Tuesday, February 10, 2009
My Ontario Format
At the risk of piling on, I have a few more comments for the playdown change being discussed in Ontario. There was a meeting on Saturday that was well attended and delivered a lot of good ideas for the OCA to consider. There’s also a good thread on curlingzone.com on the topic with many of the top players involved. I tell you there are more permutations and considerations being bandied about, it's enough to make you go crazy.
My two cents is that the following needs to be accomplished:
Shorten the week at the provincials: That means moving away from the 10-team round robin and into some sort of pool system. I don’t think triple-knockout would be right for a provincial final as it makes promoting games ahead of time next to impossible. You want that Howard-Middaugh match-up on Thursday night to draw a bigger crowd.
Don’t use the provincials to promote the Ontario Curling Tour: There’s been talk about giving a multitude of entries via the Ontario Curling Tour standings and about using individual bonspiels to reward entries. I don’t think either system works. Perhaps the overall leader on the OCT should get a spot but that’s about it. This is about getting your best teams into the provincials and hopefully on to the Brier and the best teams will be more likely to show up on the CTRS. That’s who you want there. For instance, would you rather have the second place Ontario-based team on the CTRS or the fourth-place OCT team?
And bonspiels are dangerous if they’re not run by the OCA as you have no way of knowing if they’ll last. Cashspiels come and go so to designate an OCT stop as providing the winner with a spot in the provincials shouldn’t happen.
Reward the Defending Champion: Sure, every once in a blue moon you get a surprise winner, but look at the list of champions over the last 25 years and there is only a couple you wouldn’t really, really want back.
Challenge Round. I was originally against this, but I think based on the possibility of getting bad ice, illness or other conflicts, there should be a last-chance spiel. And I would open it up to any team not already qualified, whether it played in the playdowns or not. But you only need one, not two of these, if the number of entries from the past two years is any indication. Two teams emerge from this.
So my thinking? A 14-team, two-pool seeded format based on the following:
Defending champion (1)
CTRS leaders (2)
OCT leader (1)
Regional winners (8)
Challenge Round (2)
Posted by BW at 12:41 PM