So you like sports? I like sports too. Here you will find random thoughts, musings, predictions and sharing of information on sports-related topics. Follow along, join a conversation, like a post or disagree with a post. I am all for some engagement and interaction. Follow me on twitter as well (@twinetime14) Enjoy peeps...
Discussing post-Olympic planning, gender (in)equality, mixed doubles and more
It has been awhile since we have opened up our curling arms and welcomed a new member into the coveted #TwineTimeFam rock heads and stoners. While the season has been sliding along, this blog has been waiting to find the perfect candidate to become the first new member of the family for the 2018/19 season.
With the Women of Curling calendar heating up curling houses around the world, a new team to hit the ice with and proving to be a dynamo on the mixed doubles circuit it was an easy choice to reach out and ask Laura Walker to become our newest #TwineTimeFam member.
#BetweenTheSheets: Creating a Korean Curling Legacy?
Defending champs play host to the 2018 #PACC at the 2018 Olympic venue
Halloween has come and gone once again. Bring on my favourite month of the year: November!
Ok perhaps I am biased because my birthday falls within this month but, from a sports perspective, it is quite exciting. Hockey season is in full tilt now. CFL season heads into the playoffs. NFL season heads into the bulk of important weeks leading into the playoffs. NBA season is now underway. College football is starting to talk about the playoff. And curling has Grand Slam of Curling events, tour events and continental championships for us to salivate over.
See November is not that bad is it? Plus Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" rejoins the Top 100 charts for another year. Don't lie....you rock out to it in your car every chance you get!
This week we welcome November highlighting our first continental championship of the season, the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships or, as this blog prefers to say, the #PACC! This week the #TwineTime blog Backs the #PACC!
Is the #gsoc qualification a game best fit for Tom and Jerry?
The game is afoot now. The chase is on. Tom pulling out all the stops trying to catch Jerry. Jerry being elusive and always one step ahead in avoiding the catch. Will Tom ever catch Jerry? Doesn't seem likely does it?
The cartoon game of cat and mouse is quite symbolic to the real-life game of Grand Slam of Curling qualification. The "next level" teams, or the Tom's of the tour, are trying to chase down the "elite" teams, or the Jerry's, sitting comfy in their #gsoc hacks. It was the instinctual reaction for Tom to want to catch Jerry as it is an instinctual reaction in sports for teams wanting to knock off those at the top.
Welcome to another week of World Curling Tour ice-itement
Like pebble to a curling sheet, these are the Days Of Our #WCT Lives!
Ok so maybe I am cross-referencing different daytime soaps, what do I know? I don't watch any of these shows and have no idea. But what I do know is curling drama takes place on a weekly basis in arenas all over the world. Teams compete for money. Teams compete for bragging rights. Teams compete for ranking points. Teams compete for the power and glory of being listed as a champion. Doesn't sound too far off from a daytime soap does it?
Welcome to another #TwineTime episode of 'As The Rock Turns'
Who will hoist the first #gsoc major of the season in Nova Scotia
Bring on the Canadian Beef. No, no I don't mean the now outdated Men of Curling calendar. And no, I don't mean the newly released Women of Curling calendar either...although you should hit up any of the athletes in the calendar to buy a calendar from them at a great deal and help support their fundraising efforts towards some outstanding causes. The full list of charities can be found HERE.
The Canadian Beef I am referring to is the new title sponsor for the first major Grand Slam of Curling event of the season. Welcome to the now referred to as #CanadianBeefMasters. Quite the hashtag hey?
15 of the top men's and women's teams will hit the ice in Truro, Nova Scotia this week in hopes of landing the often elusive #gsoc championship. As mentioned, this is unlike the Elite 10 contested earlier in the season. The Masters is one of the original Big Four in #gsoc history, earning it the prestigious "major" moniker.
Crunch time for teams to qualify for Boost National
As this blog discussed last week, the crunch time is on for teams looking to make the big money, collect the big points, compete on the nice ice and get some coveted TV time. Teams are looking to qualify for the Grand Slam of Curling events throughout the season and with one #gsoc already over, another starting this week and the third already having the field finalized, we have reached the half-way point of the slam season. Weird right?
Ok so only one event has actually slide out of the hack but teams are always looking forward and the cut-off date to qualify for the next slam, the #BoostNational in Conception Bay, NL, is fast approaching. November 5 to be exact. Two weeks from now.
For teams on the cusp of reaching the coveted Top 15 on the Order of Merit (OOM) ranking list, the time is now to make your move. The results of a team over this past weekend and the weekend ahead could determine smooth sailing onto The Rock or a Rock-Y road towards Newfoundland and Labrador.
Teams fighting to climb the rankings and avoid the slip
Week 9. The season is sliding along folks and we are into mid-October already. We have one "slam" already completed. The first major slam next week. And a third #gsoc in the near horizon approaching. Not to mention upcoming continental championships like the #PACC and Europeans. October/November is the fun part of the curling season so strap on those sliders and try to stay on your feet.
For the teams, this is moving ground time. This 6 to 8 week period is when teams will generally compete the most. The fall portion of the season is when we see the most events held on the World Curling Tour each weekend and when teams can really start to jockey for position on the world rankings.
Under the mock #TwineTime ranking system, this is also when we see the most ranking points up for grabs. Week 9 will see a combined 3 #Tour1000 events, 4 #Tour500 events and 1 #Tour250. If teams are looking to ascend up the #PowerRankings mountain, this is the perfect week to make the climb.
Curling Canada residency rules create a messy house
We knew it would come up this season right? With #BroomGate a distant topic of the past, curling needs a new topic to have athletes and fans waving their brooms in disagreement. We simply cannot have a season go by without some major topic of debate off the ice and this may just be the biggest one we will bump into this season.
The Curling Canada residency rules have been a hot topic of conversation around curling clubs across our great nation for many years but have really become a melting pot of emotion during the past Olympic cycle. The rules are limiting the game. The rules of killing the sport. The rules are unfair. The rules are enforced against some and ignored for others. If the rules change it will bring the end of historic tradition in Canada.
The World Mixed Curling Championship slide out from Kelowna
Here. We. Go. The 2018/19 curling season shifts from the hacks of tour life to the hacks of international world competition this weekend. The first world championship of the season hits the ice in Kelowna, B.C. for the World Mixed Curling Championship.
Canada will host the world championship for the first time in the brief history of the event and will be home to the coronation of our first world champions. This is an exciting part of the season when we not only have tour events circled on our tour calendar but we also start the path towards world championships and continental championships.
Are you ready for an international battle royal on the ice?
The Power Rankings mountain can be a curling teams dream or nightmare
The 2018/19 curling season is unique. It is the post-Olympic season. It is the "trial and error" year for new team formations. It is a season where no points are tabulated towards the next Olympic cycle. It really is a year of purgatory in a way.
And the #TwineTime blog is taking up another level with the new proposed tour structure and rankings system. With each tour event, including Grand Slam of Curling and top international events, being allocated a event category the point structure can be very transparent and clear cut for athletes and fans.
But with the proposed blog changes also come up's and down's within the #PowerRankings. One week you can win an event but the next week, due to inactivity or inconsistency, you can quickly find yourself sliding right down the mountain.
Welcome to the curling version of the popular Price is Right game: Cliff Hangers!
Thankful for a full house of events this holiday weekend
It is #TurkeyCurling weekend folks. Ok not literally...well at least not for most of us anyways. I am sure there are a few out there who will participate in a turkey spiel charity event or fun event hoping to win Monday night supper.
But no, this is the weekend where we as curling family come together and give thanks for the sport we all love. We say our thanks for the draws, guards, runbacks and doubles we made during the year while hoping the Turkey Gods have a gobblefest with the Curling Gods to take care of us on the ice for another season.
Let us give thanks rock heads and stoners...before we overindulge in turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie. Mmmmm mashed potatoes........
What a raise double runback for a big September score the final weekend of the month turned out to be. History was made across sheets of ice around the world with a full house of world curling tour events. In fact, this past weekend was the busiest weekend of the season thus far.
We saw historic results with #TeamUpset winners and writing a new chapter in the record books. How fitting to say goodbye to September and hello to October, also known as Women's History Month, with the inaugural crowning of a new #gsoc Queen of the Ice.
Pop the champagne. Blow up the balloons. Cut the cake. Time to celebrate some historic firsts.
#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....
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....
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?
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.
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!
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.
#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?
#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.
#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....
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?
Is it time for curling to find its social conscious?
Normally this blog is reserved to discuss the action on the curling ice. What are the big topics affecting the game? We had #BroomGate. We had #FreeAgentFrenzy. We continue to have my favourite topic of #RankingsRedux. But sometimes we need to shift focus to not just the issues or topics on the game itself but rather the big picture impact the sport can have on those who play and love the sport: The People!
With #YYCPride underway this week, including the upcoming Pride Parade over the long weekend, I thought this would be the perfect time to make the connection between sport and social consciousness. Now for some reading this blog post this may be considered a controversial topic of discussion based on your own personal moral and/or ethical beliefs. I am not here to discuss those or force an opinion down your curling loving throat. Rather I ask you just read on with an open mind and hear me out.
Remember, big picture, we are all fans of this sport and are united through our curling passion. Plus, the #TourLifePredictions for this upcoming weekend are included in this blog post so, worse case scenario, you could skip down and read those at least right? But I really think you should read the entire post.
The #TwineTime system comes into play for the new rankings
Well then, welcome to the 2018/19 curling season rock heads and stoners. How about them rocks for opening weekend? We saw a few #TeamUpset results. We saw newly formed teams find success and struggles all in the same weekend, sometimes within the same day. And at the end of it all, we crowned a trio of champions to kick off the season.
So now the question is, how do these results affect the rankings? Well it is the perfect time to really put the #TwineTime proposed ranking and tour structure under the microscope and use real-time results to help formulate the new #PowerRankings.
The official start to the curling season hits the ice this weekend
Welcome back to the ice the curling athletes from around the world for our sports entertainment....oh and their passion and livelihood I suppose.
The 2018/19 curling season will see its official first draw, runback, steal and hogline violation this weekend in Winnipeg and Baden, Switzerland. Ok technically the season started last weekend in Japan but, in full respect to the teams and athletes competing last weekend, that event felt like the pre-season tune-up event to the full season.
It has been a busy off-season for curling athletes and fans alike. I hope everyone enjoyed the summer months because our focus is now shifting back to the cold and frigid temperatures of arena ice and snow. Don't you love it?
Get ready for an unpredictable 2018/19 curling season
Are you ready? The 2018/19 curling season is about ready to hit the house with fans and athletes feeling a mixture of emotions from being excited to nervous. What should we expect in the upcoming season? We just wrapped up a tense and dramatic four year preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. This is the reset year. No qualification points. New teams. New strategies. New relationships. New drama?
Some teams stayed the course from the past few seasons and time will tell if they keep the train on the track for the full four years or not. Many switched tracks and aligned with new friends or old foes to try and jump on the winning train moving forward. We really have no idea which teams will excel and which will falter....and neither do they.
But I can guarantee one thing for the new season. At least once, but probably more than once, you as a fan and you as a player will be looking out at the ice, seeing the results and reading the headlines and will ask yourself, "What The Rock?"
Revisiting the rankings discussion with a tour overhaul?
TwineTime is back in da house....the curling house that is. After enjoying a lengthy break from the sport during the summer months it is time to dust off the old rocks and return to the hack in preparation for another curling season.
Before we slide into the season though, lets revisit a favourite topic of the TwineTime blog: Rankings! If you have been a loyal follower of this blog over the years you have read numerous posts and comments on the current system. During the off-season the World Curling Tour revealed their Order of Merit (OOM) rankings review highlighting some key changes moving forward. ICYMI HERE is the official summary.
The WCT statement reveals four key changes to the OOM but are these changes enough to fix the issue? Perhaps we need to take this a step further and not only rethink the ranking system but maybe a complete tour structure overhaul?
The annual curling wrap-up awards show takes centre ice
Every four years we hit the apex of a curling cycle when the Winter Olympics rock the sports world and fans around the world become more patriotic and excited to cheer on their athletes pursuit for gold.
The 2017/18 curling season marked that exact apex in the sport with the PyeongChang games hitting the ice this past February. But while the Olympics really took most of the attention on the season there were plenty of storylines, on and off the ice, making this past season one for the history books.
The #TwineTime blog has now created a tradition with hosting a wrap-up awards blog post discussing the high's and low's of the season while handing out a few specific awards based on season results.
#BetweenThePitch: A Non-European Team Winner in Europe?
60 years have passed, are the history books ready for an update in Russia?
It. Is. Here. One of the most anticipated and most talked about sporting events in the world is ready to take centre stage this week when the FIFA World Cup finally hits the pitch in Russia. The question isn't whether the world is ready, we are. But is Russia ready? Lets hope so!
It is quite amazing how fast the four years have passed since Germany lifted the World Cup Trophy in sunny Brazil, amidst a slightly disappointed and perhaps anger Brazilian fanbase. There are many questions heading into the 2018 edition though.
Can Germany become the third repeat champion and first since 1962?
Can Brazil put to bed the ghosts of their 7-1 SF loss four years ago?
Can Spain rediscover the magic that brought them home the golden trophy in 2010?
Or could we see a new champion crowned?
Watch out for some of the #TeamUpset contenders!
Welcome to the #TwineTime FIFA World Cup 2018 Preview!
What should we expect on the red clay in Paris for French Open 2018?
Could there be a more contrasting grand slam event between the men's and women's tour than the second slam of the season at Roland Garros?
On one side we have the almost predictable result before the first ball is served with a strong overwhelming #KingOfClay looking to retain his seat on the thrown with, what appears to be, little to no true resistance from his challengers.
On the flip side we have the unpredictability of an grand slam event producing some of the biggest upsets in tennis and a few "one hit wonder" slam winners.
Is the French Open unpredictably predictable or predictably unpredictable?
Discussing "The Shot" in Vegas, rookie results, #growthesport, pursuing education and how exactly do you pronounce 'Mouat'?
The 2017/18 curling season has been put to bed and is now locked into the history books. There were numerous high's and a few surprises along the way. One of the most discussed teams on tour this past season was the results of a young Scottish team who took the tour by storm.
With the focus of the season being mainly tied to the 2018 Winter Olympics, teams who did not qualify for PyeongChang had an opportunity to leave their mark on the season through tour and grand slam results. No team seized the opportunity more than Team Mouat.
The #RoyalWedding may be the top news coming out of Great Britain over this May long weekend but a Scottish Prince could be the story of the 2017/18 curling season!
Welcome the newest member of the #TwineTime blog fam: Bruce Mouat.
We discuss "A Goal to A Gold", #growthesport, family, funding pressures, #SwedishVikings origins and Game of Thrones?!
So the 2017/18 curling season is over and all the rock heads and stoners are left with moments of reflection on the season that was while thinking about how to pass the time until the first rock slides down the house for the 2018/19 season.
Do not fade away into curling withdraw quite yet curling fans. The #TwineTime blog has a few more spins of the rock for you to keep your curling mouth salivating.
This is a VERY special moment for the #TwineTime blog as we welcome Olympic champions into the fam.
Are you ready to meet the ladies behind the gold? The #SwedishVikings themselves?
#BetweenTheSheets: The Rock Stops Spinning for 2017/18
PLUS who finished atop the curling season Power Rankings mountain?
The time has come. Cue the Incredible Hulk walk away credits theme music. Grab the tissue to catch the tear slowly cascading down your cheek. The rocks are being put away. The ice is melting into the history books. The 2017/18 curling season has come to an end!
Are you ready for it?
Well I am sure we are all ready for fun in the sun and nice weather and being active outside but part of you always has a small feeling of sadness when the final event of the season wraps up and the rocks stop spinning for the final time of the year. It is inevitable of course. We know it was going to happen. We are sad. We are happy. For some, we are tired!
#BetweenTheSheets: Champions Cup Concludes Curling Year
An intense, high profile curling season spins its final rock at Canada Olympic Park
The time has arrived curling fans. The moment we knew would finally have to become reality. We are preparing for the final curling event of the 2017/18 curling season. Yes, I know it is going to be tough. Take a few moments right now and let your emotions out before continuing on........
Ready? Ok....bit more time.....
And exhale! The Olympic curling season is always one full of emotion, excitement and energy but also one of exhaustion...and not just for the athletes themselves! We have collectively laughed, cried, disagreed, celebrated and cheered and the time has come to put the season to bed.
Welcome to the 2018 Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup!
#BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships Preview
A record 40 international curling duo's hit the ice in Ostersund, Sweden
Mixed doubles curling perhaps was the ultimate winner emerging from PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The fact the discipline started the competition before the official Opening Ceremonies while making its debut on the Olympic roster helped propel mixed doubles curling into households around the world. Social media lit up with excitement and mixed doubles truly captivated the eyes of the world during its Olympic run.
Those within the curling world have known for years mixed doubles was the fastest growing discipline. One only has to look at the world championships to see the facts. Each year we see more and more member organizations from around the world enter a team to compete for the world title. Sure some of these entries may not have much of a chance at even coming close to #TeamUpset status let alone World Champions but the fact is we are seeing more and more curlers emerge from more and more countries worldwide on an annual basis. This is exactly what the #growthesport movement is all about.
The 2018 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships will be no exception as a record amount of nations have thrown their rocks onto the sheet looking to claim a world title. 40....yes 40!....nations have hit the ice in Sweden for this years world championship event. Quick math...that is 80 curlers competing. Wowzers!! We are in for quite an event....and quite a preview!!
The 2017/18 season approaches the final rock with various story lines in play
Rock head and stoners, oh how I have missed you! I know it is not like either of us took time away from one another or had a messy breakup, we did communicate via social media throughout recent events like the Brier and World Men's Curling Championships but we have not reached out via a blog post in quite some time. Sorry! My bad!!
We have A LOT to catch up though don't we? Since we last connected two Grand Slam of Curling events have spun their final rock this season (Elite X and Players Championship). We have crowned a women's and men's world champion. Celebrations have been had. History has been made. And debates continue to slide down the curling sheet. Not to mention we sure have had a gap in time since the last #PowerRankings were released.
Settle in the hack folks, this is going to be fun! PLUS a little #TwineTime specific announcement 😉
#BetweenTheSheets: Canada vs Sweden Rivalry Continues
Can anyone stop a 2017 final repeat in Las Vegas?
44 games and counting. Approaching 2 years. Canada is one week away from being undefeated at the World Championships, men's and women's, for 2 YEARS!! The last Canadian loss at a world championship was Niklas Edin defeating Kevin Koe in the RR back in 2016. Of course Koe would go on to win his next four games en route to the world title and Canada has not looked back since.
As the 2018 World Men's Curling Championship is set to hit the ice in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend all eyes will be on Canada's Brad Gushue. The team from The Rock come to Vegas fresh of defending their Brier title a few weeks ago in Regina and will look to go 2 for 2 on the #defendtheice theme by trying to replicate their world title victory from a season ago in Edmonton, AB.
Gushue will walk into the Orleans Arena as favourites but they will not be considered overwhelming favourites. Watch out for the #SwedishVikings who have revenge on their minds!
The debate on which playoff format is better for curling rages on *sigh*....
The World Women's Curling Championships wrapped up for another year this past weekend in North Bay, Ontario. Fans were treated to some outstanding curling throughout the week. We had some tight battles. We had some #StealPants victories. We had some lopsided scorelines. Pretty consistent with most year's championships I would say. Outside of course of the special mention to the fans setting a new women's world championship attendance record in Canada!
The World Curling Federation also unveiled their new format for the world championships. A new 13-team round robin played out with the Top 6 teams advancing to the playoff round, no tiebreakers allowed. This is not new news as this format shift was announced months in advance and everyone "should" have been well aware of the new format. Apparently, similar to the Brier/Scotties, once again we discover the old fact of life we all know and love: you can't please everyone!
Yup this is happening folks. Welcome to curling's edition of #MarchMadness. No we are not talking about the grand slam of curling events still to take place nor the world championship events. We are talking about the hottest topic to hit the ice every four year: Free Agency!
With the current Olympic cycle coming to a rest the time has come for teams to start looking ahead and plan for the next four-year cycle. As we know Year 1 is a throw away year in a sense. Players can jockey (no no not THAT kind of jockey, although for some it might have double meaning) for position and take the free pass tryout with a three new players for one season to see how things are going. The Olympic points race only starts to heat up in Year 2 remember. A player can now take the risk-free path next season and perhaps play with a few players they have always wanted to play with. Maybe we see players even try different positions and try to catch their slider on a nice path for the future. Who knows? All we know for sure is, as Julie Chen would say on Big Brother, "Expect the Unexpected".
The 2018 Tim Hortons Brier is in the books. When the final rock came to a stop on the button Sunday evening Canada rejoiced. Yes, Team Canada I mean as Team Gushue successfully defended their Brier championship from a year ago and will now attempt to win back to back world championships in Las Vegas in April.
But the Team Canada fans were not the only one's celebrating. All of Canada should be celebrating. Curling fans were treated to a great event over the 10 days of competition....from the Hot Shots and Wildcard play-in game to the Championship Final. There were moments of greatness. There were moments of sadness. There were moments of frustration. There were moments of high energy excitement. The Brier truly offered something for everyone, new and old fans alike. Heck I even had a fan from Sydney, Australia watch a game online and engage on social media with questions and noted his new found love for the sport. How cool is that?
The #TwineTime blog enjoyed the entire time in Regina. From the action on the ice to the fun in the patch to the time spent watching my brother start to fully enjoy curling, a great time was had. Lets start by thanking Curling Canada for once again accepting this blog into the media bench family once again. I continue to be humbled and thankful for every opportunity and experience!
But it cannot always be a love affair right? Hits and misses occur every event...and not just in the shots taking place on the ice. With #TwineTime having a front row seat to the action all week there were quite a few notes made in preparation of the wrap-up blog post.
Who is making the cut, barely passing and failing?
The annual tradition of crowning our national men's curling championship is well under way in my hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan. The games have been a mixture of high quality shot making and lopsided scores. The crowds have been supportive of great shots with an extra feeling of anxiety/excitement whenever #TeamGreen steps onto the ice. And the weather.....oh the weather!
#TwineTime has been in attendance since the Friday Hot Shots competition and taking in every draw, analyzing the shots on the ice and looking at how teams are performing....all with the big red marker at my side.
The blog tradition continues. Time to hand out the midterm grades for Brier 2018!
#TwineTime welcomes special guest Matthew Hall to preview the Brier field
The Rumble in Regina. The Smackdown in Saskatchewan. Call it what you want but the theme is the same. A battle is brewing and ready to hit the ice at the Brandt Centre in Regina starting Friday night and concluding with the crowning of Team Canada 10 days later. 17 teams enter the arena. 1 survives. Who writes their own Sweet Saskatchewan Story? Or their own Regina Riches theme song?
The 2018 Winter Olympics are barely in our rear view mirror but who has time for post-Olympic hangover? Canadian curling fans are already looking ahead and getting ready for another incredible week of curling action with the start of the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier.
And this year will be an interesting one. We have experienced skips and past champions returning. We have rookie skips and teams ready to show they belong with the big boys. We have a new format. We have a new team designation. Like I said, it will be a Rumble in Regina....but are you ready for it?
#BetweenTheSheets: Post-Olympic Hangover or Excitement?
How did the results in PyeongChang shake up the Power Rankings
Take a deep breath curling fans. The four-year buildup of competition, anticipation and excitement over the 2018 Winter Olympics has come and gone. Perhaps as fast as a #GunnerTakeout?! Curling was the only sport to compete daily during the full duration of the Olympic calendar but it still feels like it went by quick did it not?
The results are in. The podium is complete. And now we are left with the after effects. Are you suffering from the post-Olympic hangover or a new sense of post-Olympic excitement?
There were certainly a number of stories to capture the world's attention. We had #TeamUpset results. We had controversy. We welcomed a new discipline. We saw social media explode, for the good and the bad. When we add it all up was the 2018 Winter Olympic curling competition a perfect hit for two, a boring first end blank or an open miss? Let's summarize what happened....and update our #PowerRankings!
Who is passing, who is sliding by and who is failing?
The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics have turned the corner and are in the final few ends of play, culminating with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday February 25. As everyone is well aware by now, curling has been the top sport for Olympic coverage (well at least in Canada....where are you NBC???). The sport of curling at this year's Olympics spanned the full gauntlet of competition days, starting before the Opening Ceremony and ending the day of the Closing Ceremony.
But with all those days of Olympic pressure, stress and competition, how has the sport been holding up? Are the teams competing surviving? Who are the top story makers at this pivotal turning point of the competition and who have been underperforming?
The #TwineTime blog has been watching the competition closely, or as close as possible given the time difference and having to actually work, and has cracked open good ole Lucky Red to see just who is making the grade in PyeongChang and who is falling short.
The 2018 Winter Olympics men's and women's team events are underway in PyeongChang....well actually Gangneung. We have already seen a few upsets and surprising results. But the bigger question perhaps is how these results are affecting the outcome of the #TwineTime Winter Olympics 50/50 Pool?
As you may be aware, for this Olympic team competition I opened up the idea of running a 50/50 pool where 50% of the entry fees would be donated to the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association. The remaining 50% would be divided up at the end of the competition to claim our Gold, Silver and Bronze pool podium finishers.
This pool is structured where your entry was divided into three parts: Round Robin, Final Standings, The Playoffs. To participate you needed to pick the winners of all 90 men's and women's RR games for Section A. You would then predict the final RR standings for Section B and, finally, the playoff brackets for Section C.
It may seem like a lot but, with this format, you can afford a few RR misses along the way and still have a shot at the overall gold if you could nail the standings and podium finishes. It won't be easy but someone is going to survive the competition on the ice and take home a pretty sweet winner's cheque.
It is time to slide out of the hack with our focus on the women's team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The men's preview (found HERE) touched on a strong yet perhaps divided field with a small handful of teams being pre-event favourites for the podium. The women's preview is a bit more up in the air.
We have an equally strong women's team field but also find a few more question marks pebbling the ice. We have some teams with little to no international experience yet have made big names for themselves on tour over the past few seasons. We have some teams with Olympic and World Championship experience looking to stake their claim at the top of the curling mountain. And we have some teams who are Olympic rookies but could be considered some of the strongest teams in the women's game we have seen in recent history.
Which side wins out? International experience? Rookie luck? Or perhaps a #TeamUpset emerges and turns the curling stone on its head by shocking the world? One thing for certain, this competition will be anything but a straight draw to the rings for the win!
The first-ever mixed doubles Olympic curling competition has just finished cleaning the house at the Gangneung Curling Centre and here we are ready for 12 more days of Olympic curling competition with the upcoming start of the men's and women's team tournament.
As we are all well aware by now, curling is the only sport running the full duration of #PyeongChang2018. In fact, since mixed doubles started the day before the Opening Ceremonies and the women's gold medal is the same day as the Closing Ceremonies, curling will actually run longer than the official competition schedule (based on days the Olympic flame is lit anyways). Total days of curling action: 18 consecutive days!
When Canada and Switzerland stepped onto the ice for the mixed doubles final, both nations knew they would not only create history in being named the first mixed doubles Olympic champions but they would also open the door for more history to possibly be created in just over a week's time. The winner would accomplish step one of the overall curling plan: Own the Podium! Can one nation win all three 2018 Winter Olympic gold medals?
Curling adds the new discipline to the Olympic roster in Korea
Welcome back into our lives Olympic Games! It has been just under two years since the world united under the Olympic rings and this week the Olympic spirit will reign supreme once again when the 2018 Winter Olympics hit the global viewership from PyeongChang, South Korea.
The Opening Ceremonies are slated for Friday February 9 at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, a temporary 35,000 seat pentagonal design structure. But while the official start of the games will be when the Olympic flame is lit at Olympic Stadium, the actual competition will begin a day earlier.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will kick-off with the welcoming of a new Olympic discipline added to the roster: Mixed Doubles Curling!
#TeamWC - Yay or Nay for the future of the sport in Canada?!?
Congratulations to Kerri Einarson and her team from Manitoba on reaching the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship this past Sunday. The Manitoba-based team put up a fight to the finish but ultimately succumbed to...Team Manitoba, skipped by Jennifer Jones.
So Team Manitoba defeated Team Manitoba? Well, not exactly. Team Einarson was wearing the title of Team Wildcard en route to the Scotties final, a new addition to the national championship format.
This weekend wrapped up the first iteration of the wildcard inclusion into a national championship....and the results were mixed.
From a competitive perspective, the results were extremely positive and successful. From a #growthesport perspective, there are still many questions/concerns lingering behind.
Men's playdown pressure packs the ice across the country
"The Queen City". The capital of Saskatchewan. The home city of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The homeland for curling legend Sandra Schmirler. And the original upraising for #TwineTime! Oh yes, many great people bleed the green of Saskatchewan and call the City of Regina their home. And from March 3 - 11, the best curlers from around our great nation will call Regina their temporary home as well when they arrive to compete in the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier!
Everyone is well aware of the new format this year, moving away from a single round robin and playing a dual round robin mini-pool with the top four teams advancing to the championship pool for a shot at the title. We also see the increase to a 16-team field with all 3 territories having equal representation, in addition to the traditional Northern Ontario representation and relatively new Team Canada entry. And of course the addition of the (controversial?!) Team Wild Card! But more on that below....
Before we can even break down the format and discuss what will go down in the Brandt Centre at the beginning of March, we first need to fill out the field right? Well this weekend will surely do so with six provincial championships hitting the ice to slide down the #RoadtoRegina.
The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts hits the ice in B.C.
It's that time curling fans. We have seen grand slam wins. We have watched Olympic trials high's and low's. We have cheered on our favourite teams throughout grueling provincial playdowns. The time has finally arrived where the hard work, sweat and tears will pay off....The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are upon us.
The pressure will be high in Penticton for a number of reasons. Obviously the sole survivor will go on to represent Canada at the upcoming world championships and earn their return ticket next year as #TeamCanada at the Scotties but the entire event will be feeling some pressure as well.
This year's Scotties features a format change. We welcome a new team. Change can be welcomes with open arms or discarded before the first rock is thrown. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this event and all eyes will be watching to see how it plays out on the ice....perhaps with an increased sense of either enthusiasm or criticism.
With all the changes and increased debate surrounding the lead-up to the 2018 Scotties, you know #TwineTime could not hit the ice solo for this preview blog post. I had to go out and find an experienced player who has been to a Scotties. Who has experienced pre-qualification. We have participated in the new pool play format. Join me in welcoming the newest member of the #TwineTime family: Cathlia Ward!