I have had a number of questions passed along with the belief that the CTRS system is limiting the chances that teams have, and to some point, I can see where these people are coming from. I then turn on the television (or the internet as I’m in China right now) and see teams like Marla Mallet and Robyn McPhee sitting at, or near, the top of the leaderboard at the 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Don’t get me wrong there are some serious CTRS implications to this STOH – a couple of teams, Bernard and Lawton, could help pave their way directly into the Olympic Trials. However the story should be coming out that a team that has not been able to travel the last couple of years because of any number of factors could win a spot into the Pre-Trials this week. The system is designed to make sure the STOH/Brier are huge parts, and the aspect of that which allows for a team that has spent a lot of time home practicing to qualify to possibly represent Canada at the 2010 Olympics should be applauded. I love the possiblity that a relative unknown team on the CTRS could show up this week in Victoria, beat some of the top teams in Canada, and earn a right to play in Prince George this November.
Some interesting happenings so far in the standings with Stefanie Lawton’s team sitting at 0-2 after a couple of 10th end losses. I have a tonne of respect for this team and no doubt they will be near the top of the leaderboard at the end of the week, the repercussions of this week may just be creeping in!
Word of note: if a team already qualified in the Trials/Pre-Trials for the Olympics wins the STOH the spot will automatically go to the highest non-qualified team on the 2008/2009 CTRS at the end of this season. Stay tuned!!