Guidelines for 2020 National Championships and Mixed Doubles National Championship

Sept. 24, 2019, 8:28 a.m. (ET)

9/26/2019: Please note that an error was made in the statement regarding the Challenge Round registration numbers. It should state eight or less teams, not 10 or less, and is now edited as such:

 

If there are eight or less teams registered for either the Men’s or Women’s National Championship, the Challenge Round will be canceled and all registered teams will advance to the National Championship.

 

Please see the below updates (highlighted in yellow) to the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship in addition to the 2020 Men’s & Women’s National Championships.

 

MIXED DOUBLES (2020)

  1. Overview: The Mixed Doubles National Championship field is not geographically-based. There are no regional or state playdowns leading to the National Championship, and no requirement that players on a team be from the same region (and/or state). Rules for Mixed Doubles play are in the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition, Section I, R15.

     

  2. Event Eligibility: U.S. citizenship is required on or before the close of registration. Players need not be residents of the United States. Players must be paid members of the USCA (See Section II). Event eligibility requirements are listed within Section II of the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition.

     

  3. Entry Process: See Section II for entry process information or visit usacurl.org.

     

  4. The Field: The 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship will have a 12-team field. The winner of the U.S. Mixed Doubles National Championship will represent the USA at the 2020 Mixed Doubles World Championship.

The field will be determined as follows:

  • 2019 Mixed Doubles National Champions qualify for 2020 Mixed Doubles Nationals
  • 2019 Mixed Doubles National Runner-Up qualifies for 2020 Mixed Doubles Nationals
  • Four teams will qualify based on their Year-to-Date ranking (defined as ranking/points earned during the 2019-20 season) in the new WCF World Team Ranking System (official name subject to change) on November 25, 2019. (The WCF World Team Ranking System is being adopted in 2019-20 by international curling federations, including USA Curling, and will replace the World Curling Tour (WCT) Order-of-Merit used in the past. The points will be calculated using the same formula that was employed by the World Curling Tour in past seasons, but the WCF World Team Ranking System will be more inclusive and track points from events on regional tours such as the Ontario Curling Tour, along with international events that may not be associated with the WCT.) The four highest ranked teams not already qualified will be awarded spots in the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship. The season begins June 1, 2019.
  • Two teams will qualify based on results at Mixed Doubles berth bonspiels. The US team with the highest finish at these events will earn a spot in the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship. Each event awards one spot. If a non-US team wins the event, or if the US team with the highest finish at a berth bonspiel has already qualified for the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship, the spot will go to the US team with the next highest finish in the berth bonspiel, provided they have qualified for the playoffs.

     

    If no US team advances to the semi-final round, and more than one US team is eliminated in the quarter-final round, there will be a playoff among the teams eliminated in the quarter-final round. When this playoff includes three or four teams, seeding will be done as follows:

    If the event is a Triple Knockout format, teams will be ranked according to how they qualified for the playoffs. Teams that qualified “A” ranked highest, then teams that qualified “B”, and then teams that qualified “C.” When necessary—ie. two teams both qualified for the playoff round of the berth bonspiel the same way—cumulative Draw Shot Challenge (DSC) scores from qualifier games in the berth bonspiel will be used to establish seeding.

    If the event is a Pool format, seeding will be established by Win-Loss record in the qualifier round. If there are teams with the same Win-Loss record in the qualifier round, cumulative DSC scores from the qualifier round will be used to establish seeding. Cumulative DSC scores only determine seeding for games, not last rock or choice of stone color.  (In a two-team playoff, one game will be played to determine the team that earns a berth in the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship—no seeding will be done for this game. In a three-team playoff, teams will be seeded 1 through 3. Teams 2 and 3 will play a semi-final game, with the winner advancing to play Team 1 in the game that determines the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship berth. In a four-team playoff, teams will be seeded 1 through 4. In the first round, Team 1 will play Team 4, and Team 2 will play Team 3. The winners will advance to a final game that determines the berth in the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship.

    If no US team advances to the finals of the berth bonspiel but two US teams are eliminated in the semi-final round, there will be a one-game playoff between those two US teams to determine the berth, provided neither team has previously qualified for the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship. There will be no seeding in this game—last rock or choice of color will be determined by the results of the DSC held at the start of this game.)

    If no team earns a berth at one or both events (this would occur if no US team reaches the quarter-final round or if the only teams that reach the quarter-final round have already qualified for the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship), one or two additional spots in the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship will be awarded based on the WCF World Team ranking system on November 25, 2019.

    Berth bonspiels are determined annually. In 2020, the following bonspiels will be the qualifying events:

    The Colorado Curling Cup, September 27-29, 2019

    Madtown DoubleDown Invitational, November 1-3, 2019

     

  • Three teams will qualify for the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship through the USCA Mixed Doubles Challenge Round in Portage, Wisconsin. This event will run from December 19-22, 2019. (Start and finish dates of the event may vary based on the number of entries.) The Challenge Round format will be determined based on the USCA format formula, described in Section II (7) of the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition.

     

  • A Selection Committee will award one Wildcard berth in the 2020 Mixed Doubles National Championship. This team will be determined by November 30, 2019.

5. International Representation: The winner of the 2020 US Mixed Doubles National Championship will represent the USA at the 2020 World Mixed Doubles Championship, subject to meeting the following requirements:

(i) From the date of winning the USA Mixed Doubles National Championships, the athletes will be under the direction of the Mixed Doubles National Coach and the Director of Coaching, through to the completion of the World Championship. The Mixed Doubles National Coach and Director of Coaching, or a designee of the High Performance Program, will be present at the World Championships.

(ii) The National Coach may appoint additional Coaches or Staff to assist the team at the 2020 World Mixed Doubles Championship.

 

6. World Team Athlete Agreement:  All athletes nominated to Team USA for the 2020 World Mixed Doubles Championship are required to sign the USCA National Team Athlete Agreement. A copy can be found on the USCA website. Any athlete failing to sign the agreement, when invited to do so, will be disqualified from representing the USA. If this occurs, the High Performance Program reserves the right to invite another athlete to fill the vacant position. If both athletes fail to sign the agreement, the team will be disqualified, and the runner-up will be nominated.

 

NATIONAL MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

  1. Overview: The 2020 Men’s and Women’s National Championship field is not geographically based.

    The 2020 Men’s and Women’s National Championship fields will include ten teams per gender, provided there are at least fourteen entries for each gender. If there are thirteen or fewer entries, the National Championship field will be eight teams. This applies to both the Men’s and Women’s National Championship. If there are eight or less teams registered for either the Men’s or Women’s National Championship, the Challenge Round will be canceled and all registered teams will advance to the National Championship.

    The WCF World Team Ranking System is being adopted in 2019-20 by international curling federations, including USA Curling, and will replace the World Curling Tour (WCT) Order-of-Merit used in the past. The points will be calculated using the same formula that was employed by the World Curling Tour in past seasons, but the WCF World Team Ranking System will be more inclusive and track points from events on regional tours such as the Ontario Curling Tour, along with international events that may not be associated with the WCT.

    Teams will qualify as follows:

    (i) National Championship—ten team field, Men’s and Women’s. Five spots in the 2020 National Championship will be awarded to the five US teams ranked highest on the WCF World Team Ranking system. Four spots in the 2020 Men’s/Women’s National Championship will be awarded at the USCA Challenge Round. The remaining spot in the 2020 Men’s/Women’s National Championship in a ten-team field will be awarded to a Junior team, selected by the Director of the Junior High Performance Program.

    (ii) National Championship—eight team field, Men’s and Women’s. Four spots in the 2020 National Championship will be awarded to the four US teams ranked highest on the WCF World Team Ranking system. Three spots in the 2020 Men’s/Women’s National Championship will be awarded at the USCA Challenge Round. The remaining spot in the 2020 Men’s/Women’s National Championship in an eight-team field will be awarded to a Junior team, selected by the Director of the Junior High Performance Program.

     

  2. Event Eligibility: U.S. citizenship is required on or before the close of registration. Players need not be residents of the United States. Players must be paid members of the USCA (See Section II). Event eligibility requirements are listed within Section II of the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition.

     

  3. Entry Process: See Section II of the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition for entry process information or visit usacurl.org.

     

  4. Challenge Round: The Challenge Round will be a triple knockout format, subject to the number of entries, as per Section II (5) of USCA Format Policy, and advance three or four teams to the National Championships. The Men’s and Women’s Challenge Rounds will be seeded using the WCF World Team Ranking system published by the World Curling Federation. Any team(s) which has no ranking points as of the completion date of December 3rd on the year to date WCF World Team Ranking system published by the World Curling Federation shall be seeded in the Challenge Round by a small committee which will include the Chairman of Competitions, the Director of Coaching and an AAC representative.

The draw will be set with the highest-ranking team playing the lowest-ranking team in the first game (high ranking teams may receive a first round bye if the draw is not evenly distributed).

5. Finals Format: The 2020 Men’s and Women’s National Championship will be a single round- robin event. The draw will be randomly seeded.  The round-robin may be set up in a way that places marquee matches in prime viewing time, provided the Drawmaster determines that the round-robin schedule remains fair in terms of time of play and sheet repetition.

In a ten-team field, the top four teams, as determined by round robin or tie-breaker games, will advance to a Page playoff. In an eight-team field, the top three teams, as determined by round- robin or tie-breaker games. will advance to a modified Page playoff. See Section IV (20.)

Tie-breakers will be played under the rules set forth in Section IV (14) of the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition.

The relative ranking of the advancing teams will be determined by the Chief Umpire according to Section IV (15) of the USCA Rules of Curling & Competition

6.  World Championship Team Qualification—2020 and 2021

As the Olympic Quadrennial progresses, the intent of World Championship Team Qualification is to reward US teams that compete frequently in multiple events and achieve consistent results.

Points earned at the 2020 and 2021 Men’s and Women’s World Curling Championships are the primary way the field is determined at 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Teams/countries that achieve enough points will be placed directly in the Olympic Games field, and not be forced to earn spots through the Olympic Qualifier events. Team USA results are critical to our nation’s participation in curling in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

As a result, the standards for World Championship Team Qualification will increase in 2020, and will increase again in 2021.

Qualification Standards—2020

Any Men’s or Women’s team that wins the 2020 National Championship and was either ranked in the Top 50 or had earned 80 Points (Year-to-Date, defined as ranking/points earned during the 2019-20 season) in the WCF World Team Ranking system, as of January 31, 2020, will be named Team USA for the 2020 Men’s/Women’s World Curling Championships.

Qualification Standards—2021

Any Men’s or Women’s team that wins the 2021 National Championship and was either ranked in the Top 30 or had earned 125 Points (Year-to-Date, defined as ranking/points earned during the 2020-21 season) in the WCF World Team Ranking system, as of January 31, 2021, will be named Team USA for the 2020 Men’s/Women’s World Curling Championships.

 

  • If the Men’s or Women’s team that wins the 2020 or 2021 USA Curling Nationals does not meet the above qualification standards, the Men’s or Women’s team with the most points in the WCF World Team Ranking points system when the National Championship concludes will be named Team USA, provided that this team has placed third or higher at the National Championship.
  • In the event of a tie in WCF World Team Ranking system points, and a team that meets the Top 50/80 Points standard (2020) or the Top 30/125 Points standard (2021) does not win the Nationals, the team that does meet the World Ranking Team standard and places highest at the National Championship will be named Team USA for the World Men’s or Women’s Championship.
  • All U.S. teams will start the season at zero points and the season will start June 1st of that season.
  • All U.S. teams will be required to register their team with the World Curling Tour to be eligible to earn WCF World Team Ranking points toward World Championship Team Qualification. Teams are responsible for ensuring their point totals are recorded correctly.
  • Teams must have a minimum of three Team USA-eligible, registered players on the ice for all games at any event to earn points toward World Championship Team Qualification. Only Team USA-eligible players of the same gender can be used as substitute players at any event to earn points toward USA Worlds Team Qualification.

7. International Representation: The teams earning World Championship Team Qualification will represent the USA at the World Men’s or Women’s Championships, subject to meeting the following requirements:

(i) From the date of earning World Championship Team Qualification, the athletes will come under the direction of the National Coaching Team (NCT) through to the completion of the World Championship. Members of the NCT will be the Coaches at the World Men’s and Women’s Championships.

(ii) The NCT may appoint additional Coaches or Staff to assist the team at the World Men’s or Women’s Championships.

(iii) From the date of earning World Championship Team Qualification, the election of the fifth player/alternate will be made according to the USCA policy for fifths/alternates at all World Championships outlined below.

8. World Team Fifth Player Selection: A fifth/alternate for any World Championship team will be selected, in consultation with team members, by a High Performance Program Committee that includes staff and an Athlete Representative. The Committee will consider the following criteria when making their decision:

  • Performance and results at World Championships in previous two years
  • Performance and results on the World Curling Tour during the previous two years
  • Performance and results at the National Championships during the previous two years
  • Performance and results at the Junior World Championships during the previous two years
  • Performance and results at the Junior National Championships during the previous two years

Teams are advised that the Selection Committee will recommend that the newly added fifth player be qualified to play at any position at a world championship, including skip, unless the four-player team already includes two skips qualified to play that position at a world championship.  This stipulation recognizes the unique nature of the skip position in curling, and the need to protect the competitive interests of the team and the USA should the team skip be unable to play during the World Championship.

9. World Team Athlete Agreement:  All athletes nominated to Team USA for the 2020 World Men’s or Women’s Championship are required to sign the USCA National Team Athlete Agreement. A copy can be found on the USCA website. Any athlete failing to sign the agreement, when invited to do so, will be disqualified from representing the USA. If this occurs, the High Performance Program reserves the right to invite another athlete to fill a vacant position. If two or more athletes on the team fail to sign the agreement, the team will be disqualified, and the High Performance Program will appoint a replacement team.