The curious case of the expelled curler has a few more minor details confirmed, but nothing exacting when it comes to just what it was that led to Chris Schille's being told to leave the ice (and the building entirely), during a game at the provincial men's curling Championship, in Melfort, Saskatchewan.
That ejection became the talk of the Canadian curling world on Saturday, as a player being disqualified by an official during a game is extremely rare in the sport.
During the second end of play in a playoff game between Schille's team - skipped by Brock Virtue - and a foursome helmed by Josh Heidt, Schille was tossed by the game's head official. A bit of a twitter storm ensued, with accusations of an overzealous official being mixed with questions about whether more than just a kicked rock led to Schille's being tossed. (You can read the original column about the incident here)
Amber Holland, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Curling Association couldn't provide full details of the incident in question, saying she was not on site when the incident occurred and had only a few details.
"I don’t know the exact details of the situation. I’ve been hearing smatterings just as much as everyone else. I did talk to our competition liason who’s on site. But that was kind of in the middle of the game before she had been chatting with our head official, so I don’t have the exact details of what happened verbatim. I’m hearing it second hand as well. I have not talked to the head official myself," she said.
So, no detailed information about the incident is, as of yet, forthcoming although Holland expects to see some disclosure as to the claims in the near future.
"The head official has to provide us with written reports from the event with regards to anything that occurred. So, we’ll have those reports and I’m sure at the end of it we’ll deal accordingly."
One thing she does confirm, is that either Schille and/or one or more of his teammates had already been warned about conduct on the ice before he was given the boot.
"The information provided to me is that the team and/or player had had numerous warnings with regard to conduct and that was the final warning," she explained. "I talked to the coach today and, yeah, warnings had been issued with regards to the conduct. At that point, the conduct got to the point where there’s no more warnings... you’re done."
Schille's absence didn't deter his mates from posting a 5-3 win over Heidt, propelling them into a Saturday night 1 vs 2 match-up with Bruce Korte.
For Holland, it's a bit academic now, as Schille was eligible to get back into action in that game after his ouster from the Heidt game.
"Really, at this point, it doesn’t matter if I talk to the head official myself," she explained. "Our head officials are out on the ice to do their job. And that job includes ensuring that player conduct is becoming of sportsmanship and the betterment of the game. So, if my head official has determined that player conduct is not such that, then they have the empowerment to expel the player."
If Schille feels it was a miscarriage of justice, he's really limited in what kind of relief he could seek. None, really, outside of making his displeasure known on twitter.
"Our policies and rules state that any decision made on the ice by the head officials can’t be appealed past that," explained Holland.
"We stand by our officials and the decisions that they make on the ice," she said.