As with everything in life curling is prone to changes of all kinds. Good or bad it is good for the game. For the longest time curling didn't use a free guard zone. A 3 rock free guard zone was developed and adopted by Canada then the 4 rock rule was implemented. It is hard to think I can remember the days of the 3 rock FGZ rule. Anyways, I am just rambling at this point. I see some great innovations coming very soon and I would like to take some time and give you my feelings on one specifically.
Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials
(click above for article)
One criticism I had for the CCA was the decision it made the Canadian Mixed Champions select 2 of the 4 members on the team to represent Canada at the World Mixed Doubles Championships. Certainly a good problem to have if you are the winning team but it was a lazy solution by the CCA. But we now have a solution. The creation of a new national championship happening next March in Leduc, Alberta: The Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials.
I am very optimistic that this event is going to go very well and will probably get rave reviews from the curlers if I had to guess. The qualifying process is very simple and here is how it breaks down from the CCA:
1. Each of the 14 provincial/territorial curling associations will select one team.
2. The winning team at the upcoming Canadian Mixed, November 15-24 in Mont-Royal, Quebec will receive two entries.
3. The balance (the other 16 teams) will be composed of open invitations but should more than the required number submit entries, then each team’s participating status will be decided by the Order of Merit as of December 31, 2012. The Order of Merit is based exclusively on the CCA’s Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS).
I really like that every corner of Canada will be represented at this new championship but the greatest thing is that there will be a mix of club level curler and the curling elite. Let me explain, all the provincial/territorial associations will be forced to either create a new provincial championship or select a representative by another means to compete in Leduc. In those provincial championships it is very likely that you will see club level curlers come out on top. With open invitations from the Order or Merit to Canada's elite curlers I see many of the top young curlers in Canada going to take advantage for the chance to curl in this new event. It should prove to be interesting to see who will compete in Leduc in March. I can only see positives for this event with the possible chance of Mixed Doubles being included at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
For those outside Manitoba you may not know but Resby Coutts' talk show is moving radio stations from TSN 1290 in Winnipeg to CKLQ 880 in Brandon including a brand new name IN THE HACK with Resby Coutts. This will leave a void in my life as I am no longer a regular contributor to his show. I have known of this this for a couple of weeks and wondered what I am going to do this winter. I certainly enjoyed my time talking curling and I don't want it to end. Dean Gemmell has the one man show mastered with the great work he does on The Curling Show. I would feel like I would be copying him if I did a one man show so I am putting an open invitation to anyone in the curling world who would like to join me on a new curling podcast: The Last Rock Podcast. I would like to have a round table format where 2 or 3 other people join me a couple times per month(during the curling season) to discuss everything curling. You can be from anywhere in the world but the only thing I ask is you have Skype, headset and mic. Anyone interested please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply with more specific details.
Until next time,