Q: What is birthright status?
A: Birthright status allows a curler to represent the province or territory they were born in, even if they move away. For example, a curler who is born in province/territory “A” and moves to province/territory “B” will be eligible to compete for province/territory “A” as a bona fide resident and not require free agent status. Birthright applies to the province/territory the curler was born in, even if they move to a new province/territory shortly after.
Q: What if I am Canadian but was not born in Canada (for example, a military base in another country)?
A: You would not be eligible for the birthright status.
Q: What requirements do I need to meet for birthright status?
A: You must meet the following criteria to claim birthright status:
- Be born in the province / territory you are claiming birthright status.
- Be a member in good standing of a curling club in that province / territory and compete in its men’s or women’s playdown process.
- Have a valid passport or birth certificate proving your birthplace for submission to the Member Association where you are claiming birthright.
Q: How do I have my birthright status approved?
A: You will need a valid birth certificate or Canadian passport to prove your eligibility.
Q: Which events will the birthright status apply to?
A: The birthright status applies to the national women’s and men’s championships and all provincial / territorial playdowns leading up to those events. Athletes who claim birthright status in men’s or women’s competition are ineligible to compete in another province / territory’s men’s or women’s playdowns during the same season.
Q: Can an athlete who claims the birthright status still compete in playdowns for other events like mixed / mixed doubles / seniors, etc., for the province / territory where they reside?
A: Yes, an athlete can claim the birthright status for the Brier or Tournament of Hearts competition and still compete in at other events in the province / territory where they reside.
Q: How long does birthright status last?
A: Birthright is claimed year-to-year, meaning a curler may compete in their birthright jurisdiction during the 2019-20 curling season and switch to the province / territory where they reside in the following season. In other words, a player is not obligated to commit to their birthright status for a set period of time.
Q: How does this decision benefit athletes?
A: It provides athletes with more flexibility in their personal and professional lives, while continuing to chase their athletic goals. For example, an athlete can move away from their home for an employment opportunity or personal reasons and still pursue their goal of representing the province / territory where they were born.
Q: How does this residency revision impact Member Associations?
A: Member Associations spend a lot of time, money and resources to develop young athletes. This change to residency rules means those young curlers can pursue the Brier and Tournament of Hearts in their birth province / territory even if they move away. This provides more value for an Member Association’s youth development program.
Q: Why is this change being made?
A: This update, made by Curling Canada operations staff after discussion with the Board of Governors and Member Association presidents, modernizes the residency rules and further aligns curling with best practices of other National Sport Organizations. This necessary correction will have the least amount of impact on the residency rules while also ensuring Canada remains a contender on the podium at international men’s and women’s events. These results are necessary as it brings in funding that benefits all Member Associations to support grassroots curling.
Q: What if I was born in a city bordering two provinces or territories?
A: Canadians born in border towns such as Lloydminster (which has geographical boundaries in both Saskatchewan and Alberta) will be assigned a ‘home’ Member Association based on the province / territory indicated on their government documentation (birth certificate or passport).
Q: Where is the dividing line between Ontario and Northern Ontario?
A: The current Ontario and Northern Ontario border for curling will determine if a player was born in Northern Ontario or Ontario (any disputes will be resolved by Curling Canada). If the town or city where the athlete was born has a curling club, then they will be considered as born in the affiliation of that club. If the town or city of birth does not have a curling club, they will be assigned to the member association with the closest affiliated club to their birth town / city.