Curling Alberta cancels provincial playdowns; reps for nationals yet to be named

Team Alberta skip Brendan Bottcher visualizes his delivery as he takes on Team Wild Card during the championship round at the Brier in Kingston, Ont., on Friday, March 6, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

EDMONTON — Curling Alberta has cancelled plans to hold its provincial championships later this month in Sylvan Lake, Alta., due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NexSource Centre was tabbed to host the Jan. 25-Feb. 5 men's, women's and mixed doubles competitions with the winners to advance to the national championships.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Curling Alberta said it plans to name its national representatives "as soon as possible pending a decision by the organization's board of directors.''

Northern Ontario was the first member association to announce the cancellation of its playdowns this season. It used last season's results to determine representatives for the upcoming nationals, which will be held in a bubble setting at Calgary's Markin MacPhail Centre.

Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia followed Northern Ontario's lead in recent weeks. Other provinces and territories are still hoping they'll be able to hold their annual playdowns.

Team Laura Walker represented Alberta at last year's Scotties Tournament of Hearts while Brendan Bottcher wore provincial colours at the Tim Hortons Brier.

The Feb. 20-28 Scotties will be the first of six competitions to be held in a hub setting on the grounds of Canada Olympic Park. The Brier is set for March 6-14 and the Canadian mixed doubles championship is set for March 18-25.

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