Fixing the curling calendar

What was the big curling event of the past weekend? Was it the third leg of the Curling World Cup? How about the provincial qualifiers for the Scotties and the Brier? Maybe the made-for-TV Skins Game? If you’re curling in Canada, the Scotties and the Brier take top priority. To explain this to an American audience — this is the equivalent of the U.S. Open Cup or FA Cup in the sense that it’s a national championship in which unheralded entries can beat the big names. Qualification for the national event, which is broadcast on TSN (and therefore to a … Continue reading Fixing the curling calendar

Curling, Jan. 21: Continental Catastrophe

In the long history of the Currently in Curling rankings (OK, a couple of weeks), no one has ever been bumped down (or up) in the rankings based on mixed doubles. That event lives in its own universe. Some people focus mostly on that. Some don’t. Generally, it’s not going to affect the rankings here. We deal with the traditional four-person game. Maybe we’ll expand to doubles one day, but we’ll need more than one person running this. But we’re (I’m) making an exception here. In the first draw of the Continental Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament pitting North America … Continue reading Curling, Jan. 21: Continental Catastrophe

Curling, Jan. 14: Hail Homan, again

The Order of Merit (OOM) standings use a calculation called the “strength of field multiplier” (SFM) to determine which events count more toward the standings. In men’s curling, the just-concluded Canadian Open had an SFM of 11.6325, edging out December’s Canada Cup (11.5605) and the National (11.5514) for the highest SFM of the season so far. In women’s curling, the Open’s SFM was even higher — 12.0656, ahead of the Masters of Curling (11.8071), the National (11.7432) and … Look, it’s a Very Big Event. OK? And to borrow a joke from soccer — everyone competes in a set format, … Continue reading Curling, Jan. 14: Hail Homan, again

Curling season so far (Jan. 6)

MAJOR EVENTS: Grand Slams, Canada Cup, continental championships. Players are Canadian unless noted. MEN Sept. 26-30, Princess Auto Elite 10: F: Gushue def. CarruthersSF: Epping, JacobsQF: Howard, KoeDNQ: Mouat (Sco), Paterson (Sco), Gunnlaugson, Edin (Swe) Oct. 23-28: Masters of Curling: F: Epping def. KoeSF: Edin (Swe), Mouat (Sco)QF: Dunstone, Shuster (USA), Paterson (Sco), GushueTB: Carruthers, MurphyDNQ: Schwaller (Sui), Howard, Walstad (Nor), Jacobs, Gunnlaugson Nov. 6-11, GSOC Tour Challenge: F: Jacobs def. BottcherSF: Howard, de Cruz (Sui)QF: Gushue, Ruohonen (USA), Koe, Shuster (USA)TB: DunstoneDNQ: Epping, Gunnlaugson, Paterson (Sco), Edin (Swe), Carruthers, Calvert Nov. 16-24: European Championship: Top seven qualify for World Championship; next two not yet qualified and … Continue reading Curling season so far (Jan. 6)

Curling power rankings (Jan. 1 update)

It’s fair to say curling is my second-favorite sport behind soccer. It’s also fair to say it’s underappreciated in the United States and that it’s difficult for us to follow. This page aims to change all that. This will help you remember who’s Brad Jacobs and who’s Brad Gushue. It’ll help you see if Nina Roth or Jamie Sinclair will make a John Shuster-style vault into mainstream culture. (No, but read anyway.) It’ll help you follow the season as it progresses. Enjoy. (Abbreviations you really need to know: OOM – Order of Merit, which covers two years. YTD – year-to-date) … Continue reading Curling power rankings (Jan. 1 update)

The curling shuffle: USA Curling’s High Performance makeover

  John Shuster won Olympic gold. Jamie Sinclair made the World Championship semifinals, won a Grand Slam event and stands ninth in the Order of Merit. Then the seniors earned silver (women) and bronze (men) at the World Championships. USA Curling had a big year. But there’s usually a bit of turnover after the Olympics, and so the teams in the High Performance program, which supports the select few who’ve shown an aptitude for winning things, will be shuffling a bit. The full comparison is at the bottom, but I’ll got into a bit more detail than that press release. … Continue reading The curling shuffle: USA Curling’s High Performance makeover