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CCA announces creation of Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials

The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced the creation of a new curling championship, the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials.   The competition will take place each March and will qualify Canada’s representatives for the annual World Mixed Doubles Championship.

Action from the 2012 World Mixed Curling Championship in Erzurum, Turkey (Photo WCF/Volkan Atar)

The inaugural Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials will be held March 14-17, 2013 at the Leduc Recreation Centre and Leduc Curling Club in Leduc, Alberta.

The competition format will consist of 32 teams (each team consists of one male curler and one female curler) divided into four pools of eight, with the top two from each pool after the round robin plus the four teams with the next-best records advancing to a 12-team single elimination playoff.

The winning team will then represent Canada at the World Curling Federation’s 2013 World Mixed Doubles Championship, to be held in Fredericton, New Brunswick from April 13-20 at the Grant-Harvey Centre.  Thirty teams are expected to compete in the World Mixed Doubles, which is also held in conjunction with the World Seniors.

“At the 2012 National Curling Congress, we were pleased to see that our membership approved the implementation of a Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials,” explained the CCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Stremlaw.

“This new event was felt to be critical to enable Canada to ensure it sends its best curlers to represent us at the World Mixed Doubles Championship. Other nations are qualifying using a mixed doubles championship, so it makes sense to provide Canada with the same opportunity to capture consistent podium results in this discipline, especially with the World Mixed Doubles being held in Fredericton next April and a strong chance of Mixed Doubles being granted Olympic inclusion as early as 2018.”

The 32 participating teams in Leduc will be determined by the following.

1.   Each of the 14 provincial/territorial curling associations will select one team.

2.   The winning team at the upcoming Canadian Mixed, November 15-24 in Mont-Royal, Quebec will receive two entries.

3.   The balance (the other 16 teams) will be composed of open invitations but should more than the required number submit entries, then each team’s participating status will be decided by the Order of Merit as of December 31, 2012. The Order of Merit is based exclusively on the CCA’s Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS).

“These trials are an excellent opportunity to showcase our city, the Leduc Recreation Centre and the sport of curling,” says Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke. “In Leduc, we are passionate about our community and strongly support healthy, active lifestyles – curling is a fantastic venue for people of all ages.”

Added Ken Smith, President of the Leduc Curling Club, “The Leduc Curling Club is very proud to be hosting the first Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials in March.  Our club has a history of staging excellent events as we have previously hosted such national championships as the 1991 Canadian (Pepsi) Juniors and the 1994 Canadian Mixed.  The volunteers in Leduc are looking forward to hosting teams from across Canada.”

The World Mixed Doubles Championship began in 2008 in Vierumäki, Finland.  It has since been captured four times in five years by Switzerland.  In 2008, it was won by Switzerland’s Irene Schori and Toni Müller, who successfully defended their title the following year in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.   Russia’s Yana Nekrosova and Petr Dron won the 2010 event in Chelyabinsk, Russia, while Switzerland’s Alina Pätz and Sven Michel took the 2011 renewal in St. Paul, Minnesota.   The 2012 edition in Erzurum, Turkey was again won by Switzerland, this time represented by Nadine Lehmann and Martin Rios.

Canada has been previously represented at the World Mixed Doubles by two members of the winning team at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.    In 2008, Canada (Susan O’Connor and Dean Ross) finished fifth while in 2009, Canada earned a bronze medal with a third-place finish by Sean Grassie and Allison Nimik.  In 2010, Canada did not compete because the Icelandic volcanic ash caused the temporary cancellation of air travel which prevented Mark Dacey and Heather Smith-Dacey from arriving in time for the competition.

In 2011, Canada’s Rebecca Jean MacDonald and Robert Campbell finished 12th, while last season, Canada’s Chantelle Eberle and Dean Hicke were sixth.

The Mixed Doubles game format is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10).  Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned on the centre line before every end of play.    One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones.  If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next.   Both team members are also allowed to sweep.

For further information:

Greg Stremlaw
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Curling Association
613.834.2076 x117
Cell: 613.799.9993
gstremlaw@curling.ca
www.curling.ca

Randy Olson
Manager,Leduc Curling Club
780-986-3553
leduccurling@shaw.ca