I have had some great discussions over these summer months with a number of teams in regards to what the perfect situation would be when it comes to planning and preparing for the Trials. The double-edged sword exists as you consider the option of: do you wish to be in the first four awaiting the final four from the Pre-Trials – or would you want the competitive experience of the Pre-Trials to get your team ready for the Trials?
I believe it is a two-fold situation and unfortunately, as in life, there are no guarantees. Everyone I have talked with, including some that are already ‘in’ the Trials and some who have yet to qualify, would take one of the first four spots in a heartbeat. However, they would switch it for a Pre-Trials berth if I could guarantee them that they would get out of that event as one of the final four teams. Well, not having my crystal ball handy, I agree that taking one of the first four spots would be ideal in terms of eliminating the pressure to qualify; however those teams will have to ensure that they make up the competition time as the remainder of Canada’s top teams will be competing at the Pre-Trials in Prince George, B.C.
The men will have it a bit easier in terms of top competition options as there is an elite competition set for the Air Canada Centre (yes curling in Toronto!) that will bring together our top four teams and a number of other international teams that have qualified for the Olympics. (more details here: http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/266470) This would be a first for curling in that it would basically be the entire Olympic field in an event leading up to the Olympics.
I want to take the opportunity now to thank everyone for their recent questions and I promise to address each and everyone as the season goes along. We have an exciting journey ahead of us as we all sit back and watch Canada’s top teams battle it out for positioning in the 2009 Pre-Trials and Trials. As the season begins I will start adding some personal interviews from the game’s top players, coaches and officials to help provide insight into the BC Bound process!
Yours in curling!