Curlers given opportunity to pilot test new playdown system

By Rebecca Connop Price

Curlers hoping to compete in BC curling championships in the 2017-18 season will be part of a new playdown structure being piloted across the province.

The pilot test will give curlers competing in the U18, Junior, Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles categories more than one opportunity to qualify for a BC championship.

The system will be reviewed after each championship event and competitors will have the opportunity to have input into any changes they would like to see.

A big change will see regional events become open events in the categories noted above. These open events will continue to be held in the traditional regions (Thompson/Okanagan, the North, the Kootenays and Vancouver Island) but they will be open, meaning that anyone from anywhere in the province can choose to travel to the event to qualify.

If they are not successful at qualifying at the first open event, or they are unable to attend the open event in their region, all competitors across the province will be able to take part in a Lower Mainland open event taking place one to four weeks later.

Berth allocation will also change so that it will no longer be based on proration, but will instead be fixed. This new system will also avoid teams receiving a direct entry into provincials.

Shannon Aleksic, Curl BC’s High Performance and Competitions Manager, said: “We are really excited to pilot test these changes. We are hoping to see an increase in teams entering playdowns as we have now created a second opportunity for teams to qualify for a provincial championship. We hope these changes will lead to a better system that works for everyone.”

There will also be changes to the format of the BC Senior and Master Curling Championships, with the Mixed championship seeing the fewest changes.

There will be no change to the wheelchair curling event.

A detailed breakdown of all the changes in every category is summarized below.

BC U16 – BC Winter Games

  • This event will be run as before, but with one change: it will move from being a U17 event to being a U16 event

BC U18

  • Five open events
    • Four of the events will take place on the same weekend, Jan 5-7, in the Thompson/Okanagan, the Kootenays, the North and Vancouver Island. A maximum of 6 berths allocated based on the following: each event with 2-5 teams will get one berth. Six or more teams will get two berths
    • A Lower Mainland open event will take place Jan 26-28 for the remaining berths
    • Any team from anywhere in the province can travel to any of the events
    • In the event that one or more of the first weekend’s events get an unexpectedly high number of entries, the Curl BC CEO will determine how the berths will be allocated or whether to increase the BC Championship draw size
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • The BC Championship format will be an eight-team round robin with a four-team page playoff

BC U21

  • The top four teams on the BC Junior Curling Tour from each gender to receive berths to the championship based on best three results
  • Two open events
    • One in Thompson/Okanagan – Nov 24-26
      • If 2-5 teams, will be allocated one berth
      • If six or more teams, will be allocated two berths
    • One in Lower Mainland – Dec 1-4
      • Will be allocated any remaining berths
    • Any team from anywhere in the province can travel to either of these events
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • The BC Championship format is status quo, eight-team round robin with a four-team page playoff

BC Women

  • Berth for defending champion
  • Two teams will be awarded a berth based on CTRS standing as of Dec. 1, 2017
  • Two open events
    • One in Lower Mainland – Dec 8-10 for three berths
    • One week later, one in Thompson/Okanagan – Dec 15-17 for two berths (plus a extra berth(s) if no defending champion or CTRS team(s))
    • Any team from anywhere in the province can travel to any of the events
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • The BC Championship format is status quo, eight-team round robin with a four-team page playoff

BC Men

  • Berth for defending champion
  • Two teams will be awarded a berth based on CTRS standing as of Dec. 1st, 2017
  • Five open events
    • Four of the events will take place on the same weekend, Dec 8-10, in the Thompson/Okanagan, the Kootenays, the North and Vancouver Island. A maximum of 6 berths allocated based on the following: Each event with 2-5 teams will get one berth. Six or more teams will get two berths
    • A Lower Mainland open event will take place Jan 5-7 for the remaining berths (plus a extra berth(s) if no defending champion or CTRS team(s))
    • Any team from anywhere in the province can travel to any of the events
    • In the event that one or more of the first weekend’s events get an unexpectedly high number of entries, the Curl BC CEO will determine how the berths will be allocated or whether to increase the BC Championship draw size
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • The BC Championship format will be 12-team triple knockout with a four-team page playoff

BC Mixed Doubles

  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • Five open qualifying events
    • Four of the events will take place on the same weekend, Feb 9-11, in the Thompson/Okanagan, the Kootenays, the North and Vancouver Island. A maximum of 12 berths allocated based on the following: Each event with 2-3 teams will get one berth. Events with 4-5 teams will get two berths. Six or more teams will get three berths
    • A Lower Mainland open event will take place Feb 23-25 for the remaining berths
    • Any team from anywhere in the province can travel to any of the events
  • The BC Championship format will be 16-team event with two pools and a four-team page playoff

BC Senior Women

  • Qualifying events will remain regional, not “open”.
  • Five regional events to be played on either Jan 26-28 or Feb 9-11
    • Eight berths allocated based on the following – 2-5 teams one berth, six or more teams – two berths
    • In the event there is an unexpectedly high number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how the berths will be allocated or whether to increase the BC Championship draw size (likely to 10). Similarly, if there is an unexpectedly low number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how to allocate any remaining berths.
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • Format will remain an eight-team round robin, but there will be a three-team page playoff instead of a four-team page playoff.

BC Master Women

  • Qualifying events will remain regional, not “open”.
  • Five regional events to be played on either Feb 2-4 or Feb 16-18
    • Eight berths allocated based on the following – 2-5 teams one berth, six or more teams – 2 berths
    • In the event there is an unexpectedly high number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how the berths will be allocated or whether to increase the BC Championship draw size (likely to 10). Similarly, if there is an unexpectedly low number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how to allocate any remaining berths
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • Format will remain an eight-team round robin, but there will be a three-team page playoff instead of a four-team page playoff.

BC Senior Men

  • Qualifying events will remain regional, not “open”
  • The event will grow by two berths, changing to a 10-team round robin with a three-team page playoff.
  • Five regional events to be played on either Jan 26-28 or Feb 9-11
    • 10 berths allocated based on the following: 2-5 teams – one berth, six or more teams – 2 berths
    • If there is an unexpectedly low number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how to allocate any remaining berths
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • Format will be a 10-team round robin, there will be a three-team page playoff instead of a four-team page playoff.

BC Master Men

  • Qualifying events will remain regional, not “open”.
  • The event will grow by two berths, changing to a 10-team round robin with a three-team page playoff.
  • Five regional events to be played on either Feb 2-4 or Feb 16-18
    • 10 berths allocated based on the following: 2-5 teams – one berth, six or more teams – two berths
    • If there is an unexpectedly low number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how to allocate any remaining berths
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • Format will be a 10-team round robin, there will be a three-team page playoff instead of a four-team page playoff.

BC Mixed

  • Qualifying will remain status quo, with regional events
  • Five regional events to be played on either Feb 16-18 or March 2-4
    • Eight berths allocated based on the following – 2-5 teams one berth, six or more teams – two berths
    • In the event there is an unexpectedly high number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how the berths will be allocated or whether to increase the BC Championship draw size (likely to 10). Similarly, if there is an unexpectedly low number of entries, it will be up to the CEO to determine how to allocate any remaining berths
  • No direct entries will be awarded
  • Format will remain an eight-team triple knockout with a four-team page playoff

BC Wheelchair

  • No changes
  • Championship remains a direct entry event with the event format depending on the number of teams who register

Anyone with any questions can contact Shannon Aleksic at saleksic@curlbc.ca.

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