Unity returns to Canadian men's curling
Ottawa, September 12, 2003
The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) and the World Curling Players' Association (WCPA) jointly announced today that effective with the 2003/04 curling season all events will, once again, be open to all male teams within Canada. The WCPA will lift the three year self imposed ban from the Canadian Men's Curling Championship process. This announcement clears the path for participation in both Canadian Championship and Grand Slam events to be based solely upon performance within their respective qualification processes.
Don Petlak, President of the Canadian Curling Association, said he was "pleased to see a return to the Canadian Championship by the teams who had signed exclusivity agreements to play solely in the Grand Slam events over the past three years. This means every men's team in Canada will have an opportunity to represent our country in the 2006 Olympics which is great for our sport. Also, with the recent announcement by the IOC that the 2010 Olympic Games will be staged in Vancouver, all of our sports' best should be competing for the honour of wearing the maple leaf on their back when the pinnacle of all sport events is being staged in our own back yard".
Paul Boutilier, President of the World Curling Players' Association, echoed Petlak's comments saying "all players see the Brier as the crown jewel and it will be great for the sport to have all of the best within Canada competing for that prize and all that comes with being the Brier Champion. As well, having every men's team eligible for Grand Slam participation will ensure curling fans have an opportunity to see the best competing in community events across Canada. Last, but certainly not least, the Olympics loom large on the horizon for all athletes within the PA, with everyone wanting to have the honour and privilege of representing Canada in Vancouver in 2010".
With all World Curling Tour and Grand Slam events, once again, being open to everyone, today's announcement also means that success on the Tour and in the Grand Slam events will be taken into consideration when the CCA's Canadian Team Ranking System is implemented this coming season. The Ranking system will be utilized initially by the CCA in the qualification process for the Canadian Curling Trials. It is, however, also envisioned to have application in a much broader manner in the coming years as it relates to entry into the Canada Cup and potentially into some Provincial Play-off processes as a few Member Associations of the CCA look at reviewing their current qualification systems.
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