8 minutes. I enjoyed this because it really is a different challenge and I think it may help as a training tool to get better at the regular way to memorize a deck of cards.

For numbers, we’re thinking of setting a finite set of digits, say 120 digits and so, the first that finishes wins but we don’t expect every contestant will manage it under 10 minutes.

For names, we’re also thinking of setting a finite set. But to speed up the recall, we may offer numbered names on the recall sheet so that the memory athletes can just put the numbers of those names beneath the recall faces. We don’t want people to lose this game because they are slow at writing. It is the associations that should count with this memory disciplines. We may have a separate Names memory disciplines that does not include memorizing faces to them and that memory discipline would be like a Word memory discipline except perhaps shorter since the traditional Word Memory Discipline is 15 minutes at the CMCs.

So, Words may become a 30 minutes game with again a limited number of words, perhaps 130.

Things aren’t set in stone at this stage but this is what we’re considering.

We may set lower data targets for Kid, Junior and Senior sections so that they too can finish before the time is up.

So, this will both simplify the game and speed it up and make it more spectacular even force contestants to move a bit. This makes me wonder why we didn’t think of doing that before?

Since we’re going to be sort of creating a new sport here or a branch of a sport, you should be warned that if this new activity takes off and creates wide spread interest we are going to copyright it and treat it like our personal business. Just kidding. Our goals is just to have fun without coming into conflict with anybody and still finding a way to show off our pride in what we can achieve with a trained memory.


Manipulation of the cards to remember won’t be necessary anymore ? If so, that is awesome news for people who couldn’t even do it as fast as they could because of physical or dexterity limitations.


But you still have to handle cards for recall, as well as move back and forth between tables, and all of that is timed. It seems to me that it may actually make things more unfair for someone with physical limitations.

It’s great to see these new ideas though!


I wish the memorising part would be the part we would focus on making it the least physical. Someone with better hands will gain seconds on someone with less better hands

And with technology I’m surprised we still have all these physical barriers for certain. One should have the right to say out loud the order of their cards (maybe on a recorder ?) See all 52 cards without having to touch them…

Visual and audio, that’s all that is needed really, no?

Dreaming here, and happy to see you are trying new things!!

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I have in mind about one meter and a half between the tables and the wall.

I doubt contestants will want chairs, especially if they intend to move back and forth a lot.

The recall deck display should be prepared anyway the contestant wants it, i.e. face up spread up and even slightly raised on a stand to make picking them as easy and as fast as can be. I always believe in encouraging method that will increase the speed and I think that is what the sport is about. I think this is the next thing I will build: a recall deck stand.

I am also rethinking the rules about silence. In every sport, the crowd can be noisy. If contestants want it quiet, let them bring their earplugs. This way, you might get an announcer indicating to the crowd who appears in the lead and so entertain the spectators as the contestants compete… As I mentioned earlier, I want our memory competitions more spectacular. It might be cool too to request from contestants that they provide a contestant nick name for themselves, just as they do in wrestling, Spider Jones, Rush GSP, etc. This way an announcer covering the game may have more fun with these names and captivate the audience even more.

I wonder how to call this memory discipline though. Canadian Speed Cards? Memo-Recall Cards. Rush Recall Cards?

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