Some of Alberta’s biggest curling tournaments, previously scheduled for later this month, have been cancelled due to COVID-19, Curling Alberta announced on Jan. 8.
That includes the Boston Pizza Cup, the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Alberta Mixed Doubles Provincial Championship.
All three events were scheduled to be played in Sylvan Lake, Alta., between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5.
The cancellation was due to “Alberta’s continued state of public health emergency” and “evolving provincial health authority directives,” Curling Alberta said in a news release.
The 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier, 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and 2021 Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship are scheduled to go ahead in a Calgary hub in February and March.
But, without competition results, Curling Alberta must decide which teams to send to the Calgary bubble for both the Brier and the Scotties.
The board of governors is expected to meet this weekend to make the decision.
“You’ve got a whole bunch of athletes there that didn’t have the ability to play in the provincials and now you’re going to penalize them for that,” Team Alberta's skip Brendan Bottcher said.
It’s not an easy choice as Alberta had four rinks at nationals last year. The provincial champs and the defending national champs in Team Canada colours.
Curling Canada plans to set-up a hub in Calgary for the national championships but there are concerns about the caliber of competition.
“There will be a lot of inequities because you’ll have people across the country that have had access and will have access a few weeks leading into the bubble. And on the flip side, there will be teams that won’t have curled in months," Bottcher said.
“I don’t think you’ll see what you’re used to seeing,” 2020 provincial champion Laura Walker said. “Maybe that’ll make it more interesting.”