Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ejection talk heating up between players, officials

In the wake of Chris Schille's ejection from the Saskatchewan men's playdowns, there's been more discussion about the ejection of curlers for being bad boys and girls.
Paul Wiecek penned a fine column in the Winnipeg Free Press that looked at the situation in Manitoba and the ruckus it's causing with players.

Now, this issue was resolved decades ago in sports like football, baseball or hockey, where officials have had the power to bounce players for objectionable conduct for as long as anyone can remember. 
But in a self-policing sport such as curling -- where the single worst infraction isn't an actual infraction at all, but rather the failure to call one on yourself -- suddenly giving officials the power to potentially alter the entire course of the game by tossing out players is a very big deal indeed.
The MCA put in a new policy for this year's championships and many players feel it gives the officials far too much power.

There haven't been any ejections yet in Manitoba, where the new policy has now been in place for junior men's, junior women's, women's and, this week, men's provincial championships. 
But some curlers are concerned it's just a matter of time and worry that Curl Manitoba's new policy is so vaguely worded that it leaves unclear exactly what constitutes objectionable conduct serious enough to merit ejection. 
"The guidelines are too ambiguous. I think they really need to spell out what's what," says McEwen. "You'd hate to see a borderline situation where an official steps over the line or doesn't step in. And the way it's written, it's pretty much their personal opinion." 
The CCA doesn't have an ejection policy but Warren Hansen said bad language results in a big response.

CCA events director Warren Hansen says swearing by players wearing television microphones at curling events will generate viewer complaints like, literally, nothing else.
"If someone even says 'Christ!' out there, us and TSN will get a hundred emails within 15 minutes," says Hansen. "Minimum -- a hundred. I'm serious." 
It's an interesting topic and it's one that's likely to heat up over the next few months.

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