2023 PointsBet Invitational kicks off in Oakville, Ont., on Wednesday
Get your brackets and picks ready. The 2023 PointsBet Invitational is returning this Wednesday at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ont.
After a roaringly successful inaugural event last season, 32 of the best Canadian curling teams are again partaking in the single-knockout tournament in men’s and women’s competitions.
The 16 teams in each gender include the top 10-ranked women’s and men’s teams on the 2022-23 Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) standings. Also competing are the reigning men’s and women’s champions from numerous 2022-23 national events:
- 2023 New Holland Canadian U-21 champions: Team Johnson Tao of Alberta (men’s) and Team Myla Plett of Alberta (women’s);
- 2023 U SPORTS champions: Team Sam Mooibroek of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. (men’s) and Team Serena Gray-Withers of University of Alberta in Edmonton (women’s);
- 2023 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association champions: Team Jacob Dobson of Humber College in Toronto (men’s) and Team Josie Zimmerman of University of Alberta – Augustana Campus in Camrose (women’s);
- 2022 Everest Canadian Curling Club Champions: Team Greg Balsdon of Ontario (men’s) and Team Shaelyn Park of New Brunswick (women’s);
- 2023 Ontario Scotties and Tankard champions: Team Glenn Howard (men’s) and Team Hollie Duncan* (women’s).
*Note: Team Duncan earned the Ontario Scotties berth as runners-up, as Team Rachel Homan qualified via CTRS standings.
The final berths to the 2023 PointsBet Invitational were decided earlier this curling season at the second annual U-25 NextGen Classic in late August. Saskatchewan’s Team Rylan Kleiter earned the men’s berth, and while Team Gray-Withers won the event, the berth went to runners-up Team Abby Marks of Alberta due to Team Gray-Withers already acquiring its spot as reigning U SPORTS champions.
All teams are seeded based on 2022-23 CTRS points earned, except for the U-25 NextGen teams, which were auto-seeded 13th overall.
The top five seedings are unchanged from last year on the men’s side of the bracket.
Reigning two-time Montana’s Brier champion Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., is the top dog in the men’s competition and aims to continue its dominancy this upcoming season. Last year, the top-ranked team made it to the Final 4 at the PointsBet Invitational.
Calgary’s Team Brendan Bottcher maintained its second-seeded position for this year’s event. Last season, Team Bottcher bowed out in the Final 4 in its first season with the new lineup and aims for a spot in the finals, along with the big payday that comes with it.
Also unchanged are third-ranked Team Matt Dunstone of Winnipeg and fourth-ranked Team Kevin Koe of Calgary.
Last season, fifth-ranked Team Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg worked its way through the field to win the inaugural event, beating Team Dunstone in the final, and the team will attempt to do so again in 2023.
While Team Carruthers might have hit a peak during last season’s event and did not meet its expectations at the 2023 Brier, the team is looking forward to a chance to bounce back this season with new vice-skip Brad Jacobs entering the lineup.
Carruthers has an opportunity to get into the history books of the PointsBet Invitational by becoming the first skip to win the event twice and back-to-back.
On the women’s side, Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg and Altona, Man., is the reigning champions and clocks in at third seed overall, a two-spot rise compared to last season. With a victory in Oakville, Jones has the same opportunities as Carruthers and can become the first-ever two-time winning skip of the event in women’s competition.
Team Jones is coming off a successful first season with the new lineup and capped it off with a silver-medal finish at the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Only two teams rank higher than Team Jones heading into the PointsBet Invitational. Team Rachel Homan of Ottawa is coming off a highly successful year on tour to raise one spot in the seedings for second overall. Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., continues its stranglehold in women’s competition and maintains the top seed after winning its fourth-straight Scotties title and a bronze medal at the world women’s championship last season.
All 32 competing teams will receive $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs. Teams will earn more money for each successive win in the single-knockout tournament — $3,000 for a Sweep 16 win, $6,000 for an Elite 8 win, $12,000 for a Final 4 win and $24,000 for the victorious women’s and men’s teams in the final, meaning the two winning teams will each collect a total of $50,000.
Here’s a look at the Sweep 16 schedule. The event kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. (all times ET).
Women’s Sweep 16
Wednesday, 2 p.m.
- #1 Team Kerri Einarson (Gimli, Man.) vs. #16 Team Josie Zimmerman (University of Alberta – Augustana Campus; Camrose, Alta.)
- #4 Team Kaitlyn Lawes (Winnipeg) vs. #13 Team Abby Marks (Edmonton)
- #5 Team Clancy Grandy (Vancouver) vs. #12 Team Hollie Duncan (Woodstock, Ont.)
- #8 Team Kayla Skrlik (Calgary) vs. #9 Team Danielle Inglis (Ottawa)
Thursday, 2 p.m.
- #2 Team Rachel Homan (Ottawa) vs. #15 Team Shaelyn Park (Moncton, N.B.)
- #3 Team Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg/Altona, Man.) vs. #14 Team Myla Plett (Sherwood Park/Airdrie, Alta.)
- #6 Team Christina Black (Dartmouth, N.S.) vs. #11 Team Nancy Martin (Martensville, Sask.)
- #7 Team Isabelle Ladouceur (Whitby, Ont.) vs. #10 Team Serena Gray-Withers (University of Alberta; Edmonton)
Men’s Sweep 16
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
- #1 Team Brad Gushue (St. John’s, N.L.) vs. #16 Team Greg Balsdon (Richmond Hill, Ont.)
- #4 Team Kevin Koe (Calgary) vs. #13 Team Rylan Kleiter (Saskatoon)
- #5 Team Reid Carruthers (Winnipeg) vs. #12 Team Johnson Tao (Edmonton)
- #8 Team John Epping (Toronto) vs. #9 Team Ryan Wiebe (Winnipeg)
Thursday, 7 p.m.
- #2 Team Brendan Bottcher (Calgary) vs. #15 Team Jacob Dobson (Humber College; Toronto)
- #3 Team Matt Dunstone (Winnipeg) vs. #14 Team Sam Mooibroek (Wilfrid Laurier University; Waterloo, Ont.)
- #6 Team Karsten Sturmay (St. Albert, Alta.) vs. #11 Team Glenn Howard (Penetanguishene, Ont.)
- #7 Team Mike McEwen (Saskatoon) vs. #10 Team Aaron Sluchinski (Airdrie, Alta.)
To see the complete draw and brackets, click here.
The women’s and men’s finals will be held on Sunday, Oct. 1, at Noon and 5 p.m., respectively.
All games are scheduled for 10 ends and will implement the no-tick rule. Games will have a modified thinking time structure. Each team has 19 minutes of thinking time to play each half of the game. Both teams start the game with 19 minutes of thinking time. After end five, the times reset to 19 minutes for the second half of the game. Teams cannot carry over time from the first to the second half.
Tie games will result in teams throwing a single draw to the button to determine the victor instead of a traditional extra end. Each team will choose one member to throw the rock. The team that would have had the hammer in the extra end will throw second and the team that would not have had the hammer in the extra end will throw first. Both teams can throw whichever turn they prefer.
The Celebrity Invitational event is back at the PointsBet Invitational on Friday night, approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the men’s Elite 8 draw. The celebrities will have a draw-to-the-button contest.
Stay tuned for an announcement on Wednesday morning about which celebrities will compete in the event this year!
Once again, PointsBet is awarding up to $1 million for any fan who can predict the perfect PointsBet Invitational bracket, along with plenty of other prizes in its Sweep 16 Bracket Challenge. Fans can venture their best guesses and receive the full details by clicking here.
Single-draw tickets start at just $25! All youth tickets are $10.
All tickets are subject to standard ticket service fees. Fans can purchase tickets in advance online via Ticketmaster or at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex starting Wednesday. For more information and to buy tickets today, click here.
Customers needing assistance with purchasing can call 289-815-4575.
For the full 2023 PointsBet Invitational schedule, click here.
For live, up-to-date scoring, click here.
TSN and RDS will broadcast the 2023 PointsBet Invitational. Click here to view the broadcast schedule.
For the 2023 PointsBet Invitational media guide, click here.