Sunday, March 7, 2010

Toronto Star - There's no hard and fast rule for who can play

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Girard re-works the "curling's healing power" storyline covering Jim Armstrong's re-emergence from the ashes of a career blighted by physical injury.

He also acknowledges controversy over how Jim gets around, "because, unlike most other wheelchair sports, curling's international governing body does not have a hard and fast rule for who qualifies."

WCF eligibility rules, or ambiguous written guidelines? You decide.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps, Eric, you should acknowledge that WC hit the big stage before everone was ready, and the eligibility rules reflect this. That is why they are reviewing and revamping, and it will be more in line with other sports before next season...enlighten us, Eric, on where we are going

. said...

I totally agree that wheelchair curling is runnning way before it has developed the skills to walk a straigyht and steady line. This is something that Jim has also said. We have Paralympic Games, but no infrastructure.

The question of whether disputes over eligibility are mere evidence of growing pains, is a completely different question.

The official CCA line is, as I understand it, that eligibility rules are not in fact rules as much as ambiguous written guidelines, lacking clarity of a clearly stated philosophical premise.

That is certainly a convenient construction if you are Canadian, lacking a skip and wanting to find a place for Jim.

The other part of the argument for "don't hold us to rules, there are no rules" is that if you started to hold people to the letter of the law, then there would be a most almighty international blow-up because, the argument goes, many countries are fielding players who would not be eligible if Armstrong were not declared eligible.

The country most frequently accused, unfairly in my opinion, is USA.

The rules will be rewritten in April to widen the range of participants. Purists, will, howver, have expected these Games to be played to rules as they exist now, and not as they may become.

But perhaps I am being unpatriotic or over-picky.