Homan’s post-Scotties curling schedule uncertain with baby on way in spring

Homan’s post-Scotties curling schedule uncertain with baby on way in spring

Skip Rachel Homan has pencilled in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on her calendar next month for the Calgary curling bubble. If she were to win a fourth national women’s title, it would make for a most interesting decision on her plans for the world championship that follows a few weeks later.

Homan, who’s pregnant with her second child, will be about seven months along during the Feb. 20-28 Scotties at the Markin MacPhail Centre. The winning team will represent Canada at the March 20-28 world playdowns in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

“What’s going to happen in future events with women’s worlds, it’s hard to predict the future right now,” Homan said. “There’s no 100 per cent these days. But hopefully we’ll be able to compete in the Scotties and do Ontario proud and then see where the worlds stands at that point.”

It makes for yet another interesting talking point in this most unusual curling season.

Depending on Scotties results and her physical comfort level while being eight months pregnant, Homan could also choose to play in the March 18-25 Canadian mixed doubles championship. That would allow the St. Paul, Alta., resident to stay in province and avoid a long international trip.

That competition is the third of six events set for the Canada Olympic Park hub. Homan, ranked fourth in doubles with John Morris, will not play in the Grand Slams in April although her team could still be in the field.

Homan, who won a world title in 2017, recently accepted an offer to represent Ontario at the Scotties after the province cancelled its playdowns. Other confirmed Scotties entries include Team Canada’s Kerri Einarson, Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones and Northern Ontario’s Krysta Burns.

Normally teams at a nationals or worlds would use a fifth player as a substitute if one of the four starters were unable to participate. Using a three-player lineup could also work in a short-term pinch.

The Ottawa-based Homan team has used a variety of alternates over the years including Cheryl Bernard, Stephanie LeDrew and Cheryl Kreviazuk. Homan said her rink has yet to decide on fifth plans this season.

“With COVID obviously, that brings challenges to alternates,” Homan said in a recent interview. “It’s a lot to ask.”

If her Ontario side were to advance but the skip could not go to Switzerland, it’s unclear who would throw final stones on the fourth-ranked team that includes third Emma Miskew, second Sarah Wilkes and lead Joanne Courtney.

In the event a national champion could not send the same lineup to the worlds due to injury, pregnancy or travel concerns, a federation spokesman said via email that “Curling Canada will consult with the team relative to identifying the best possible solution.”

A strong showing at the world championship is particularly important for Canada this year with the top six countries locking up berths at the 2022 Beijing Games.

Given that, and coupled with the short turnaround the Scotties winners would have before leaving for Europe, has Curling Canada considered declaring representatives ahead of time?

“We’ve kind of always done playdowns,” said Nolan Thiessen, the federation’s director of broadcast, marketing, innovation and event presentation. “I know this year we looked at it. We still haven’t been told that the world women’s (championship) is officially happening based on what the health and safety protocols are. We shall see on that one.”

Thiessen, in a recent phone interview from Calgary, added that Curling Canada is already working on plans for what will be asked of the Scotties winners.

“(We’ll) work with them to try to ensure that we have everything needed and they know what to expect so that whoever wins on that Sunday night is ready to go and is going to be as prepared as possible,” he said.

The 2020 women’s world championship set for Prince George, B.C., last March was cancelled. Canada is one of 14 countries slated to participate in the 2021 competition at the KSS Sports Complex.

“The world women’s is still scheduled to go ahead as planned,” World Curling Federation media chief Chris Hamilton said via email. “However, the finer details around all of the COVID-19 safety protocols, including any required quarantine period, are still under discussion with the Swiss authorities at the moment.”

Homan’s team played a few friendly games earlier this season but its actual competition schedule has been very limited. She’s confident her rink will come out strong when play resumes.

“We’ve put in so many hours and so much work leading into this that you just have confidence that you’ve been there and done it before,” she told The Canadian Press from the Edmonton area. “You rely a little bit on the training you were able to do and the stuff we tried to do early.

“Right now it’s just that mental side and as much as off-ice training as we can to (prepare). It’ll be a different Scotties for sure but we’re so excited to be able to represent Ontario.”

Homan and husband Shawn Germain welcomed baby Ryatt in June 2019. Homan curled until she was about seven months pregnant that season.

She announced her latest pregnancy in an Instagram post last November.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

curling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Red Deer and District Community Foundation needs to sell more tickets to host a raffle that will benefit the Women and Girls Endowment Fund.
Red Deer & District Community Foundation grants $167K to local women’s initiatives

Initiatives supporting women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals will receive a combined… Continue reading

City of Red Deer says its roundabouts have sharply reduced the number of injury collisions at a pair of busy intersections. Alberta Transportation wants to incorporate five roundabouts into plans to twin Highway 11 from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Highway 11 roundabouts will increase safety based on Red Deer’s experience

Injury collisions sharply reduced at roundabout intersections in city

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

Alberta reported an additional 643 COVID-19 cases Friday. The province now has… Continue reading

About 110 students from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools participated in March for Life rally in Edmonton May 9. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school has COVID-19 case

St. Joseph High School in Red Deer confirmed a positive COVID-19 case… Continue reading

Lacombe High School logo.
Two more COVID-19 cases at Lacombe Composite High School

Lacombe Composite High School confirmed two more positive COVID-19 cases at the… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

Quebec Premier Francois Legault pauses as he speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Non-essential travel ban would violate Constitution but courts might allow it: expert

MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19… Continue reading

A woman walks outside the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

VANCOUVER — The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in… Continue reading

A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, September 22, 2016. China is threatening retaliation against Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a new security law giving Beijing more control over Hong Kong.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Diplomats contact Canadian held for over 2 years in China

BEIJING — Canadian officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig,… Continue reading

Marc Gold (centre) stands with senators André Pratte (left) and Peter Harder before being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Senator urges study of vexing barriers to using secret information in court cases

OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg ticket holder wins Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — A ticket holder from Winnipeg won Friday night’s whopping $60… Continue reading

A readers suggests using a hairdryer to open a tight jar lid. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Hints from Heloise: The handy hairdryer hint

Dear Heloise: Whenever you have trouble opening a tight jar lid, set… Continue reading

Professional-quality tools don’t just last longer, they’re also more comfortable and better balanced. This drill and impact driver are perfectly balanced on the triggers, which is ideal. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: In praise of professional-grade tools

When I was 10 years old, my dad began renovating our kitchen,… Continue reading

There are two confirmed COVID-19 cases at Red Deer College. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Central Albertans were promised a university

Central Albertans were promised a university

Most Read