2021 Canadian Under-18 Championship Expands to 27 Teams

, , ,

Timmons, ONT to Host a Unique Championship

Canada’s future curling stars will converge on Timmins, Ont., next year for the 2021 Canadian Under-18 Boys and Girls Curling Championships.

And, thanks to the generosity of donors to the Curling Canada Foundation, many of the teams that had qualified for the 2020 Canadian U-18 Championships, which were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will have the opportunity to compete at the 2021 championships, which are scheduled for Feb. 7-13 at the McIntyre Curling Club and the attached McIntyre Arena — a facility known locally as The Mac.

The field will be expanded from 14 to 27 teams in each gender for the 2021 event only to give many of those those young athletes who qualified for the 2020 event the chance to compete for the national title.

“We’re very excited that support from the curling community has made it possible for an expanded field of young athletes to compete at the 2021 Canadian Under-18 Championships in Timmins,” said John Shea, Chair of the Curling Canada Board of Governors. “This is another example of our ongoing investment in the future of our sport, and we know this event will be in good hands in Timmins, which put together a solid bid to host the 2021 Under-18 Championships.”

For the 2021 event only, the 14 Member Associations, a host team representing the Northern Ontario Curling Association, and 12 additional teams based on combined rankings of the Member Associations from the 2018 and 2019 Under-18 championships will comprise the field.

The qualifying Member Associations can send their 2020 champions if they choose; age and residency rules for the selected 2020 championship teams would be waived for the 2021 only. To be eligible, three of the four members from the 2020 championship must return, and if a replacement player is required, the spare would have to be eligible under the 2021 age and residency guidelines.

The 27 teams will be split into three pools, and will play an eight-game round-robin within their pool (all games will be eight ends).

The top three finishers in each pool, and the team with the next best overall record will advance to the 10-team single-knockout playoffs. Players from the non-playoff teams will compete in a new singles competition.

The Canadian Under-18 Championships first took place in 2017 at Moncton, N.B., and have since taken place in 2018 in Saint Andrews, N.B., and in 2019 in Sherwood Park, Alta. The cancelled 2020 event was to have been played in Sudbury, Ont.

What does this mean for Sask Teams?

As previously announced the 2020 U18 Saskatchewan Provincial Championship, presented by the Optimist Clubs of Saskatchewan and second qualifying spiel were cancelled in March of 2020 due to the COVID -19 pandemic. These championships will not be replayed but have been considered in our plans going forward.

The U18 age group is a very important category to CURLSASK and we were heartbroken to see these events cancelled last spring. We understand that 86 athletes had aged out of the U18 eligibility and lost the opportunity to represent Saskatchewan. CURLSASK and other member associations have worked with Curling Canada to reach this very unique 27 team championship that gives our overage players a chance to compete alongside the 2021 U18 eligible athletes.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Based on combined rankings of the 2018 and 2019 U18 championships; Saskatchewan has qualified for a second team for both boys and girls!
  • One 2021 U18 Age eligible team will be declared as one of Saskatchewan representatives.
    • All four team members must be 17 and under as of June 30, 2020.
  • Up to one “overage” team may qualify for nationals.
    • Overage player is considered 17 and under as of June 30, 2019
  • Teams may have between 1-4 over age players on their registered line up to be considered an overage team.
  • Overage players must have been registered in the 2020 Saskatchewan Playdowns. (U18 and/or Junior)
    • Players who competed in another province in the 2020 season will not be permitted to compete in 2021 U18 as an overage player.
  • If a player has moved away from Saskatchewan residency exemptions may be considered on a case to case basis by CURLSASK.

How will Provincials work?

  • The 2021 Provincial Championship will be hosted December 27-30, 2020 at the Granite Curling Club in Saskatoon
    • Teams will qualify via two qualifying spiels.
    • 12 team TKO format to a 4 team page playoff

Playoff Scenarios to Declare Two Representatives

  • Finalists:
    • U18 team & overage – Both teams will advance to nationals.
    • Two overage teams – the winning team will advance to nationals, then the next highest ranked U18 team. Additional playoff games may be required.
    • Two 2021 age eligible teams – Both teams will advance to nationals.