Here’s how it works!
The new 16-team, two pool format is being unveiled at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and also will be used at the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier, March 3-11 in Regina.
It was introduced to make sure all 14 Member Associations have direct entry into the main round-robin portion of each event, in addition to retaining Team Canada, and adding another competitive team to bring it to an even 16 teams, while sticking to the traditional nine-day format so that players don’t have to spend more time away from family and employers.
Here’s what happens:
- The teams are split into two pools of eight, based on their ranking on the Canadian Team Ranking System as of Dec. 31. The Wild Card team was given the No. 4 seeding, regardless of who won the game, so that most of the schedule could be completed to allow fans to buy tickets to see their favourite teams once the provincial/territorial playdowns were finished.
- Pool A consists of seeds 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16; Pool B consists of seeds 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 15.
- They play a round-robin within their pools during the first five days of the competition.
- The top four teams from each pool go into the Championship Pool, which begins round-robin play on Thursday. The teams carry over their records from their preliminary pools, and the four teams from Pool A then play the four teams from Pool B on the final Thursday and Friday. That means EVERY game on EVERY sheet has playoff implications!
- After those games are completed Friday evening, the top four teams from the Championship Pool will go into the Page Playoffs, beginning on Saturday (a tiebreaker, if necessary, would be on Saturday morning). The Page 3-4 playoff is Saturday at 2 p.m. (all times Pacific); the Page 1-2 playoff is Saturday at 7 p.m.; the semifinal is Sunday at 9 a.m., and the gold-medal game will be on Sunday at 4 p.m. The bronze-medal game has been removed from the schedule.