Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another ugly pre-qualifying possibility

Here’s an interesting scenario brought to my attention by reader Gary:

With “pre-event qualifying” raising its ugly head at the Scotties and Brier this year, it’s now possible for a team to be eliminated from play by its draw to the button.

Let me explain. We'll use the women's event as an example. At this year’s Scotties, teams from Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Northern Ontario will play down prior to the main event to determine the 12th and final participant in the national championship. The first game is Thursday evening with two more on Friday.

Then the top two teams will them move on to play a final that is actually held at the same time as the opening draw. The winner moves into the main competition.

However, each team plays the other two in this pre-qualifier. Let’s say there’s a circular win-loss situation where all three teams go 1-1. How do they decide which two move on? A pre-event draw to the button -- it’s officially referred to as draw shot distance.

In other words, it’s possible that one team could be eliminated by their draw.

That just adds more anguish to this entire relegation/pre-event qualifying situation. Imagine travelling all the way to Moose Jaw, playing your two games, losing one by say a pick or a great last shot by your opponent and then being sent home because your draw shot was the worst of the three teams.

I checked with Warren Hansen on this, by the way, and to the best of his knowledge, this is the first time in a CCA competition that a team could be eliminated using the draw shot distance.

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