Round-Robin Pools, Schedule Finalized for 2023 Scotties in Kamloops

Round-Robin Pools, Schedule Finalized for 2023 Scotties in Kamloops

Team Kerri Einarson will begin its pursuit of a fourth consecutive women’s curling championship when they face Quebec’s Team Laurie St-Georges on Feb. 17 to open the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops, B.C.

Round-robin pools and schedules were just finalized for the annual event, featuring the top women’s curling teams from across Canada. Teams begin by playing an eight-game round-robin within Pool A and Pool B. From there, the top three teams in each pool advance to the playoffs. 

The tournament semifinal will take place at noon on Feb. 26, followed by the final at 6 p.m. that evening. 

The winner goes on to represent Canada at the World Women’s Curling Championship on March 18-26 in Sandviken, Sweden.

Einarson and her Gimli, Man.-based Team Canada (vice skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Brianne Harris and coach Reid Carruthers, rounding out the lineup) have won the past three, and with a win in Kamloops would match the record for consecutive titles held by Team Colleen Jones (2001-04).

The event will feature 18 teams — Team Canada, 14 provincial/territorial champions and three Wild Card teams — split into two pools of nine, seeded based on their final standing on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) as of Jan. 30. Here is the full schedule and list of teams in both pools.

Team Kaitlyn Lawes (Winnipeg), Team Casey Scheidegger (Lethbridge, Alta.) and Team Meghan Walter (East St. Paul, Man.) nailed down the Wild Card berths.

Oakville to Host PointsBet Invitational

Sixteen men’s and sixteen women’s teams will participate in the second annual PointsBet Invitational Sept. 26-Oct.1, this time at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville.

The PointsBet Invitational will be the first major event of the 2023-24 campaign, as fans will get to see results of off-season lineup changes for the first time as Canada’s top teams ramp up towards qualifying for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy. 

“(The PointsBet Invitational) is a one-of-a-kind event with our nation’s best curlers,” said Nic Sulsky, chief commercial officer for PointsBet Canada.

A spokesman from PointsBet Canada described the inaugural event held at Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, NB, as a successful launch, generating 30 hours of live broadcast coverage across TSN, simulcast on ESPN 3 in the U.S. The spokesman said there was “solid engagement” on social media as well.

Team Jennifer Jones won the women’s title, while Team Reid Carruthers won the men’s event.

While not sharing specific numbers, the spokesman said that was the “first big bang” for curling betting markets on PointsBet Canada, and, anecdotally at least, they saw an “uptick” in curling betting interest during the tourney.