Curling dispute ongoing

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

There's little chance the Ultima World Curling Tour is going to change its mind.

But Medicine Hat bonspiel organizers and Diane Foster don't want to give up the fight just yet.

In last last Tuesday's Sun, Foster bemoaned the fact her winnings from last month's spiel in the Hat weren't counting towards her WCT standings -- and that was keeping her out of the running for The Players Championships at the Stampede Corral in April.

Medicine Hat organizers, including Gerard Hittel, are now claiming they're confused by the whole issue but WCT organizers are adamant.

Cheryl Bernard, who spearheaded the women's tour merger with the men's last spring, said yesterday the loop won't give Medicine Hat accreditation now.

"I sat down with (WCT president) Paul Boutilier and (board member) Dallas Bittle last week and we decided that we cannot, after the fact, make them a WCT event," said Bernard. "It clearly wasn't on the website as a WCT event, so all the players should have gone in knowing it wasn't a WCT event."

The men's side of the Medicine Hat spiel was registered and the winners earned points towards their tour standings.

But two points are clouding the issue for Hittel, who started the spiel 11 years ago but gave up head organizing duties to club manager Kevin Friesen this season.

The WCT hasn't invoiced the Medicine Hat spiel in two years for its registration fees, he said, nor did it serve notice the women's side had to be registered separately.

The women's tour, Hittel noted, never asked for registration fees when it operated as an independent organization.

"We definitely wouldn't have registered one without the other; that's just not fair to the women," he said. "But it's funny because they're counting the men's points and they counted them last year but we haven't paid any money for two years. And it's not like we haven't tried. I've tried to pay these guys but they aren't sending out invoices."


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