Jamaican Style Dominoes In Canada

One of the more interesting and “vocal” sports Jamaicans are known for, has been played in many basements, barbershops, in the back rooms of many bars and in the past thirty years, competitive clubs have been organized to demonstrate the abilities of players. Many of the larger cities in Canada can boast the activities of as many as 15-20 teams, whether they be privately organized or under the umbrella of a cultural Association.

For the most part, mental dominoes is the standard form of “gentleman’s play” around town, however, as Team Players in most sports have found, the best defense is a strong offence. As a result, organized teams have developed a code system, to better read and allow the lead partner to call for the shots or cards they want. The two accepted methods of “code” play is known as silent and open. Open Code allows the partners to use hand and facial signals as well as question their partner with phrases, tell which shot to make etc. Silent code is strictly hand and facial signals. In both cases, there are other guidelines for the teams and referees to follow and in being upfront about the code process, both teams are playing on an equal basis.

Recently, the Canada Domino League, operating out of Toronto, opened it’s membership to allow other Association and Private Teams to join them in their quest to eventually make Dominoes an Olympic Sport. There are certainly a lot of world class players in this sport. The CDL hosted the National Domino League from Great Britain in 2001 and won five straight Tournament Matches (5/5). This past year we toured the UK and won seven out of eight social matches but the British League ended up beating us 3/5 matches.

Representatives from the International Federation of Dominoes (Spain) joined us in Clapham, Peckham and Brixton as a show of support, in spite of the language barrier.

In addition to including matches from the Toronto and Hamilton areas, this past year we also hosted teams from South Florida and New York and look forward to visiting those teams in their cities as well. May 2003, the CDL will again host the British delegation for a three week Test Match Series.

There is quite a large network of organized teams reaching throughout Canada & the US and now Britain, New York, Brooklyn, Hartford, Maryland, Cleveland, New Jersey / Montreal, Toronto, Sudbury, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Hamilton / Brixton, Clapham, Peckham, Birmingham and more. Canada boasts players like Fitzy, Capel-Dev & Yellowman. The UK will be bringing Country, Wonderboy and Little Wicked. Plans are underway to include teams in Jamaica, hopefully this year and notices will be out once arrangements are more secure.

There is nothing, in my mind, more fulfilling and exciting than a day of dominoes, a good meal and then a party with some wicked music and of course the people we are fortunate to meet is a definite plus. It is incredible to meet such a wide range of personalities in such a short space of time. Ladies – this is also a great opportunity to meet that someone special!

About the author

Diane "Sistah D" Brown