Dale Matchett passed along a thought on the Ontario playdown process. I’ve written before on the archaic method this province uses to decide its representative for the Timmies and lots of people are offering up suggestions on different formats that reward play outside of just the playdowns. Dale came up with a good one and here’s his plan:
Key notes: 12 Team Provincial final
Determining Teams 1 and 2 (designed for elite teams)
1 – Defending Ontario Champion.
2 – Top Ontario CTRS Leader from previous year. (should this also be the defending champion, the next CTRS team is taken. If the Defending Champion or the CTRS teams split their team and only have 2 returning players, the next CTRS team is taken. If they change one player, then the percentage of points will be lost.)
Determining Teams 3 and 4 (designed for Touring teams)
Ontario East Qualifier (16 team double knockout). OCA run with no cash purse. Only to qualify. Seed the draw. Take the top 16 teams from Regions 1-2 on the CTRS for this. Winner qualifies.
Ontario West Qualifier (16 team double knockout). OCA run with no cash purse. Only to qualify. Seed the draw. Take the top 16 teams from Regions 3-4 on the CTRS for this. Winner qualifies.
Hold in middle NOV. with cutoff Nov. 1 CTRS.
Determining Teams 5-8 (for everyone)
Zones and Regions. Take the winners of the 4 regions. Double knockout. B side has to beat the A side winner twice at the regions. No seeding.
Determining Teams 9-12 (last chance)
Challenge Rounds. East and West. 16-team double knockout. Only available to teams that have entered zones. Qualify the two remaining teams in each challenge.
This makes for a competitive, 12 team provincial, with the extra revenue from the East and West Qualifiers going to pay for 2 added teams to the provincials.
This system takes the Cashspiel equation completely out of it. The OCA might like this since they still have total control, and it is not their mandate to run cashspiels.
Competitive Teams will like this as it gives them an extra chance, and club teams will like it since 4 good teams will be exempt from the playdown process.
The last chance is still there in form of the challenge rounds.
Ultimately, you’ll see a solid field at the Tankard every year. With every team either capable of winning a big event, or at least capable of going deep in a strong field.
Now I suggested that perhaps it would make more sense to reward the current year’s CTRS leader, as of Dec. 1, with a spot instead of last year’s winner, and pointed out that there are essentially four bonspiels to decide four spots which may be tougher to organize and find host clubs for. Finally, it makes for a 12-team provincial which is longer and I don’t think we need longer so perhaps a triple knockout is the way to go. But overall, I think there’s something in here.