One of the newest and most fast-paced formats of curling is being showcased in Enderby this weekend as the BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship gets underway.
There has been a lot of interest in the format because it has been confirmed that it will now be an Olympic event in PyeongChang in 2018.
It is only the fourth time that the provincial championship, which runs at Enderby Curling Club, from February 19-21, has taken place.
There are 17 teams taking part in the 2016 championship. Among them are six-time BC Men’s Champion Jim Cotter, from Vernon, and his daughter, Jaelyn. Also playing at the event is two-time BC Junior Women’s Champion Sarah Daniels, from Delta, who skipped her team to a silver medal at the 2016 Canadian juniors. She will be joined by Surrey student Jordan Tardi, 2012 BC Winter Games champion, 2016 BC Junior Men’s champion and bronze medalist at the recent Canadian juniors.
The event will see teams play a two-person version of curling with draws starting Friday, continuing Saturday throughout the day and then culminating with the semi-final and final on Sunday.
Seventeen teams representing clubs in Vancouver, Vernon, Enderby, Royal City, Langley, Cranbrook, Prince George, Richmond, Delta (Tunnel Town) and Chilliwack will play at the event. The winner will go on to compete at nationals in Saskatoon and, if successful there, at the worlds, which are being held in Karlstad, Sweden.
Enderby Curling Club President Steve Campbell said: “Enderby Curling Club is proud to be hosting the 2016 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. This two-person version of curling is the newest addition to Olympic curling events and will feature in South Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“We would love to see fans at this event. Come and watch and cheer on the teams.”
Information about the teams and live results can be found here: http://www.playdowns.com.
In Mixed Doubles, there is one male and one female curler and the game is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned on the centre line before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. Both team members are also allowed to sweep.
There are no age restrictions on who can play so participants can be anywhere from juvenile (16 and under) up to masters level (60 plus).
At the national level, a total of 32 teams will compete, with the teams divided into four round-robin pools of eight, with the top two from each pool and the next four best round-robin records moving onto the 12-team single-knockout playoff round. The Olympic qualification process has not yet been established, but teams at the national event, if successful, will be gaining valuable Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points.