MCA won't bend rule

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

One of the best junior teams in the province will be conspicuous by its absence when the city zones start at the Deer Lodge Curling Club tomorrow.

Seems that Pembina's former Manitoba junior champion Reid Carruthers will not be competing in the city zones because the Manitoba Curling Association refused to bend its rules. The MCA did not get Carruthers' entry form and no one is too sure why. The MCA did receive his entry forms for both the recent junior berth bonspiel and the Christmas spiel, which were mailed in a different envelope the same day. And MCA personnel scoured its own office to ensure that it had not been misplaced.

But the forms do clearly state that it is each team's responsibility to ensure that the MCA office gets them on time. As a result, the MCA denied Carruthers access to the city zone playdowns -- after a letter from one of the parents involved prompted it to review its policy at a board meeting last Saturday.

"It was unanimous that we keep it (rule) in place," MCA executive director Ian Staniloff said yesterday. "It's not a matter of rules are rules -- we don't want to be so stuck in the rulebook as that. But if we start making exceptions, where do we draw the line? If we let them in, then we get lambasted by others when we don't let them in. And all it would have taken was a phone call."

But it's not like the MCA has been overrun by junior entries in recent seasons. In fact, those numbers have been down in both city and rural zones and the Christmas spiel so it makes no sense to deny even one foursome. There were only 15 entries in this year's city zones.

"But do we make special rules for certain groupings?" Staniloff asked. "The sad part is that it affects people and they are wonderful young men -- all four of them. But we like to think we treat them all the same."

All four -- Carruthers, third Adam Walker, second Tyler Forrest and Ryan Hlatkey -- are in their last year of junior.

Carruthers, 19, attempted to get into a rural zone with an affiliate membership and was at first accepted late in one where no other team had apparently entered, then later denied that route, too. Staniloff said those decisions are left entirely up to the rural zone chairmen and the MCA rule is just for the city zones.

Carruthers, who can still qualify for the provincials through the Christmas bonspiel, declined comment.

BONSPIEL-BOUND: With no events left, Manitoba's Joelle Duguid earned enough points to qualify for the Canada Cup Bonspiel West when she won $4,500 at a Regina cashspiel last weekend, a CCA official confirmed. Jennifer Jones and Karen Porritt have also qualified via the Manitoba/Saskatchewan standings for the spiel in Edmonton later this month. Lois Fowler and Barb Spencer qualified last winter.

HOUSE CLEANING

Manitoba's Allan Lyburn earned $8,000 after losing the final of a WCT spiel in Yorkton. Both Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk won $6,000 there while Dave Boehmer settled for $4,000 ... St. Vital's Bill Kuran grabbed $8,000 when he won the MCT spiel in Stonewall. Stonewall's Patti Burtnyk pocketed $3,000 when she took the women's side ... Brandon's Liza Park got $1,000 when she won the women's final of a Virden MCT event. Saskatchewan's Darryl Williamson earned $2,000 for taking the men's side.

COMING UP

The final $150,000 McCain TSN Skins Game will be shown this weekend ... On the MCT scene, there are men's events in Dauphin and Morris ... Killarney will host a senior men's berth bonspiel.


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