It seems it was only yesterday when Kevin Martin won his gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Yet, three years have gone by and in just under 10 months, another round of Olympic games will be underway.
The process for teams wanting the opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics is a long one. In fact, it takes three years of strong performances before a team even has a shot to make it to the Canadian Olympic trials. If you are interested in learning more about the road to the trials, read on.
There are two ways in which a team can gain a berth into the trials:
- Win a qualifying event; or
- Accumulate enough CTRS (Canadian Tour Ranking System) points.
Win a Qualifying Event: The Canada Cup is currently the only event which provides a direct entry into the trials. It is an elite event which is open to 7 men’s and 7 women’s teams. The defending Canada Cup champion, as well as the winner of the national Brier/Scotties, receive the first two entries into the Canada Cup, with the remaining entries going to the next five teams with the highest number of points on the CTRS standings.
Accumulate enough CTRS points: CTRS points are available to teams who participate in certain events which meet strict criteria established by the CCA (Canadian Curling Association). The top 8 teams in a qualifying event earn points, with the total points available determined by assessing the strength of the field based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit ranking.
So how are things shaping up? Currently six teams have already won a direct entry into the Olympic trials, which are being held in Winnipeg on December 1-8, 2013.
|Winner 2011 Canada Cup||Kevin Martin||Jennifer Jones|
|Winner 2012 Canada Cup||Jeff Stoughton||Stefanie Lawton|
|Leader 2011/12 CTRS||Glenn Howard||Heather Nedohin|
The next 3 berths directly into the Olympics Trials will go to:
- The leader of the CTRS standings for 2013;
- The leader of the CTRS standings for the two year period 2011-2013;
- To the runner up of the CTRS standings for the two year period 2011-2013
Of course, we won’t know those names until the final CTRS points have been awarded, including the points from the final CTRS event in 2013, which is the Players’ Championship.
Those teams who don’t gain one of the direct berths into the trials will need to do a bit more curling in order to gain a chance to play for Olympic gold. Twelve men’s and women’s teams, based on specified CTRS rankings (both in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2011-2013), will receive an invite to the “Road to the Roar” pre-trials event, which is being played at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener from November 5-10, 2013. (Note: even though they could accumulate sufficient points to get a guaranteed spot in the trials, at this point, Mike McEwen and Kevin Koe have already assured themselves of a spot in the pre-trials as have the teams skipped by Sherry Middaugh, Amber Holland, Shannon Kleibrink, and Cathy Overton-Clapham).
To keep track of how teams are doing so far, visit the CCA website.
The final declaration of teams eligible for the pre-trials will be made May 1, 2013.
Goldline wishes all of its ambassadors the best of luck and we hope to see several of them in Winnipeg later this year!