Nugget Column #14 – Tuesday December 29th, 2015
Since 2009 Curling Canada has promoted a new playdown category formulated for true club championship teams, and not past or present elite.
The event’s objective is to support the development of curling across Canada and its guiding principles help shape the eligibility requirements and on-ice rules.
For example, participating teams must have at least three players who have played together in a sanctioned club league during the current season. If a replacement fourth player is used, that player must play lead.
Each team will be allowed only one player who has played in a Juniors’, Men’s (Brier), Women’s (Scotties), Seniors’ provincial/territorial event, or Grand Slam event in the current or previous four curling seasons. No player on the team can have played in a Juniors, Men’s, Women’s, or Senior’s Canadian Championship for those years.
Players who competed in the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championship national event are ineligible to compete in the 2016 playdowns.
This event is the ultimate experience for club curlers. Provincial and Territory Champions receive a championship banner to hang proudly in their home club, travel, hotel accommodation, many meals, and Provincial/Territorial on-ice jackets and shirts all courtesy of Travelers Canada.
In the New Year we’ll be cheering on Team Jeff Brown with Tyler Langlois, Jordon Staroba, and Randy Callahan who will represent the North Bay Granite Club at the Region 5 playdown in Copper Cliff January 29th – 31st, 2016. One winner from each of Northern Ontario’s six regions will advance to the Provincial Championship in Thunder Bay March 31st – April 3rd, 2016 and that winner will wear the Northern Ontario Curling Association’s green and gold at the next National Championship in the fall of 2016.
With this being the last curling column in the year 2015 let’s take a look back at the biggest stories from the past year (in no particular order) according to Sportsnet:
Curlers were divided over whether “directional fabric” brush heads, allegedly allowing sweepers to control stones better, was good for the game or whether it crossed the line for integrity of the sport.
It was a shocking moment during the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters quarterfinals in Truro, N.S., on Oct. 31, when Brad Gushue lost his footing and fell face-first onto the ice.
John Epping throws a perfect game to defeat Gushue in the Canadian Open final and win his third career Grand Slam title.
Ottawa’s Rachel Homan accomplished something no other women’s skip has done by winning three consecutive Grand Slam titles during a single season.
Pat Simmons takes over as skip of Team Morris after a slow 2-3 start at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier and posts a 7-1 record to reach the final and win back-to-back Brier titles.
Brad Jacobs broke through on the Grand Slam circuit by stealing a point in the last end to defeat Mike McEwen in the Players’ Championship final.
Jeff Stoughton steps back from a legendary curling career that saw him win four Grand Slams, three Brier titles, and two world championships.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club