Before I go into detail in regard to the teams that already have or will earn a spot in the Olympic Trials Qualification Process and how they accomplish that, we all need to be speaking the same language. I will offer a few definitions and explanations in this blog for our audience but also to help me get my head around what is a very complex process!
C.T.R.S. a.k.a. The Canadian Team Ranking System
The CTRS is the system whereby qualifed events provide points to teams depending on their results in those events. The CTRS is updated each week after the events of that past weekend.
Points are awarded based on a strength of field (SFM) multiplier. Let’s say my curling club recruited a few local teams and put together a cash spiel, we could qualify for CTRS points as long as we had sufficient entries and a substantial enough prize purse; however the points awarded would be minimal. Now if we took that same event, invited the likes of Ferbey, Martin, Koe, Howard etc. the points would be mulitiplied based on the relative accomplishments of those high profile teams to date. It is somewhat complicated; however it ensures that if you beat the best, you get the maximum number of CTRS points.
More info can be found here: http://www1.curling.ca/content/CTRS/index.asp
The 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings
Otherwise known as the Olympic Trials, this event will be held in Edmonton in the Fall of 2009. In this event there will be 8 teams of each gender participating. We will call them the Elite Eight.
Of the Elite Eight, four teams will have direct entry into this event – we will call them the First Four as they will have the distinct honour of having earned a direct birth into the Trials! I will go into detail of how teams qualify for the Final Four at a later date – you can read up on it here: http://www1.curling.ca/content/CTRS/olympicQualificationProcess.asp
The Road to the Roar
The Road to the Roar, otherwise known as the Pre-Trials being held in Prince George B.C., will showcase 12 teams of each gender trying to get one of the final four spots. These 12 will be known as the Desperate Dozen, and they will be playing off to become one of the Final Four! The Final Four will then join the Frist Four in becoming the Elite Eight! I hope I haven’t lost you!!
The majority of teams will have won at least one event to earn a spot in the Pre-Trials. The other option is to consistently place high in CTRS registered events as the more points you accumulate on the CTRS, the better your chances of getting one of the top 12 spots.
Just a quick update for everyone. Next time I will showcase a few teams and let you know where they sit, how they got there and if there is any realistic opportunity for them to move from the Top 8 to the First Four this coming season!!
Enjoy your summer! I would like to take this opportunity to wish my brother Kevin and his future wife Bronwen Saunders (yes the second of Team Kleibrink) good luck this weekend as they are getting married on August 2nd!! A warning to everyone out there that there will be another Webster on the curling ice!! My wife Crystal (also a very good curler!) and I set them up a few years back – a curling marriage made in heaven!