Thursday, November 27, 2008

Canada and USA line-ups for Cathy Kerr announced

Canada and USA have announced their teams for the 3 day Ottawa spiel starting tomorrow.

Canada I - Armstrong (skip), Neighbour, Forrest, and Cormack all from BC.
Canada II - Austgarden (skip BC), Yizek (AB), Sobkowicz (MB) and Gaudet (BC)

USA I - Perez (skip NY), Pierce (NY), Joseph (NY) and Kapinowski (NJ)
USA II - McDonald (Skip CA), Heathcoat (WI), Dorsett (PA) and Delano (NY)

Canadian coach Wendy Morgan was at pains to point out that their teams did not indicate who would represent Canada at the 2009 Worlds. That decision  will be announced next week so that the team can play together at the Richmond International spiel the following weekend.

Armstrong, Neighbour, and Forrest are favourites to make the cut, with Gaudet the alternate if coach Rea follows past practice of including two women. That would leave Torino gold medallists Austgarden and Cormack competing with Yizek and Sobkowicz for the remaining front end position. Performance this weekend will influence selection, but all things being equal the vote may go to Sobkowicz in a move away from an all-BC team. Have an opinion? Post it in the comments.

The USA trials last weekend was the major factor in deciding which 8 athletes would compete in Ottawa. USA I, bronze medallists  at the 2008 Worlds, appear to have weathered the challenge of 6 other athletes though a final decision on the 2009 Team USA will not be officially announced until December 14th, after the US Open.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Armstrong, Neighbour and Forest are automatic. Sobkowicz COULD be included since there will already be one change for sure (Armstrong), and maybe it is time to clear house. Austgarden had terrible stats at the 2008 Worlds, albeit he had the pressure of calling the game, which will no longer be needed....

Too bad Armstrong's first look at USA1 will be a short (six end) final round game....I am sure this will be the peach of the Event. Will you be talking to anyone during the event?

Another interesting CANADA1 v CANADA2 in second round...lots to be proven I am sure.

Wonder if Armstrong will handle the pressure of this week?

Anonymous said...

Just a question - is Jm Armstrong really that good, or i this all hype for the program? I can't believe he can be technically so strong as to throw last rocks after only one season, with no international experience. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Ottawa the home to a couple of the biggest Armstrong bashers of last year?

One was (bruce?) Cameron...isn't he the organizer of the Ottawa event? As I understand, the WCF has reversed their decision involving Armstrong's eligibility, and he is now allowed to compete in all events. Wonder if he thinks he was a little too quick to shoot Armstrong last year?

. said...

Without sweeping, a skip can throw from any position. I would imagine that with his experience in strategy, ice-reading and team management he would need only to be adequate technically, and my understanding is that he is far better than adequate.

Team Canada has an experienced 4th stones thrower in Darryl Neighbour if required.

Anonymous said...

So how does Neighbour feel about being bumped down to vice skip?

Seems like a lot of change for a team that easily should have medaled last year (anf the year before, for that matter).

What's the guess on line-up if and when Chris Daw returns? After all, he skipped and threw last stones in 2006 and won it all.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Mr Daw more or less "un-invited" to return? That was my sense, anyway.

Anonymous said...


You seem to be the only person to actually talk to Armstrong. What's your spin on him coming in and taking the reins? Would like to see some comments BEFORE this weekend is over.

Anonymous said...

My bet is that if Armstrong finishes tomorrow with two wins, Canada1 will win the event, and you have your Team Canada for this year.

Anonymous said...

I think they will bring in Sobkowicz as well as Armstrong, giving them both a full season to adapt to international pressures.

Anonymous said...

Team Canada 2009 will be the same line-up as last year, with Armstrong travelling with the team, and coming in next year if he is ready.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Armstrong will wait yet another season. And I believe he is more than ready now, and, as Eric has indicated, will provide a big boost to Team Canada immediately.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts on Team Canada have always seemed to hit the mark. My guess you are right, with Jim and Chris (sobkowicz, not Daw)replacing Gerry and Gary.

I wonder what Chris Daw think of the changes, since he is now an objective viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.....big changes in attitude about a guy that NOBODY (other than close family and friends)SEEMED TO WANT in the program last year. An early congrats to him for taking the abuse and making the team.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't that people didn't want Jim, they just needed the comfort that he was medically eligible. Now he has been WCF assessed and approved, let's utilize his expertise to the fullest!

Anonymous said...

I don't think sobkowicz has it to be on Team Canada yet, he lacks the presurre elements not to mention he is throwing with an illegal stick. It is mechanical and should NOT be allow. Why does every other thrower seems fine with out it???

As for Daw, does this guy never get cut a break. He stood up for what was wrong and now is cut down again. He is out of the program, that is what the "coach" wanted. Did you ever notice that when Daw was playing they won and when the "coach" got what he wanted (Daw out) the have lost.

Jim Armstrong is the CCA's answer to 2 problems.

1. A strong skip who can call the game. Since Daw left, this is where Team Canada has fell down hard.

2. Coaching, Jim is able to fullfill both stops. Funny since the "coach" has been on the only international win they have was the Gold in Torino, where he had little input.

What is we stop looking at some things and look at others, like the "coach" like players who have had very poor status like Austgarden (close firend of the "coach")

What if Armstrong, Daw, Forrest and Neigbour played together!! WOW!! Now you have a tuff team to beat!!! Think about it.

Maybe it is time to bring Daw back (different role, third, second maybe) Use the fact he was a top player (still is????) and has a tons of expereince. Make Canada the top in the world, look pass the pass.

We need to think about defending what we have...Paralympic Gold!

Anonymous said...

Would Armstrong get along or even tolerate Daw? I know Jim is a likeable guy, but he is also a "no B.s." type....and don't screw with his team....

Anonymous said...

I doubt Daw would necessarily "fit" with this team (Canada1). Right now coaches and players are happy, and of this moment (with Armstrong), they continue to win, and win big.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Cut the guy a break (Daw) let the pass go!

I know Daw helped Armstrong and even helped him get a whelchair so as for getting along.....I would say for tolerate I would say yes as they curled togther last year and won and won well.

Again, look in the right places, coaches and other players and leave the guy alone.....

Everyone got what they wanted...he is bad we all forget what he has done for they sport....he is a legend in this sport who has helped alot of people get started...and he continues to do so today from a distance. When will anyone cut the guy a break and see were the sport has come because of him.

He has helped most players, given the coaches (including Joe) alot of the knowledge they have, help design the cue, developed 5 provinces to have programs ( that I count) etc., etc. etc.


Anonymous said...

Dear Readers;

I would like to thank those who support me and caution those who don't know me!

Team Canada is progressing in the way that those currently running the porgram see fit. As for the future who knows. Good Luck to all involved.

As for my "ego" becarefull. Don't get confused about on ice and off ice. I have work hard to help make this sport better as have many others. I have no doubt I have both firends and enemies but let's be fair when we speak of "ego's".

Yes, there is life after me playing for Team Canada, as we all knew there would be. Good Luck to Team Canada, good luck to all curlers but please know ALL your facts before making comments about both the program and people involved.

Thanks for the great well thoughts from those who care!

Good luck to all at Worlds, and Nationals


Chris Daw

Anonymous said...

There are some really good points on here, there are some really great people playing for Team Canada now, and same goes for when Daw played on Team Canada. You shouldn't judge people from their past or if you do not know them. Give people a break, and give them a chance, get to know them before you start talking about them. I understand everyone is intitled to their own opinion, but if you haven't gotten to know someone, just try it you never know, you make like the person (Daw). He was a great asset to the Team and brought some really great quailities that they were lucky to have, it's just to bad people can't see pass his past and give him another shot.

Anonymous said...

Itis a much better team all round since Torino.

Wonder if it would work with Armstrong skipping Daw?

Right now, I think Armstrong has his favourite third in Neighbour. I understand they practice together all the time.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone made an obsevation?

Did anyone notice that it looks like the average age of team canada heading into 2010 is going to be about 60???
Now, not that there is anything wrong with that but what about after 2010?
Has there been so much damage done to the program showing some strong favortizism towards players, will team canada even have a competitive team after 2010?
Who is that going to be?

What ever happen to the pool of 13/14?
Who decided who the 8 were? And how?
Can anyone show me anywhere some documents or a selection procedure on how you even get selected to team canada, or do you just have to be the coaches buddy!!!

If a player like Daw or Sobey or Bruno want to make this team how do they?
How did Armstrong come from nowhere and make this team??

Are there not other players like Rees who have been playing for years who have never even been looked at?
What happened to Roy?
You can't tell me the only two females in canada are forrest and Guadet?

What happens if they do not win worlds this year???
What happens if they fail to medal again?
Will the coach be able to continue for a fifth straight try?
Will Armstrong be dropped because he failed to do his job?
Seems like Daw got dropped the minute he could not win a worlds. What happens if Armstrong and the coach do not get a long??
Will Armstrong be shown the door like Daw was? Seems like a heavy investment of funds in an ever evolving short term program goal.

What about long term planning?? What about long term player development?
What about a written selection process?
What happens if four out of five players retire after 2010?

I think that these questions should not just be published here in this blog but be published in your main site as a topic and invite answers to all of these questions.

And I myself agree with a couple of points from above blogs. One; I would love to hear what Daw thinks of all of this and two; the only person that seems to be doing any development work outside of the team canada program is Daw. The team canada coaches are not holding camps, the team canada coaches are not helping any more than a select few. If Daw is this ego driven player than why is he investing all this time in development, why is he the only one going around trying to ensure there is a future in this sport outside team canada? Maybe there is a bigger story here, than we are all looking at. I have read a lot of the articles on here now, and it seems like a lot of the points are getting missed. The CCA is only looking at short term planning and turning their heads towards players and coaches who fail to produce. And it seems that those who challange this are pushed to the outside. Have we ever questioned any of this? Have we looked past 2010? Who holds the answers? I would love to see this as a full article by you Mr. Eales

Just my reading and observations!! A concerned fan.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


You are not a "concerned fan", but rather are a player wondering how,and if, you can fit again.

You know better than anyone that there was a lot of additional funding for the program to enhance its medal chances in 2010. Is that short-sighted/ I think not. The Talent pool of experiencedathletes is still limited, since experience takes time. You also know that even in your mind, the team which wil represent us will be your choice, less likely one position (to allow for your inclusion). Don't hide when trying to make your point. It negates a lot of validpoints which you make. Yalk to Eric, I am sure he would certainly print your opinion in whole.

. said...

I have received email from Dave Sawatzky, Proprietor of Karson Enterprise and inventor
of The Adjuster Plus curling delivery stick. He complained that someone had posted a comment purporting to be from him.

I have removed that comment and another related. I regret that someone betrayed our trust in this way and deplore the tradition of anonymous posting on curling forums. I will continue to allow them here because I feel our sport needs a way of absorbing new ideas. If however I feel that the cloak of anonymity is doing more harm than good, I will change the policy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone;

I would like to make one thing clear; if and when I choose to make a comment. On here or media or other. I will SIGN IT!

I have seen 2 "blogs" accusing me of saying things and I have not written either. Fact being, I have see people accuse me of writting things and then sign it by someone else. When I call that person they say NO they did not write it.

Please; please; can people stop thinking I am writing on this trying to make points which have nothing to do with me!!!!!

Team Canada is Team Canada, I am not on it nor have nothing (NOTHING) to do with it!!!

I am in my home trying to heal from my accident, trying to help the sport in what everyway, I may be permitted by whom ever let's me.

I don't want any problems nor do I want to provide my opinion. I learned my lessons the hardway!

Please don't accuse me anymore, PLEASE.

I like others just want to see the sport grow and for this country to do it's very best. I know that some of you may not like me and that is your choice. I have tried my best to make whatever difference I can. I don't think it is fair for all of you to continue to accuse me of comments. Trust me if I have something to say, I will say it, in the public forum. I am not trying to hide. I have no need.

Let's focus on making this psort better. I have not been involved with Team Canada nor the staff in over a year. I have nothing to do with planning nor have ever. Please, just let it alone and stop accusing me of things I AM NOT DOING!

I will sign my comments, openly;

Thank you in advance

Chris Daw

Anonymous said...

Yes I was the organizer of the spiel and I did not bash Jum Armstrong last year.....I bashed the CCA and Gerry Peckham for the method he became a member of the pool. It had nothing to do with Jim Armstrong personally, his able bodied accomplishments or his future wheelchair curling had everything to do with the double standard of Gerry Peckham and the CCA.

Why don't you identify yourself, not necessarily by name, but at least to your curling background...are you a wheelchair curler, an able bodied curler, a qualified coach of ale bodied or disabled sports....stand up and be counted...Chris has no problem signing his comments and neither do I...don't hide behind an anonymous blog entry.

The stick that Chris Sobkowicz uses is a legal stick approved by the WCF. Please do your research before making inaccurate comments. If you are a curler I suppose you are still using the original corn broom that resembles a house broom....don't get in the way of progress.

Team Canada has not fallen down hard at the skip position since since Chris Daw left. Have you curled against Gerry Austgarden, Chris Daw or Jim Armstrong.....well I have and they are all very capable skips. Just because Austgarden had a bad Worlds doesn't make him a bad skip or curler. If you follow curling you would know that the best teams and inddividuals go through periods where they "struggle" with their game.

Jim Armstrong is very, good and has worked hard to reach that level after being "parachuted" into the Team Canada pool of players by his buddy Gerry Peckham of the CCA. He has now proven he deserves to be there, albeit I still believe the method he got there was not correct.

Curling is a team game and one person can strengthen a team but can not carry the "load" alone regardless of the position he/she plays. Here is a bypthetical situation based on the results of the Cathy Kerr spiel. Lets change just the skips on the 1st place team with the 8th place team, 2 with 7, 3 with 6, 4 with 5 and replay the spiel. Now do you really think that Jim Armstrong as skilled and experienced as he is could take that team more than one or two spots higher....if that? Curling is a team sport.

Chris Daw has done a lot for wheelchair curling in Canada. He is also man enough to put his name on his comments.

With the fact wheelchair teams must have one of the opposite gender per team, the 5th curler should be a female for obvious reasons. Don't be surprised when the final roster of Team Canada is announced and the 5th is a female.

Bruce Cameron

Anonymous said...

Concerned fan,

From my experience, it seems at least so far that age does not have as much affect on skills in wheelchair curling as able bodied curling. Generally speaking the average age in wheelchair curling seems higher than the general curling population. It certainly is that way in our club.

From the outside it appears as if you had to be someone's buddy. The original pool of Team Canada hopefus was selected from evaluation camps held across the country. I queried the wheelchair development coordinator for Curl Ontario and this is what I was told. He was asked by the CCA who he would want at an evaluation camp. He submitted nine names of which the CCA invited only 5. He told me he did not ask and he did not know how they reached that decision from his list. I did not ask and he did not tell me if the list he submitted was "weighted". From those 5, one person was chosen. They then proceeded across the country holding similiar camps in Manitoba, Alberta & B.C. They also included the 2007 National team winner in the pool. The pool was then set or so it appeared...but at the first or one of the early training sessions held in BC, Jim Armstrong was introduced by his buddy Gerry Peckham as a member of the evaluation camp....just "parachuted" in.

During the 2007/2008 season Team Canada entered bonspiels throughout the world using various combinations of the group/pool players. They recorded every shot, every game with their sophisticated camera & laptop programs. They also had some group/pool training camps. At the beginning of the 2008/2009 season it appeared the group had shrunk to 8. That decision I am suggesting was made by the team coach and manager aided by a computer full of stats.

The CCA received a grant of $400,000 over X years (perhaps 4) for grass roots development of disabled curling, not just wheelchair curling. The CCA news release can be found on wheelchair You can also find Gerry Peckham's ramblings about why, not how the hand picked process would be used.

I always thought the grass roots level of disabled sports was at the club level. To date our club has not been offerred any of this money.

Does anyone think for one second that the elite men and women curlers would stand for the same indiviual hand picked team composition for Team Canada? Not in your why should we...

Gerry Peckham and the CCA should be called to answer for the way wheelchair curling has been treated.

I am just a wheelchair club curler who has made a point of trying to be informed about what is going on in the sport.....

Lets Rock 'n Roll

Bruce Cameron

Anonymous said...


I hear what you are saying about a selected Team Canada. However, I believe that there was no other logical choice to provide an internationally competitive team. Very simply, the number of players simply does not support any type of play-off to provide a competitive team to date. I would support, after 2010, a reworking of the system, requiring the reigning Team Canada to play at the Nationals, with THAT winner being Team Canada. Or perhaps the reigning Canadian champions of that year get to "challenge" Team Canada in a best of three (or five)play-off. This event could be bid on by wheelchair hot beds to hold the event....more high profile...

But the reality of today is that our numbers are just too small to support a play-off for an internationally competitve team.

Anonymous said...

I hope and think that after 2010 there will be provincially selected teams for the honour of playing for Canada, but men only. I think we should change the Gender structure system to allow male and female teams and male and female competitions. This will encourage more women to play and allow an equal playing feild for women to compete. At first once again it might be individual selection for a canadian national womens team, but hopefully it will grow and we can go to provincial teams in the future. Let's try and make the sport inclusive, not exclusive.

Anonymous said...

Are you not making contridictory statement, by saying lets be inclusive not exclusive? Yet you want to spilt the men and the women?

I think the only country in the world that could do that is Canada and thus this is never going to happen.

Think about it, on a world scale not just a local one.

Anonymous said...

Once again, the mixed gender rule is meant to be inclusive, not exclusive, snce if there were a women's division there wouldn't be but a couple of teams. Eric had indicated some time ago, that even in B.C. there are only four or five women with any experience. Get the numbers up, and then we can spit the men off.