Cup qualifying a problem for Manitoba tour

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

The local curling circuit is in a conundrum.

The Canadian Curling Association has denied the Manitoba Curling Tour\'s request to delay its new Canada Cup qualifying process for a year, MCT president Andy Stewart said yesterday.

The new procedure lumps Manitoba together with Saskatchewan and two men\'s and two women\'s Cup berths will be awarded to the region. But it means that, instead of teams earning Cup points at all MCT events -- which had been an unqualified boon for the tour last year -- those points will be limited to four men\'s and four women\'s cashspiels this season.

\"It just opens another can of worms,\" said Stewart, one of the MCT executives that had met with the CCA\'s Neil Houston during the recent world championships. \"We told them we didn\'t really agree with it. We didn\'t think it was fair or conducive to promoting curling in the province. And how do we pick four men\'s events?

\"They want every province to be the same but Manitoba is unique. Other provinces have five or six major bonspiels and nothing else. We have 23. How do we pick one over another?\"

The MCT had proposed that teams could use points from their best six spiels.

Stewart added that some events could be used as qualifiers for those offering qualifying points.

\"What we don\'t know is what the point system\'s going to be,\" said Jan Sandison, an MCT director. \"The JVC\'s (Women\'s Classic) a given but we don\'t have three other women\'s bonspiels with 24 teams or more.\"

Saskatchewan has at least two and another two can be expanded.

There are plans to introduce yet another new formula the following season, based on some sort of ranking system, Stewart said.

BITERS: The JVC will offer the final JVC TSN Women\'s Skins spot available ... Dave Boehmer, who curled with a number of non-Manitobans at Grand Slam events last year, has apparently formed an all-Manitoba foursome, with Pat Spiring at third.


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