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CCA announces the 2014 Olympic qualification process

The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced the 2014 Olympic qualification process for the sport of curling in Canada.

Cheryl Bernard (Photo: Michael Burns Photography)

The 2013 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, which will be held December 1-8 at a site to be announced in the next couple of months, will once again feature eight men’s and eight women’s teams in a round robin format, followed by a playoff, whereby the first place teams advance to their respective finals, while the second and third place teams meet in semi-finals. The winners will then represent Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

“Based on the unprecedented curling performances that saw Canada achieve three podium results (two golds and a silver medal) at the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are pleased to have finalized the 2013 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials process for Olympic qualification during the next quadrennial,” stated Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association.

“Our Association has worked hard to produce the best elite pathway which is predicated on consistent performance. This process was specifically tailored to the results achieved in Vancouver, the player input subsequent to the 2010 Olympic qualification process and in alignment with our high performance funding partners. Curling athletes in Canada now have the required information to work towards the qualification at the 2013 Pre-Trials and the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials. We believe this gives us the best chance for gold in Sochi.”

Six teams will qualify directly into the Trials, while the final two teams will emerge from a Pre-Trials competition. The eight teams per gender will be decided as follows:

1. Winner of 2011 Canada Cup (November 30-December 4 in Cranbrook, BC)
2. CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) leader for 2011-2012
3. Winner of 2012 Canada Cup (date/site to be announced)
4. CTRS leader for 2012-2013
5. CTRS leader for 2011-2013 (2-year total)
6. CTRS leader for 2011-2013 (2-year total)
7. Pre-Trials winner
8. Pre-Trials winner

Kevin Martin of Team Canada delivers a rock in his second draw at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Kevin Martin (Photo: Michael Burns Photography)

The 2013 Pre-Trials, to be held November 6-10, also at a site to be announced, will be composed of 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing in a triple knockout. Four teams per gender will advance to a modified Page Playoff, with two men’s and two women’s teams qualifying for the Trials.

The 12 Pre-Trials teams, per gender, will qualify from the CTRS as follows:

1. The top four teams from the 2010-11 season
2. The top four teams from the 2011-12 season
3. The top two teams from the 2012-13 season
4. The final two teams will earn invitations based on their two-year CTRS points (2011-2013).

Teams already qualified for either the Trials or Pre-Trials will be replaced from the CTRS. Details will be posted on the CCA’s website (www.curling.ca).

The 2011 Canada Cup format has been modified and will now feature seven teams per gender playing a six-game round robin. Instead of a Page Playoff, the top three teams will advance to the playoffs, with the first place teams earning byes to the finals, while the second and third place teams meet in semi-finals. The winners will become the first teams to qualify for the 2013 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials.

The 2011 Canada Cup field in Cranbrook will comprise the 2010 Canada Cup winners (Glenn Howard and Stefanie Lawton), held in Medicine Hat last December, the 2011 Canadian Men’s (Tim Hortons Brier in London) and Women’s (Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Charlottetown) champions and the top five teams on the CTRS, as of April 30, 2011, who have not already qualified.

Some of the changes to the qualification system this time around include the fact that, for 2013, six teams of each gender, instead of four, will now qualify directly into the Trials, while only two teams will qualify from the Pre-Trials, instead of four previously. The Pre-Trials field remains at 12 teams per gender, though, but has been strengthened through the qualification process.

Overall, 18 (as opposed to 16) men’s and 18 women’s teams will now have the opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics. The 18 are composed of six teams which qualify directly into the Trials and 12 teams at the Pre-Trials (two of whom from each gender will become part of the eight Trials teams).

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Calgary’s Cheryl Bernard won the 2009 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials Roar of the Rings in Edmonton and represented Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Martin’s team earned a gold medal while Bernard’s foursome took home silver.

For further information:

Gerry Peckham
Director, High Performance
Canadian Curling Association
gpeckham@curling.ca
(cell) 613-863-1880
1-800-550-2875, ext. 113 or 613-834-2076, ext. 113