Friday, 28 September 2018

#Curling S1819 W6

#BetweenTheSheets: Opportunity Knocking, Who Answers?
A full weekend of curling action means plenty of ranking points up for grabs

What a weird end of September it has been folks. We have rain in some parts of the Canada. Snow in others. Warm, summer-like temperatures here and there. And cold, below average temperatures in scattered spots. The weather has been unpredictable this month.

The temperatures may have us running back and forth between shorts and pants, jackets and hoodies, toques and ball caps, one thing we can count on is the the rocks and rings are starting to heat up the ice in curling clubs across the world. Most clubs are now open for business. The winter sport of curling has officially arrived as we say goodbye to unpredictable September and hello to Fall October.

As clubs start to become more active, you best believe the World Curling Tour is starting to amp up its schedule now as well. We are in Week 6 of the season and this is going to be one of the busiest and most active weeks on tour all year. I hope you are all ready for this....

Thursday, 27 September 2018

#Elite10 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Elite 10 Preview
Welcome our first "slam" event of the season

Welcome to 2018 curling! The day has finally arrived folks. Men. Women. Curling athletes. Same ice. At a slam. Wow!

Ok, ok, ok, this is not uncommon during the Grand Slam of Curling season I know. Each of the other 6 #gsoc events offer a men's and women's draw. The holdout, for whatever ridiculous reason someone may try to sell you, was the #Elite10.

Well thank you for waking up and joining the real world #Elite10.....we officially have 100% compliance on equality at the Grand Slam of Curling. Cel-e-brate the times, come on....

Monday, 24 September 2018

#PowerRankings W5

#BetweenTheSheets: What About Wheelchair Curling?
Where does the Paralympic discipline fit in the broad vision of the sport?

With all the introductions to new events and changing formats around the sport this season, the #growthesport curling rock is starting to find the perfect draw weight to land on the pin. The Curling World Cup brought a new audience and sense of excitement to the sport. The changes to the Continental Cup drew headlines last week with the 'scramble' addition to the format. Both of these topics drew attention from this very blog, with positive and mixed reviews.

Mixed doubles was the new born baby in the family earlier this year with its debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The discipline raised attention for curling around the world and attracted a new fan base audience but has all of a sudden become more of a middle child in the sense of attention received post-Olympics.

And if mixed doubles has become the middle child, what would we consider wheelchair curling in the curling family? The long-lost cousin?

Friday, 21 September 2018

#Curling S1819 W5

#BetweenTheSheets: The Not-So Continental Cup
3 Euro nations. No PACC representation. Is this the shift we expected?

The big news coming out of the curling house this week focused on the Continental Cup 2019 competition in Las Vegas, NV this upcoming January. The teams were announced. Some format changes were announced. And eyebrows were raised.

The Continental Cup is a gimmick event to attract fans, sponsors and money into the sport of curling. Lets just call it what it is. It is fun for the teams selected to compete. It is for fun for the fans in attendance. Other than that the event itself really does not do much for many people. How often do you hear curling fans mention their excitement over watching the Continental Cup on TV each season? Exactly!

But it happens and does give us some fun and excitement during a rather long and cold winter month. The 2019 edition will feature a few changes to try and generate more interest and intrigue into the competition. Those changes, coupled with the participant selection, has left a few fans asking more questions then raising the bar on excitement.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

#PowerRankings W4

#BetweenTheSheets: Canada, Eh-Ok!
Canada sweeps the Curling World Cup podium in Suzhou

Heading into the 2018/19 season curling fans in Canada were feeling the pressure. The world had been catching up over the past few seasons culminating in perhaps overtaking the Great White North last season and knocking Canada off its curling perch.

Canadian curling fans can all admit the 2018 Winter Olympics were a bust, outside the mixed doubles result of course. Canada did take home the world women's title but lost the world men's (although a loss to Niklas Edin is hardly anything to hang your head on). The international teams caught up on the #wct as well.

Enter the new season with more question marks and concerns. And then welcome the Curling World Cup to set Canadian curling fans hearts at ease....for now!

Friday, 14 September 2018

#Curling S1819W4

#BetweenTheSheets: Preseason Over! Let's Go!!
A full slate of events highlights a BUSY curling weekend in early September

The curling season is done with warming up the sliders and curlers taking practice slides. The opening few weeks of the season saw one or two events on both the men's and women's tour to wet our curling palate and build anticipation for the season.

Welcome to Week 4 rock heads and stoners. Enough of the "preseason" and time to get the houses rocking and rocks sliding. This is really the first big week of the season with the debut of the Curling World Cup trending worldwide but also a full plate of men's and women's events to keep your curling eyes wide open and grabbing the popcorn.

What more can we say other than "Let's Go!!"

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

#CurlingWorldCup Suzhou Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Curling World Cup Suzhou Preview
Is this a case of the "rich get richer" or true #growthesport?

The time has arrived. The year of marketing, excitement and lead-up is now over. This week we step on the ice with the newest venture into the curling world: The Curling World Cup. The first leg of the four leg tournament hits the ice in Suzhou, China with men's, women's and mixed doubles action.

For teams, and nations, competing there will be lots of media attention, ranking points and money on the line when they take their first slide across the new ice at the Suzhou Sports Center, a multi-use stadium usually reserved to host soccer matches.

But what is all the hype around this event? Will it truly help #growthesport internationally? Or is this just another opportunity for the "elite" in the sport to pad their wallets (and ranking points) with a fancy new event?

Monday, 10 September 2018

#PowerRankings W3

#BetweenTheSheets: Can Change Hinder Sport Growth?
Polishing the rocks from WCF Annual General Assembly PLUS NEW Power Rankings

If you are familiar with the #TwineTime blog you should know the #1 mantra used throughout the history of blog posts: #growthesport!

All sports go through growing pains of change. Some change can encourage growth. Some change can hinder growth. Either way, change is inevitable and the path to the future is paved with navigating change in a constructive way. Even if it fails miserably or seems like a horrible idea for the onset.

This past weekend saw the World Curling Federation Annual General Assembly take place in Budapest, Hungary. In fine tradition, some changes were needing to be discussed and adopted into play for the future betterment of curling. But one change, an "emergency motion", is being met with mixed (this will seem punny trust me) emotions.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

#Curling S1819W3

#BetweenTheSheets: Tour 500* Events Highlight Week 3 
Stu Sells Oakville and HDF Shoot-Out have increased ranking points on the ice

Week 3. Early September. Weather still acceptable. Colors barely starting to change. Evenings getting a tad cooler. Pumpkin spice latte back to being the rage. Curlers getting a little restless. Better head from the lake to the ice and get this season underway.

While we have had a few events already this season many teams are still awaiting their debut on competitive ice. And many of these teams are also waiting to debut new line-ups and end the speculation on which off-season team announcements are going to be winning shots and which will be hog line violations.

This week we have a plethora of new teams hitting the ice for the first time so all eyes will be focused on curling sheets out east and out west. We are spanning the nation this weekend folks. Get ready....

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

#PowerRankings W2

#BetweenTheSheets: Team World Domination?
International teams climbing the mountain early

Ah Brain, you were on to something all those years ago plotting to take over the world. With your loyal sidekick Pinky eager to help, every night was the same game plan: Try to take over the world!

Apparently international curling teams are making an attempt to do the same this season as #TeamWorld has dominated the opening few weeks on the World Curling Tour. While Canada continues to be known for producing the strongest curling teams on the planet, the world is catching up and, if early 2018/19 results are any indication this could be a continuation of the trend we have been noticing for some time now. The world is not trying to catch up, they have caught up! And now they want the lead.

The question is whether #TeamWorld can hold off #TeamCanada throughout the season. And what about #TeamUSA?