Friday, August 1, 2008

CurlBC abandons selection camps for playdowns

In another sign of the maturing of the sport, CurlBC has just announced their April 24th decision to abandon selection camps in favour of a playdown to choose who will represent the province at the 2009 Canadian National Championships in Halifax NS.

From an enthusiastic start in 2003, and despite success at the National Championships with a selected team, participation in wheelchair curling in BC has stagnated over the past 5 years, culminating in a humiliating withdrawal from the 2008 BC Winter Games because of lack of athletes. It is to be seen whether finally rewarding team formation will be the catalyst for renewed enthusiasm.

The change is designated a "one year pilot project" but it is unclear what criteria will be used to determine its success. BC already has the best record of any provincial team at the Canadian Nationals, having won the past two years, and coming second to Team Canada when the (selection based) national team competed the previous three years. If growth in participation is the criterion, then it may take more than a single year to undo the disincentives to team formation of the past five.

The CurlBC wheelchair curling committee, whose members are listed on the CurlBC website, invite suggestions for rules of competition.

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