Roth and Sinclair rinks ready for Grand Slam this week

By Terry L. Davis | Sept. 24, 2018, 11:18 a.m. (ET)

This week the attention turns to the first Grand Slam of the season as Nina Roth and Jamie Sinclair lead their teams in Ontario. The two teams will compete in the Elite 10 at the St. Clair Campus Arena in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, and qualified based on their exceptional play on the World Curling Tour last season. Roth’s team includes her Olympic teammates Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), and Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.). For this event, Sinclair’s lineup will be Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.). The two U.S. teams will meet one another in round robin play on Friday morning. Other rinks in their pool include Rachel Homan’s Olympic team, Anna Hasselborg’s Olympic champions from Sweden and Casey Scheidegger’s Canadian rink. Canada’s SportsNet Now will broadcast games online.

The Elite 10 features the top 10 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams. Each division is split into two pools for round-robin play. Match play is used to determine scoring at the Elite 10. Each game is decided by the number of ends a team takes over the course of the match.

There are two ways to score an end: the team with hammer counts two or more rocks or the team without the hammer steals at least one rock. If neither team meets these requirements, no points are awarded (also called a “push”) and the hammer switches sides. Other event rules include:

  • A checkmark on the scoreboard indicates which team has won the end. The total score — e.g. 1UP, 2UP — indicates which team is in the lead and by how many ends. All-square, listed as AS on the scoreboard, indicates a tie game.
  • Games are played to eight ends. If the match is all square upon the conclusion of eight ends, a draw-to-the-button shootout will determine the winner.
  • Teams receive three points for a regulation win, two points for a shootout win, and one point for a shootout loss.
  • Two rules unique to the Elite 10: 1) Sweepers cannot use stopwatches, 2) Tick shots cannot be performed on rocks sitting on the center line in the free-guard zone when the five-rock rule is in effect.
  • Teams play four round-robin games. The six teams with the best records overall qualify for the playoffs with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals. Tiebreakers may be played to determine the final playoff spots.
  • All events in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series utilize the five-rock rule.
  • The winners of the Elite 10 receive invitations to the Champions Cup, which is the final event of the season and showcases all of the winners from major events in curling.

 To learn more about the event, click here.

Team Roth (l-r) Aileen Geving, Nina Roth, Tab Peterson, Becca Hamilton

Team Sinclair (l-r) Sarah Anderson, Alex Carlson, Jamie Sinclair, Monica Walker, Taylor Anderson