The national selectors dropped a bombshell when they did not pick top curler Sean Becker for this month's New Zealand Winter Games.

Being left out was particularly galling for the long-term New Zealand skip as the event is being held on his home rink at the Maniototo International Ice Stadium in Naseby.

Read the full Otago Daily Times article here.

In a scenario very similar to a year earlier in Naseby, Sean Becker and sister Bridget skipped their defending champion teams to victory in Dunedin's 2009 NZ Curling Championships. In a remarkable Men's Final which saw the first three ends blanked, Sean's four shut out the Dan Mustapic team 8-0. As in 2008, Mustapic had earlier inflicted the only defeat on the Becker side in the preliminary round.

In another action replay of 2008, Bridget Becker completed another undefeated tournament when her team beat the Natalie Campbell squad 9-4 in the Women's Final.

Team NZ v Italy
Team NZ vs Italy

25 Apr 2009 – Favourites and defending champions Switzerland have beaten giant-killers Hungary 7-4 in the final of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy.

The win means that the Swiss pair Toni Müller and Irene Schori have never had a loss at a World Tournament. They also won last year's inaugural tournament without conceding a game. 

In the bronze medal game Canada came back after dropping singles on the first five ends to beat China 6-5.

The NZ Under-21 Men's team have secured the bronze medal at the 2009 Pacific Junior Curling Championships in Harbin, China.

The Kiwis forced their way into playoff contention by overwhelming Japan 14-3 in a tie-breaker match after both teams finished the double round robin with a 2 win / 4 loss record. The reward for NZ was a semi-final against Korea, but the late Kiwi charge ended there when they went down 4-8.

The World Curling Federation's revised anti-doping code has been published, effective from 1st January 2009. It applies to all current and potential NZ representatives at all levels of the game – junior, open and senior.

All competitive curlers should be familiar with the details and requirements of the revised code. It definitely includes all athletes at any international tournament, and potentially applies to curlers at any national-level competition as well.

Click here to see the full code (PDF - 489 kB)