OLDS — The Olds Curling Club has been chosen to host the mixed provincial qualifier next winter.
The event, which takes place Feb. 25-28, 2021, will feature some of the top co-ed curlers in the province.
Teams will be competing for a berth at the Curling Alberta mixed championship in Black Diamond, March 17-21, 2021.
Both mixed and mixed doubles events involve co-ed teams and have no age restriction.
While mixed doubles has two players — one of each gender — mixed teams are composed of two males and two females, playing in alternating positions.
Games last eight ends.
A key difference with mixed doubles is the placement of two rocks (one per team) at the beginning of each end. Each team only throws five stones per end, versus the typical eight.
The mixed provincial qualifier will also serve as a warm-up for the Humpty’s Champions Cup which Olds is hosting April 28 to May 2, 2021, at the Sportsplex.
That tournament features the top 12 men’s and 12 women’s winners of the curling season in one final showdown. It will be broadcast on Sportsnet and is part of Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling.
The Humpty’s Champions Cup was originally scheduled to be held April 29 to May 3 this year, but was postponed, due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Olds Curling Club vice-president Jennifer Lutz says membership in the club has really grown recently, especially in its junior program.
The club has brought the rocks and rings program, an introduction to curling, to seven local schools.
They’ve also hosted several sold-out curling clinics.
There are also curling teams at Olds College and École Olds High School.
- Written with files from Casey Thomas of Curling Alberta.
“The youth are really going to appreciate the opportunity to see more competitive curling. That will be big for them and it’s a big reason why we brought it in,” Lutz said.