MCA approves changes

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Major changes will be made to the MCA's annual men's bonspiel and Manitoba's Reid Carruthers will have a chance to qualify for a world championship this fall.

The 2009 MCA men's spiel will be reduced to a guaranteed six games, shortening the event by two days, it was revealed at the MCA's AGM in Hamiota on the weekend through www.thecurler.com and not the MCA itself.

Meanwhile, the CCA plans to send the winner of this fall's national Mixed championship to the inaugural world Mixed Doubles championship as its Canadian rep.

MANITOBA REP

Carruthers will be Manitoba's rep at the Mixed, likely to be held in Calgary.

Several other changes to the men's spiel were also announced, including:

- All games will be eight ends;

- Teams will start in one main event, then split into two streams as they lose their game in that event, although the 13 events will continue;

- The 2009 entry fee will drop to $250 (early bird only);

- A type of Brier Patch venue will be introduced during the event. The MCA has been determined to lure teams, especially rural ones, back to the bonspiel, which has been shrinking rapidly the past few years.

Neither MCA executive director Ian Staniloff nor the MCA's media relations representative returned repeated messages left over the weekend.

Hamiota's Dale Brooks also replaced Victoria's Mitch Tarapasky as MCA president.

Other changes made were as follows:

- The men's provincial berth offered at the MCT Championship will now go to the highest-finishing eligible team and the parties involved are still discussing scheduling dates;

- Effective immediately, the annual women's bonspiel will become a last-chance spiel open to berth-eligible teams only;

- The women's berth bonspiel will revert to a triple-knockout format.

The MCA also reported a loss of $107,545 on the 2006-07 season and announced that the 2009 men's provincials will be held in Portage la Prairie with the '09 women's in Neepawa.

Victoria's Don Campbell, Dauphin's Bev MacKenzie, PaceSetter's Ray Gudmundson and Tarapasky were also awarded HLMs.


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