Western Ontario

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Western Ontario
London, ON
Current President or Coach Tony Chen
National championships none
NAQT Page link

The University of Western Ontario is a post-secondary institution located in London, Ontario. Its quizbowl team is one of the oldest in Canada.


A club was established at UWO in 1998 by David Thorsley, who had earlier won Reach for the Top championships with the 1992 Saunders and 1996 Saunders teams. While Waterloo, Queen's, and Ottawa all had clubs by that point, they had become inactive and were re-established at a later time. Western won at their first outing, the Canadian Quiz Championships at Waterloo in 1999.

With Thorsley, and later Adam Bishop, at the helm, Western regularly attended and hosted tournaments in Eastern Canada. Thorsley ran the first packet-sub tournament in Canada - Mackenzie Bowl - in fall 1999, attracting 14 teams, a number which wouldn't be topped in Canada for eight years. Western often hosted the Ontario sites of the NAQT SCT, TRASH Regionals, and VETO until 2004. Western is one of the few Canadian teams to travel to the US for non-national tournaments, doing so for Great Lakes SCTs and MLK, for example. Frequent participants during those years included Thorsley, Bishop, Matt Trudgen, Bridget Ker, and Jonathan Altman.

Western was fairly successful while Thorsley was president, but was afterwards a poor-to-mediocre academic team. Thanks to Bridget Ker the club was more successful at trash events. After many years of poor results, at the 2004 MLK tournament Western went 7-4, its only winning record during this period.

Western in this era enjoyed playing against other teams with "western" in their name, such as Northwestern and Case Western. For no apparent reason, someone would remind Northwestern every year that David Schwimmer attended their university; in 2003 they gave the Western team a poster advertising a talk given by Schwimmer. Even today, Western continues its storied tradition of comparing its geographic location with the more southerly Northwestern.

In 2004, Bishop and several other core members graduated, leaving the club in some disarray. Bishop was reluctantly succeeded by Rob London. A lengthy journey by Western to the 2005 OHT prompted Bishop to exclaim "You exist!?" in disbelief. Raffi Rush ran the club 2006-07, but the team did not attend any tournaments, stating that they were too far away (even though TRASH regionals and the SCT were hosted by Brock, much closer than Ottawa). At the 2007 VETO, the team submitted what is considered to be the worst packet at the tournament, featuring tossups phrased like Reach for the Top-style "What am I?" questions, among other problems.

In 2007, freshmen from the 2007 London Central Reach championship team attended Western and represented the school at several tournaments. See 2008 Western Ontario for details. That year, the team achieved a surprise second place finish in Division II at the 2008 ICTwhile led by Will Nediger. Player Peter Burton transferred to Toronto after the 2008 ICT; Nediger would remain at Western until beginning graduate school at Michigan in 2012, during which time he began his career as a writer and editor for ACF.


Western largely ceased activity as a quizbowl club after the departure of Nediger (2012) and Brian McNamara (2014). Peter Cordeiro and Tony Chen revived the team in the 2019 season with shorthanded appearances at EFT and ACF Regionals. In 2022, Western's team of Chen, Yadu Kukenthiran, Lauren Stoyles, and Bob Gao attended the school's first ICT since 2011. The team placed 17th, with Chen earning a spot as an individual all-star.


  • 1999 Canadian Quiz Championship (Waterloo)
  • 1999 NAQT Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (Michigan)
  • 1999 Mackenzie Bowl (Western)
  • MLK2K (Michigan)
  • Ann B. Davis 1900 (Michigan)
  • 2000 NAQT Canadian Sectionals (Waterloo)
  • 2000 NAQT Intercollegiate Fall Tournament (Waterloo)
  • 2001 MLK (Michigan)
  • Ann B. Davis 2001: A TRASH Odyssey (Michigan)
  • 2001 NAQT Canadian Sectionals (Western)
  • London Estival Trivia Open (mirror of VETO III) and Trans-Canada Championship Match (Western)
  • 2001 Great Lakes TRASH Regionals (Western)
  • 2002 MLK (Michigan)
  • Ann B. Davis 2002: Palindromically Yours (Michigan)
  • 2002 NAQT Great Lakes Sectionals (Cornell)
  • 2002 TRASHionals (Michigan)
  • 2002 Great Lakes TRASH Regionals (Western)
  • 2003 MLK (Michigan)
  • The Sloop Ann B. Davis 2003 Tournament (Michigan)
  • 2003 NAQT Great Lakes Sectionals (Case Western)
  • VETO Escapes to Toronto Ontario (mirror of VETO V) (Toronto)
  • British Columbia Bowl II (mirror) (McMaster)
  • Singles Action at Wreck Beach Open (Mirror) (McMaster)
  • 2003 Great Lakes TRASH Regionals (Western)
  • 2004 MLK (Michigan)
  • Ann B. Davis #9 (Michigan)
  • VETO Escapes to Toronto Ontario (mirror of VETO VI) (Toronto)
  • 2005 Ottawa Hybrid Tournament (Ottawa)
  • VETO's Eastern Trivia Open (mirror of VETO VII) (Toronto)
  • VETO's Eastern Trivia Open (mirror of VETO VIII) (Toronto)
  • VETO's Eastern Trivia Open (mirror of VETO IX) (Toronto)
  • 2008 Ottawa Hybrid Tournament (mirror) (Western)
  • 2008 NAQT Canada East Sectionals (Carleton University)
  • 2008 NAQT Intercollegiate Championship Tournament (WUSTL)

Past Members

Former players include:

  • Will Nediger
  • Brian McNamara
  • David Thorsley
  • Mark Hrycyshyn
  • Justin Petrillo
  • Paul Schreiber
  • Michael Tipping
  • Luke Lindsay
  • Dave Bjerkek
  • Will Wong
  • Emily Goble
  • Adam Bishop
  • Matt Trudgen
  • Sarah Weber
  • Bethany Wiseman
  • Christina Rivers
  • Jonathan Wong
  • Jonathan Altman
  • Adam Toews
  • Bridget Ker
  • Anthony Pham
  • Cameron Chapman
  • Jim Dinning
  • Vincent Shiao
  • Brian Kung
  • Mike Plyley
  • Steven Nunes
  • Keith Pawluk
  • Beth Gaughan
  • Dan Polakoff
  • Angela Laughton
  • Melinda Chaves
  • Rob London
  • Raffi Rush
  • Peter Burton
  • Will Pazner

2022 Members

  • Tony Chen
  • Yadu Kukenthiran
  • Lauren Stoyles
  • Bob Gao