The junior curling season for 2021-22 is extremely complex due to a number of factors. This season will see the introduction of new age restrictions for U21, a complete realignment of the competitive season for both U18 and U21, the inclusion of 2 – U21 national qualification opportunities, the provincial winter games in most provinces, and the lingering remnants of the Covid pandemic and its resulting after-effects. The Junior Slam Series has been busy behind the scenes determining the best options for this coming season as we look forward to resuming to a more normal return to play. Here are some of the plans that will make up Season 6.
Fewer Host Clubs
The comfort level by host clubs in returning to normal bonspiel process has been low. Understandable for sure. For Ontario, this season will see most of our events at two “hub” clubs, KW Granite and Dundas Valley. Both clubs have committed to a return to play for slam events and until comfort in the current environment grows with other facilities, we have aligned our schedule accordingly.
For our Atlantic and Saskatchewan events, we continue to await decisions from host clubs on return to play and remain patient and committed to re-starting in those areas as soon as possible.
Continued Focus on Health
We anticipate that protocols established during Covid will / may continue to be in place at host clubs regarding, distancing, cleaning, capacity, etc. As provincial restrictions evolve we will continue to work with local health authorities and hosts on establishing health focussed parameters. This may include requirements for double vaccinations prior to returning to play. We are currently working on our own vaccination policy currently in consultation with our host clubs.
A Focus on Games
For this season, prize purses and elimination games will take a back seat to maximizing the number of games each team plays on event weekends. The combination of increased operating costs, and anticipated overall smaller number of teams will see modification of event formats in favour of more guaranteed games for all. We believe that with the complexity of the season, teams will benefit from valuable ice time and more games per weekend.
Once registration numbers are finalized for each event, the draw schedule and prize purse will be made available for all participants.
Given the multitude of changes to the junior curling season and the focus on more game play we are in the process of modifying the JTRS system for resumption this season. All Slam events are now part of the JCTO and will participate in the JTRS system when it resumes. We will provide further details in the near future on the revised JTRS.
Register Your Team
In advance of opening event registration teams must register their lineups and contact details in our registration system. The only way you can enter a Slam event is by being a registered team. Remember the Team registry system also allows you to showcase team photos, identify your social media and acknowledge your sponsors. Team registry is open now.
We are planning for a vibrant return to play but will also be diligent in monitoring all provincial and local regulations and advising teams accordingly should the environment change. We look forward to returning to play and seeing everyone this fall.
– Stephen & Byron