The Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club will play host to the second edition of the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials, it was announced today by the Canadian Curling Association (CCA).
The event will be played March 19 to 23, and will decide Canada’s team for the 2014 World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 23-30 in Dumfries, Scotland.
A total of 32 teams (one man, one woman) will compete, with the teams divided into four round-robin pools of eight, with the top two from each pool and the next four best round-robin records moving onto the 12-team single-knockout playoff round.
“This is another significant step in the development for mixed doubles curling in Canada,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “We were happy with the response to the inaugural Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials last season in Leduc, Alta., and as the push continues to have mixed doubles curling included as an Olympic medal sport, hopefully as soon as 2018 in South Korea, we’re expecting many of Canada’s top players to embrace this exciting format.”
The 32 participating teams in Ottawa 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 this week in Ottawa 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 Dec. 31, 2013. The Order of Merit is based exclusively on the CCA’s Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS).
“The Hunt Club is looking forward to playing host to to the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials,” said Theo Mayer, the general manager and chief operating officer of the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. “The event is unique and exciting, and our facility will be a great showcase for the curlers, who will be treated to great ice conditions as well as great hospitality.”
At the first Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials, in March 2013 in Leduc, Alta., the Quebec pair of Robert Desjardins and Isabelle Néron won the title, and went on to finish 10th at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Fredericton, N.B. Previously, Canada’s teams for the World Mixed Doubles Championship comprised 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 from arriving in time for the competition.
In 2011, Canada’s Rebecca Jean MacDonald and Robert Campbell finished 12th, while in 2012, 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.