Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why Is the CCA Still the Official Voice of Curling in Canada?

Many years ago, when championship matches were so boring that final scores were often 2-1 or lower and fans booed the play, both fans and players knew changes had to be made. Finally, at the suggestion of Russ Howard and with the support of many others, the free-guard-zone rule was adopted. The CCA finally supported the change, but made haste slowly.

Last year, the CCA, in conjunction with the CBC, completely alienated fans by negotiating a bad deal the had curling on a digital-only channel that doesn't belong on the air.

This past summer, the CCA, once again, confused everyone with their attempts to renegotiate the broadcast contract; sadly, the one they ended up with still does not provide coverage of all the ends at the major tournaments.

And now this.
Later this week, Joyce Potter and her Canadian senior championship team will be at their home club, the Rideau Curling Club in Ottawa, for a fundraiser they hope will give them some of the estimated $7,000 they need to compete in the world senior curling championships in Denmark, beginning on March 3.

The fact that team members have to resort to a fundraiser to represent their country, as well as solicit donations and dig into their own pockets, appears to say a lot about the financial status of the Canadian Curling Association these days. Potter's team and the men's championship rink, skipped by Les Rogers, had been promised $20,000 from the CCA, but that was cut by half after the association suffered significant losses caused by the fallout from the disastrous television contract affair of a year ago.

It's also why a number of curlers are questioning the recent trip taken by four of the association's directors and its chief executive officer to Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany, for the recent World Curling Federation semi-annual meeting.

Mikey, at In the Hack adds,
But what makes matters even worse is that these four left half-way through the Canadian Curling Trials, what would seem to be one of the biggest and most significant curling events of the year. None of them was on hand to see the conclusion.
What’s even more surprising is that Greenberg was the board liaison to the Trials, meaning he was supposed to be the director overseeing the event, which I guess he did from Garmish.

Parkes disappeared after the opening weekend while the others left mid-week.

(When I mentioned this information to the head of a provincial association, he nearly blew a gasket, saying that this was exactly the type of nonsense that they thought they’d put an end to at the Special General Meeting in November.)

Does that mean that the World Curling Federation meeting was more important than the Trials?

The media release announcing all the business items from the WCF meeting certainly was riveting. Topping the list was the news that Mongolia and Georgia had sent in applications to join the World Curling Federation. The media was also alerted that Mr. Kunio Nando had won the Elmer Freytag award, given out annually to someone who develops curling internationally. And finally, according to a release from the WCF, the World Senior championships will utilize an A and B pool format.

Good thing our directors were there en masse to make sure the WCF got things right.
As I mentioned last issue, you should be outraged. You should be mad that these people are running around the world on expense accounts paid for by your dues. Let them know how you feel. Tell them what they’re doing is wrong. In fact, you should even go over their head to Sport Canada.

The CCA lost about $100,000 last year due to their mis-management. Surely the executives and directors should not be rewarded with a trip to Germany.

Heads should roll.


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