Yesterday’s blog generated a lot of commentary, much of it from curlers who have been part of the playdown process.
A couple of points that should be brought up:
First, I don’t think we should eliminate the traditional playdown process where a team can sign up at their club and make it all the way to the provincial finals. Rather, I think we should just a) add to that process and b) modify it somewhat.
Second, another part of the argument that hasn’t been brought up is the time and cost of all these playdowns. With 16 zone playdowns, you need 16 clubs to donate ice which means icemaker’s time and, in some cases, club staff, i.e. bar staff, club managers. (True increased bar sales can be a benefit from this as well.) There is also the need for volunteer officials to oversee all these events. It's a significant undertaking for not much return.
Several emails asked to see the modified proposal in the Ontario Curling Report. It is as follows:
- eliminate zone playdowns as they are a waste of time, money and don’t draw enough teams to make it worthwhile;
- instead, have four regional triple knockout bonspiels, each delivering two teams to the provincial finals. Based on this year’s zone entries, each of these would have somewhere between 24 and 30 entries;
- The leading money winner on the OCT would get a spot;
- The leading Ontario team not otherwise qualified on the CTRS would get a spot;
- A triple knockout Challenge Round winner would get a spot;
- The defending champion would get a spot;
- The provincial final goes from round-robin to triple knockout.