2021 Trials process revised

The Ice Cube in Beijing will host the curling competitions at the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Mark Callan)

Qualifying standards for four-player, mixed doubles Trials adjusted by Curling Canada

One year from today, athletes will be marching into the National Stadium in Beijing for the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

But it’s the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 12 months that has forced Curling Canada to adjust its qualifying process to determine the teams that will compete for the right to wear the Maple Leaf in Beijing and compete in the four-player men’s and women’s, and mixed doubles competitions.

The COVID-19 pandemic effectively put a stop to most competitive curling during the 2020-21 season, which was to have determined the majority of the teams that will compete at the Tim Hortons Curling Trials, presented by AGI, in Saskatoon as well as the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials (host city to be announced).

Today, Curling Canada is releasing the revised criteria for teams to compete in both events. Dates for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials have been shifted a week earlier to take place Nov. 20-28 at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, while the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials will run Dec. 28-Jan. 2.

The revised criteria mean a broader group of four-player and two-player curling teams than has traditionally been the case at this point in an Olympic quadrennial are still in the mix to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Games.

Of note is that a second direct-entry qualifying event will take place in the early fall to add four-player teams into the Saskatoon field.

That will be in addition to the Home Hardware Pre-Trials (scheduled for Oct. 26-31, host city to be announced), where the final two berths per gender will be decided for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials, 

This will enable some teams that changed lineups for the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season an opportunity this fall to qualify for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials.

Additionally, the winners of the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2021 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, that will take place in the bubble in Calgary, will earn direct entry to the Tim Hortons Curling Trials.

As with all things in this pandemic era, the criteria will be subject to change pending health regulations and return to competition guidelines that will be established over the off-season.

There will be nine men’s and nine women’s teams competing at the Tim Hortons Curling Trials, while 16 teams will contest the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials.

Here’s a look at the qualifying standards (as well as teams that have already qualified) in both the four-player and mixed doubles disciplines.

Four Player

Teams that have qualified for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials (qualifying criteria in parentheses):

  • Team Rachel Homan and Team John Epping (2019 Home Hardware Canada Cup champions)
  • Team Kerri Einarson and Team Brad Gushue (2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2020 Tim Hortons Brier champions)
  • Team Tracy Fleury, Team Jennifer Jones, Team Brad Jacobs, Team Brendan Bottcher, Team Kevin Koe (teams that finished in the top three of the Canadian Team Ranking System in either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 seasons

NOTE — Teams must have three of the four players remaining on team that earned event victories or CTRS points

The remaining berths will go to:

  • Winners of the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2021 Tim Hortons Brier (if they haven’t already qualified)
  • Minimum one men’s team and two women’s teams from Trials Qualifying Event in the early fall; dates, location to be announced. NOTE: If 2021 Scotties and/or Tim Hortons Brier winners have already qualified for the Trials, an additional Trials berth to the respective gender will be made available at this event.
  • Two teams of each gender from Home Hardware Pre-Trials Oct. 26-31 (host city to be announced).

Here are the qualifying standards to compete at the Trials Qualifying Event in the early fall:

  • Canadian teams in the Top 18 of the World Curling Team Ranking (WCTR) as of Aug. 31, 2020 (including teams with new lineups)
  • Eligible teams that finished in the top nine of the Canadian Team Ranking System in 2019-20 
  • Eligible teams that finished in the top seven on the Canadian Team Ranking System in 2018-19
  • NOTE — Teams qualifying via the Canadian Team Ranking System must have three of four players that earned the CTRS points remaining on the team, and must have been CTRS-registered for the 2020-21 season.

Teams that do not earn a Trials spot via the Trials Direct Qualifying Event can advance to the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials in late October (host city to be announced). Additional information regarding the Home Hardware Pre-Trials qualifying criteria and event format will be finalized as more clarity relative to Canada’s return to competition guidelines is established for fall events.

Here are the various sets of standings that are serving as qualifying criteria:

2019-20 CTRS

Women

Rank, Team (Province), Points
1. Kerri Einarson (Manitoba), 420.069
2. Tracy Fleury (Manitoba), 404.325
3. Jennifer Jones (Manitoba), 341.765
4. Rachel Homan (Ontario), 325.931
5. *Chelsea Carey (Alberta), 230.255
6. *Kelsey Rocque Alberta), 198.056
7. Laura Walker (Alberta), 172.405
8. Corryn Brown (British Columbia), 168.227
9. Suzanne Birt (Prince Edward Island), 144.430
* – Teams not eligible as lineups are no longer intact

Men

1. Brad Jacobs (Northern Ontario), 483.766
2. John Epping (Ontario), 445.311
3. Brad Gushue (Newfoundland/Labrador), 395.747
4. Brendan Bottcher (Alberta), 347.977
5. Mike McEwen (Manitoba), 317.716
6. Kevin Koe (Alberta), 277.610
7. Matt Dunstone (Saskatchewan), 254.711
8. Jason Gunnlaugson (Manitoba), 236.888
9. Glenn Howard (Ontario), 184.546

2018-19 CTRS

Women

Rank, Team (Province), Points
1. Rachel Homan (Ontario), 529.715
2. Kerri Einarson (Manitoba), 496.955
3. Jennifer Jones (Manitoba), 362.646
4. *Chelsea Carey (Alberta), 323.572
5. Casey Scheidegger (Alberta), 276.421
6. *Robyn Silvernagle (Saskatchewan), 269.493
7. Tracy Fleury (Manitoba), 259.809
* – Teams not eligible as lineups are no longer intact

Men

1. Brendan Bottcher (Alberta), 494.058
2. Kevin Koe (Alberta), 485.595
3. John Epping (Ontario), 362.112
4. Brad Jacobs (Northern Ontario), 353.420
5. Brad Gushue (Newfoundland/Labrador), 317.812
6. Glenn Howard (Ontario), 294.349
7. Matt Dunstone (Saskatchewan), 286.121

World Curling Team Ranking

Canadian teams in top 18, as of Aug. 31, 2020

Women

Rank, Team (Province), Points
2. Kerri Einarson (Manitoba), 420.069
3. Tracy Fleury (Manitoba), 404.325
5. Jennifer Jones (Manitoba), 341.765
8. Rachel Homan (Ontario), 325.931
16. Kelsey Rocque (Alberta), 192.74

Men

1. Brad Jacobs (Northern Ontario), 483.766
2. John Epping (Ontario), 445.311
3. Brad Gushue (Newfoundland/Labrador), 395.747
4. Brendan Bottcher (Alberta), 347.977
7. Mike McEwen (Manitoba), 317.716
10. Kevin Koe (Alberta), 277.610
11. Matt Dunstone (Saskatchewan), 254.711
13. Jason Gunnlaugson (Manitoba), 236.888
18. Colton Flasch (Saskatchewan), 196.835

Mixed Doubles

Teams that have qualified for the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials, based on top-four finish on the 2019-20 Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings as of May 1, 2020

  • Jocelyn Peterman/Brett Gallant
  • Jennifer Jones/Brent Laing
  • Nancy Martin/Tyrel Griffith
  • Rachel Homan/John Morris

The remaining 12 berths will go to:

  • A. Top two not previously qualified finishers* at the 2021 Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, presented by Nature’s Bounty, March 18-25 in Calgary.
  • B. Winners of two regional Tier 1 Mixed Doubles Bonspiel qualifying events in the 2021-22 season (dates and location to be announced; if winning team has already qualified, the next highest non-qualified finisher* will get the berth).
  • C. Top four not previously qualified teams from the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings** as of Dec. 14, 2021.
  • D. Top two teams from the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings**, excluding CTRS points, as of Dec. 14, 2021.
  • E. Top two not previously qualified finishers* from a Last Chance Qualifying Event, Dec. 10-13, 2021 (location to be announced). (Invites will be based on the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings* as of Nov. 29, 2021).

* To be eligible for a Trials berth, the teams must finish within the top four at the events referred to in section A, B and E.
** Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings will comprise results from best seven events (maximum three CTRS events) from March 15, 2019, to Dec. 14, 2021.

To be eligible for a CMDR invite, each player must compete in a minimum of two (2) CMDR events. 

If an invited team declines one of the above spots or has multiple invites, or an event fails to produce a qualifying team based on the top-four finish requirement, the next highest-ranked non-qualified teams from the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings as of Dec. 14, 2021, will be added until the 16-team field is filled.

Curling Canada