Curl BC plans to reorganize its juvenile curling championships to bring them in line with changes at the national level.
Curl BC will make its juvenile event a U18 event, instead of the current U17 format. Curl BC will host these championships on an annual basis in order to align with the creation of the Canadian U18 Championships commencing in the 2016/17 season.
The change is subject to the approval of the motion to create a Canadian U18 Championships, which is being decided at Curling Canada’s AGM on June 18, 2016.
In addition, playdowns for the BC U18 Championships would switch from eight zones to five inter-regional events as outlined below.
A BC Winter Games curling competition will continue to take place every second year using the BC Games Zones. The intention is for that competition to be targeted towards younger athletes.
The Curl BC Board of Governors voted unanimously in favour of the change.
U18 Event Format:
1) The BC U18 Championships shall consist of two pools of four teams with the top two in each pool advancing to a sudden death playoff. The winner of each pool plays the second place team in the other pool with the winner advancing to the final. Teams not advancing to the championship pool will play in a consolation round simultaneously with the championship playoffs. Except for tie-breakers, no team shall be required to play more than two games per day. All games shall be eight ends.
2) The eight teams for each championship shall qualify as follows:
• One team qualifying from Region 1 and 2;
• One team qualifying from Region 3, 4 and 7;
• One team qualifying from Region 5 and 6;
• One team from Region 8, 9 and 10;
• One team from Region 11;
• Three remaining berths to be prorated based on the number of entries.
3) For qualifying events with three spots, the draw format will be a modified triple knockout and, for events with two spots, the draw will be modified a double knockout.
Eligible players must be 17 years of age or under on Dec 31, 2016. Each team will be comprised of four (4) males plus (1) coach or four (4) females plus (1) coach. Additional team members will not be recognized: i.e. alternate players, team leaders. The coach will have at minimum Competition Coach Certification. “Free Agency” as allowed for the Brier and Tournament of Hearts is not allowed for this event. Players must be residents of BC and satisfy the member association guidelines.
With our current system, we would be sending a U17 team to the U18 Canadian Championship when we could have athletes one year older who could still be competing on behalf of BC.
By moving to a U18 Championship, this will provide our train to train athletes (age 13-17) an opportunity to participate in an annual national championship prior to competing in our U21 competition pathway.
The BC U18 qualification process will shift to a 5 regional based qualifying system. In the non-BC Winter Games years, this will result in 5 regional events as opposed to the 8 zone events we currently run for the BC Juvenile Championship.
By shifting from the BC Games Zones, we give athletes in all regions more options to play with teams located in different regions similar to Masters, Seniors and Mixed.