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Grand Slam Tour Challenge to be hosted in Cranbrook

Cranbrook will host the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in November.

The dates and locations of all the 2016-17 Grand Slam events were announced on Sunday.

The new season kicks off in Okotoks, Alberta, with the Masters, running Oct. 25-30 at the Pason Centennial Arena.

Cranbrook will be the next stop – the Tour Challenge from November 8-13, featuring two tiers of action with 60 teams in total. This season saw the debut of the Tour Challenge with BC champion Jim Cotter and Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson winning the Tier 2 titles to help bump their teams into the top ranks on tour.

The Tour Challenge field features a total of 30 men’s and 30 women’s teams split into two tiers with 15 teams participating in each tier.

These tiers are then split into three pools of five teams each for round-robin play.

The winners of the Tier 1 event receive invitations to the second of two new events in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series, the Champions Cup, which is the final event of the season and showcases all of the winners from major events in curling.

The winners of the Tier 2 event receive invitations to the following Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event, the Masters.

The series then lands back in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for the National. Sault Ste. Marie hosted the National in November 2014 when it was a men’s invitational, but things have changed greatly for the event since then as it has now doubled in size featuring both men’s and women’s fields.

Saskatchewan has held the past two Canadian Open tournaments in Yorkton and the event stays put in the province travelling to North Battleford to open the new year.

Port Hawkesbury, N.S., has been a regular stop on tour in previous years and the series returns for the Elite 10.

In April the Players’ Championship, the most prestigious event in the calendar, returning to Toronto.

The location for the Humpty’s Champions Cup and all ticket and venue information will be announced on a future date. Visit thegrandslamofcurling.comfor updates.

Owned and operated by Sportsnet since 2012, the Pinty’s GSOC is an elite series of men’s and women’s curling events which are part of the World Curling Tour and feature the best teams from across Canada and around the world.

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