Saturday, March 1, 2014

No teams from Yukon enter senior women's playdowns

So this relegation thing? How is it working out?

As the Tim Hortons Brier gets underway, there will be a race at the top of the standing, but also one at the bottom as teams try to avoid being dropped into next year’s relegation pool.

But at another event, the problem with this new system is showing in a rather embarrassing way. First, a little history.

The reason for the creation of this system of relegation was a policy passed by the CCA called the Equitable Opportunity to Access Canadian Championships. It essentially means that instead of one team from the combined territories, each region gets its own spot.

But an interesting thing happened on the way to the 2014 Senior relegation. The competition was supposed to pit Ontario, Yukon, Nunavut and PEI for the final spot. The bottom four finishers last year were actually Yukon, Nunavut, PEI and NWT but since NWT is the host locale, it gets a pass and the next worst  -- Ontario -- drops down.

However there will only be three teams in the playoff. Why?

No teams from the Yukon entered.

Nada. None. Zilch.

So if one team of senior women had signed up in say, Whitehorse, they could have gone all the way to the national final. Or at least the relegation portion of it. Not sure if that’s better or worse than having no team.

In my time covering curling, this is the first time I can ever remember a national competition without a representative from a territory or province. 

So this, of course, begs the question: did no team sign up because it didn't want to go into the relegation pool figuring it wouldn't have a shot at winning and getting a spot in the bigger competition? Or are there simply no 50-and-over teams in the Yukon that want to play competitively?

So this Equitable Opportunity to Access Canadian Championships policy is really only worthwhile if there are teams that want to play. Hopefully this is just a small blip but it is definitely a blip.

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