To Tiebreak or not to Tiebreak… that is the Question.
To tiebreak to not to tiebreak is a question that will be discussed extensively by the World Curling Federation over the next number of months. Until 1980, national curling champions in Canada were determined by round robin only. But, at the world level, the idea of playoffs was introduced in the early Sixties. Hence, the question of teams being tied with identical win/loss records after the round robin in world play goes back almost 50 years. The process of determining how and who moves forward as a result of teams being in a deadlock has varied over time but, without question, it always has involved a series of tiebreaker games to determine who advances and which team plays which team following a tie of teams that have an opportunity to advance following preliminary play. The one constant over the years has been that a team that ties for a place in the playoffs never is eliminated in any other way than by losing an extra game. Today, the criteria used by the WCF, is as follows:
- Teams will first be ranked according to win/loss records;
- If two teams are tied, the team that won its round-robin game will be ranked higher;
- Where three or more teams are tied, the record of the games between tied teams shall provide the ranking — should this procedure provide a ranking for some teams but not all, then the record of the games between the remaining teams that are still tied shall determine the ranking;
- For all remaining teams whose rankings cannot be determined by 1, 2 or 3, ranking is determined using the Draw Shot Challenge (DSC).