Curling Canada says being pregnant exemption to be expanded in 2024

Curling Canada says it’s opening up its being pregnant exemption eligibility to all groups competing at subsequent yr’s Canadian ladies’s and males’s championships, with the announcement coming a day after the group got here below fireplace for limiting the exemption to only the highest 5 groups within the rankings.

In a launch issued Thursday night, Curling Canada stated the expanded rule will take impact for the 2024 Scotties Match of Hearts in Calgary and also will be utilized for the 2024 Brier in Regina.

The exemption permits a crew to make use of a substitute participant even when the athlete didn’t play within the provincial/territorial championship or meet residency necessities.

Curling Canada’s present coverage, which is able to stay in pressure for the 2023 ladies’s and males’s championships, permits the highest 5 groups so as to add an out-of-province free agent on the nationwide playdowns.

The wild-card crew for the upcoming ladies’s championship skipped by fourth-ranked Kaitlyn Lawes of Manitoba was allowed to make use of Edmonton-based Laura Walker as a substitute for vice Selena Njegovan, who was granted a being pregnant depart.

Nonetheless, 13 of the 18 groups that certified for the Feb. 17-26 occasion in Kamloops, B.C., couldn’t apply to make related lineup modifications if wanted. A number of outstanding curlers — together with Olympian Daybreak McEwen, Mike McEwen, Felix Asselin and Beth Peterson — criticized the eligibility rule Wednesday on social media.

All groups are allowed to make use of replacements that meet Curling Canada’s residency necessities.

Below residency guidelines, at the very least three of 4 gamers should stay or have birthright standing of their respective province or territory. Just one free agent is allowed except an exemption is granted.

Curling Canada had stated in a launch Wednesday that the exemption solely utilized to the highest 5 groups “as a result of their potential to switch a participant with somebody with an equal degree of potential and dedication is proscribed.”

“I’m confused to what place/standing in CTRS (rankings) has to do with this,” Jessie Haughian, second on a crew skipped by sixth-ranked Casey Scheidegger, stated on Twitter. “Being pregnant is being pregnant.”

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