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If the goal is to increase entries, I suspect we'll find more Tankard-level players entering Colts, rather than Challenge-level players playing up.
Agreed. I think short term you may see an increase in entries, however it may soon just become the second choice for Tankard teams that don't advance. Giving teams two events to enter instead of one, is not increasing overall participation.
Now, other than the Challenge,(which now if you don't have a couple of solid recent juniors on your team you're in pretty tough)what events does the OCA have for the "competetive club" curler?
I think the OCA should be looking at setting up Colts/Trophy more along the lines of of the Dominion. Then you would have an event which solid club teams could enter with a reasonable chance of success.
I have competed in what looks like my one and only OCA Event this year. Why? Because if you canít commit the time and money to an OCT Team, you canít put together a competitive OCA Team. Iím not knocking the OCT here, but it has created two tiers of curlers in Ontario, and Iím annoyed with the OCA for not recognizing this.
You are either a competitive curler and commit time and money to OCT events, or you are a club curler. From my point of view the ďcompetitive clubĒ curler is dead. Most OCT Teams are put together with members from across the province, who, in many cases, other than being OCA competitive members donít even belong to a club, or if they do, itís not the same club. This is fine if youíre putting together a team for OCT events, or any event leading to a National, but I have a problem with the other OCA events.
I could be wrong, and Iím sure Iíll be corrected if I am, but is not the purpose of the OCA to support and promote curling and curling clubs in Ontario? In their efforts to increase participation in their events, to help cover their expenses, they have killed the ďcompetitive clubĒ curler. If they are going set up all the OCA events so that all OCT teams are fully eligible to enter, then why have two separate organizations?
The OCA should be implementing rules for all events that donít lead to a national, that support and promote the ďcompetitive clubĒ curler. I donít see any point in the time and expense of running additional events for OCT teams. For all OCA events that donít lead to a National, I think all team members should be FULL members of the SAME club.
If the OCA wants to increase participation, they have to set up events for the competitive CLUB curler. Otherwise, they can continue to watch participation decline, until it is only the top twenty or so OCT teams entering their events province wide.
An excellent analysis of the trend that began when the WCT created the slam events. And the true fault lies not with your OCT/OCA, but with the CCA, WCT & WCPA.
The CCA has stood back and allowed the WCT & WCPA to create the illusion that there are only a select few good teams in our country. Now very few competitive club players see through this ruse.
It has been accomplished through a grandfathering points system, federal funding for a select few and a curling media that fawns over these teams while creating a myth of invincibility that has turned people off of entering playdowns.
Club memberships, while down across the country, have not dropped in relationship to playdowns participation. People have swallowed this myth whole-to the ultimate detriment of our sport.
Instead of creating large junior club programs with development instruction for all, we have 'high-performance' camps for the privileged, select few chosen not always for their skill, but often because they are well liked.
Our greatest strength as a game has always been the statement that on any given day, any team can beat any other team. While we probably cannot return to the days of club playdowns leading to nationals, we can promote and bring this truth back to the forefront. And , perhaps, it might rekindle the dreams of the competitive club players-because they are still out there.
If not, we will continue this slide and become a sport of the rich and select few-like Europe. We will end up not a sport for all, but a sport of snobs.
Registered: Feb 2004
Excellent points. I think a good survey needs to be done across the OCA clubs with the assurance that the OCA will not use those numbers to increase fees etc...there is no clear picture on numbers.
But doing a quick glance at participation levels - Junior entries are way down...the canary in the coal mine? This is what the OCA and the CCA needs to be concerned about. Focus on the recreational curler. Maybe a survey of how bonspiels are doing. Some are cancelled, some have drop to just one draw, many are not full.
I agree that if an event does not lead to a national championship then yes more stringent rules should apply.
Well Behaved Women Don't Make History.
Why don't we wait and see how the removal of Colts eligibility affects the entries for Colts this year. I do not expect to see a huge influx of exclusive OCT teams into Colts or other OCA events not leading to a national championship.
My math is a little different from Guest's, but here we go.
For Colts the entries are: this year 92 plus Zone 2 which isn't posted yet, and last year 106. The OCA doesn't post actual numbers for prior years, just the difference, being: 2012 -2, 2011 -6, 2010 +1.
For comparison I also looked at the Challenge, the numbers are: 2014 91, 2013 107, 2012 +2,2011 -22, 2010 -24.I speculate the reason for the big drop in 2010 & 2011, has something to do with relaxing the Challenge rules in 2009, so that Junior patches no longer count.
It's obvious entries are still declining not only in Colts, but all OCA events.
The way to increase participation is to make more events appeal to club teams. If the purpose of these events is to introduce curlers to competative curling, then they need to cater to those teams.One way to do this is to restrict the entry requirements, not eliminate them. I've heard the same comments numerous times about teams, that the players have never been in the clubs they're representing, and are made up of players from 3 or 4 different clubs.I agree,that for events not leading to a National, teams should be restricted to players who are full members of the same club.Then maybe the competative curlers will start getting other players from thier clubs to enter these events with, instead of just teaming up with thier buddies they've known since juniors to go for a party at provincials.
The competative curlers have to recognize that if paticipation continues to decline, in the future, instead of a having a great time at Provincials on the OCA's tab at these events,the events won't exist due to lack of interest and support.
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: 1994 Lumina Dr
quote: teams should be restricted to players who are full members of the same club.
This Idea has been brought up before but the OCA does not have the jurisdiction to dictate club policy to its member clubs. A rule like that would be up a club board to put in place and with dwindling memberships many clubs are willing to let players take out " associate memberships" that allow them to play an event without actually ever playing in the club, Clubs need the revenue. I know, as an example, that our club once required all players representing the club at an OCA event to play in at least one of our leagues, but that rule has changed. We need the cash.
Rehashing a bit of an old subject here...my post might be long, so please be warned!
Having looked at the zone draws for this years' Colts, it seems as though entries have dropped significantly - yet again. A quick look shows that the majority of zones have five or fewer teams entered at this point. Obviously, the "pilot project" that the OCA attempted has had an entirely opposite effect on entries for the competition as was intended when they opened the field.
It is my understanding that the original intention of the event was for it to be a step up in competition level from the Fairfield but not quite to the Tankard quality player. Hence the acronym many used for the event, "colts" - curlers only less than seven years. Seems like a natural progression to me and a way to grow the competitive foundation in the province.
With participation declining, as it is in all OCA events, the decision was made to eliminate all restrictions on the event in the hopes to see a rebound in participation. I will admit that I could see the reasoning behind this...why limit your pool of possible participants? However, when you open it up to everyone, you discourage the club curler who has a competitive fire in them to play in something outside their club, but without the time and most likely the financial backing to play a regular OCT event schedule leading to being competitive at the Tankard level.
I know for fact that our club regularly entered several teams in the Colts event each year in the recent past. Recently, it is now a struggle to find guys willing to play because they don't feel they can be competitive under the new rules, so why would they take the time away from families/jobs?
Furthermore, it has now come to light that within my zone, our OCA rep is fielding a team with a line-up which includes a past Brier SKIP. My knee-slider teammates never dreamed when they paid their entry fee that they may playing against a guy with a Purple Heart to his name! I personally love challenging myself against better players and will continue to do so moving forward, however the guys I'm playing with will not donate their money going forward to the OCA...stating that they would have signed up in the Tankard if they felt like competing at that level. These are the guys that the OCA needs to capture in order to grow participation and therefore revenue going forward. The OCA already has me playing and has my entry fees! Consensus amongst everyone that has spoken to me is that although it's within the rules, it runs polar opposite to the spirit of the event. A golf analogy would be Rory McIlroy playing a web.com tour event...sure he is eligible, but why would he play down to that level?
It used to be a badge of honour amongst competitive curlers to be eliminated from Colts - either you had your name on a banner at this level or you played your way into the Tankard provincials. I would love to have either on my curling resume.
Please OCA, return this great event to its original intended purpose!
The reason our team didn't sign up this year was two-fold:
1) It's being held on Valentines day and my band of rag-tag curlers would all like to remain dating/married to their SO's for, at least, the foreseeable future.
2) It's being held at a club that is fairly unanimously rated in the bottom 3 worst ice's in the district, so we didn't really want to subject ourselves to that all day and then subject ourselves to the fury of our SO's in the evening.