#BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Doubles Curling
20 nations enter the final #IceBubble of the season
Are you ready to say goodbye to the 2021 curling season rock heads?
I know you are ready to say goodbye to #COVIDcurling at the very least.
The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship will bring a close to a season like none we have seen before. And lets hope it stays that way.
The #IceBubble has left Calgary.
It has floated over the entire nation of Canada, drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and has now set up show in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Bring on the final championship event of the season.
Similar to the other world championship events this season, this championship will not only crown a world champion but also allocate 7 berths into the mixed doubles field at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
This is HUGE.
But why is this HUGE in comparison to the other world championships?
The Olympic field consists of only 10 nations. China is already there as the host nation. 9 spots remain.
7 of those spots will be determined at this event.
Only 2 tickets will be left to claim with those final spots awarded at the Olympic Qualification Event, site still undetermined.
And this is a field of 20 teams fighting for 7 Olympic tickets and 6 playoff spots.
There will be some very good teams who will fail to claim either of those spots this week.
Also remember, every nation who qualified for the 2020 and 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is eligible to enter the #OQE.
PLUS there may be 3 additional #OQE spots up for grabs for the highest-ranked previously non-qualified nations. Those spots would be determined by a World Curling Federation Pre-Qualification Event. Details still a bit sketchy on when this would be and what this event would look like. But the option for more nations to qualify is there.
This means the mixed doubles field at the #OQE could be large with MANY strong teams competing.
It would do those nations competing in Aberdeen well to just make the playoffs inside the #IceBubble and eliminate the #OQE stress.
The #WMDCC2021 event also brings the "R" word back in the house: #Relagation.
We know many curling fans are not supporting of relegation. We learned that during the Scotties/Brier pilot program.
But this is needed on the world championship stage, especially mixed doubles.
There are so many curling member associations fielding mixed doubles teams now. WCF made the call to reduce the field size at the world championships starting this year (technically starting last year but...COVID and all).
Gone are the days of this championship being an open call for all member associations to enter a team. Now teams have to qualify. And, if they do qualify, they have to avoid finishing at or near the bottom of the standings to keep their spot in the following year's championship.
For the 2021 edition, 4 nations will be relegated.
The two nations who finish last in their pool will automatically be relegated. The teams who finish 8th and 9th in their pools will face off (A8 vs. B9 & A9 vs. B8) in relegation games, where the two losers will also be relegated.
7 Olympic tickets.
6 playoff spots.
4 relegation spots.
Welcome to the 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship!
Bring on the preview....
World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship
#IceBubble, Aberdeen, SCO
2019 Champions: Sweden (Anna Hasselborg/Oscar Eriksson)
Format: 20-team RR with 2 pools of 10. Top 3 in each pool qualify for the playoffs. Pool winners earn bye to SF.
Enter the #PoolOfDeath! This pool is STACKED.
But, never underestimate those mixed doubles specialist duos either. Those teams with world championship experience have been patiently waiting for their chance to get on world championship ice this season and they are ready to seize the day.
Can lightning strike twice on ice for Australia? Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt surprised many in 2019 when they navigated their way through the RR and playoff bracket in reaching the SF.
TSN will also cover Team Canada games, starting Wednesday morning with the game vs. Korea.
Also, get your vaccination shot people. The only way we can get through this season and help put a stop to #IceBubble events next season is to stop the spread of #COVID19.
Adhere to local public health orders. Think of the safety of others as well as ensuring the safety of yourself.
And good luck and good curling to all....