The junior curling season looks a lot different than originally planned and the Slam Series has been busy behind the scenes determining our best options for this fall. As we look at the number of competitions that are likely for the upcoming season it has become apparent that changes should be made in how we manage the season.
The social distancing rules and caps on indoor gatherings will lead to caps on the size of events. A team of 4, with a coach and alternate is 6 participants. This leads to a cap of 8 teams in a draw at any given time (48 plus team members plus two convenors). This model is what we will use for our events this fall.
Fewer Draw Times
The need to clear all teams from the facility and sanitize between games, as well as the need to screen teams as they enter the building will reduce the number of games that we can schedule per day. With the smaller number of teams we can still schedule a great event, but game duration will be carefully scheduled, monitored and strictly enforced.
With smaller events, and fewer games per day, the number of opportunities each team has to compete will be reduced, and every game in a competition will be extremely valuable ice time. In recognizing this, the Slam Series is planning events that avoid team elimination in favour of guaranteed games. For example, an 8 team field will be divided into 2 pools of 4 with each team playing every team in the opposite pool (2 games Friday, 2 on Saturday). The top 4 teams will progress to the A semi-final, followed by a final and consolation game. The remaining 4 teams will progress to the B semi-final, with matching final and consolation. In this way all teams get 6 games, over 3 days.
A Focus On Games
For this season, prize purses will take a back seat to number of games. The combination of increased event costs and smaller fields will directly lead to significantly lower prizes. The value of Slam Series events this year will be in the games you get to play and the opportunity to face out-of-club teams.
JTRS Suspended Temporarily
Given the change to how we are running events and the certainty that there will be significantly fewer events to compete in this season, any kind of points system cannot truly reflect the strength of teams relative to one another. For this reason we have chosen to suspend JTRS for the current season. We fully expect it to return as things settle down.
Our Season Schedule
We will be publishing our fall schedule shortly and look forward to bringing great live events to the junior curling community. In the meantime, register your team on our site to be ready to enter the fall slam lineup.
– Stephen & Byron