Curling Canada says pregnancy exemption to be expanded in 2024
Announcement comes day after organization came under fire for limiting exemption to top 5 teams in rankings
Curling Canada says it is opening up its pregnancy exemption eligibility to all teams competing at next year's Canadian women's and men's championships, with the announcement coming a day after the organization came under fire for limiting the exemption to just the top five teams in the rankings.
In a release issued Thursday evening, Curling Canada said the expanded rule will take effect for the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary and will also be applied for the 2024 Brier in Regina.
The exemption allows a team to use a replacement player even if the athlete didn't play in the provincial/territorial championship or meet residency requirements.
We have heard the concerns and with careful consideration involving all stakeholders, please note the following update to the parental leave rules: <a href="https://t.co/aFXrgAImME">https://t.co/aFXrgAImME</a>—@CurlingCanada
Curling Canada's existing policy, which will remain in force for the 2023 women's and men's championships, allows the top five teams to add an out-of-province free agent at the national playdowns.
The wild-card team for the upcoming women's championship skipped by fourth-ranked Kaitlyn Lawes of Manitoba was allowed to use Edmonton-based Laura Walker as a replacement for vice Selena Njegovan, who was granted a pregnancy leave.
All teams are allowed to use replacements that meet Curling Canada's residency requirements.
Under residency rules, at least three of four players must live or have birthright status in their respective province or territory. Only one free agent is allowed unless an exemption is granted.
Curling Canada had said in a release Wednesday that the exemption only applied to the top five teams "because their ability to replace a player with someone with an equal level of ability and commitment is limited."
"I'm confused to what position/standing in CTRS [rankings] has to do with this," Jessie Haughian, second on a team skipped by sixth-ranked Casey Scheidegger, said on Twitter. "Pregnancy is pregnancy."
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?