February 20, 2013, (ISN) – The Golden Ears Winter Club has been awarded the 2014 BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, which will take place from January 16-19, 2014.
In fall 2012, Curl BC decided to establish a provincial championship in response to the Canadian Curling Association’s decision to hold a National Mixed Doubles trials to determine a Canadian champion in the discipline. The inaugural BC Mixed Doubles Championship was held at the North Shore Winter Club from February 1-3, 2013, and involved 16 teams.
Mike Mallett, the manager of Golden Ears Winter Club, said everyone at the club was excited to be hosting the championship in 2014.
“We had a couple of our long-time curlers go to this year’s event and the feedback that we got from them was fantastic, so we decided to go for it,” he said.
The Mixed Doubles format is growing in popularity and could become an Olympic event as early as 2018.
Teams are made up of one male and one female curler and the game is played over eight ends (instead of the usual 10). Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned on the centre line before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. Both team members are also allowed to sweep.
Mallett believes the format is an exciting development in the sport. In addition to hosting the Mixed Doubles event, he hopes Golden Ears will have experienced competitors enter the championship.
“We’re going to start up a Mixed Doubles league on Thursdays and we hope that will generate interest in it,” said Mallett. “Sixteen teams entered last year so maybe we can get that to grow to 24.”
Mallett added that he hoped people from across the province, not just the Lower Mainland, would take an interest.
The Golden Ears Winter Club is located on 105th Avenue in Maple Ridge and is a six-sheet facility with three additional junior sheets for young curlers.