The Ontario Junior Curling Tour is pleased to announce the creation of a new event, hosted by the OJCT itself, that will embrace some of the key principles that are found within the new points and ranking system released last summer and now to conclude shortly, its first year in operation.
The event to be known as the OJCT Championship Invitational, it will be an event that will have two separate divisions for both genders, U18 and U21, and will be an invitational event based on the tour ranking points and standings for U21 and U18. Registered teams from 2017-18 and newly registered and potentially reformed teams for the next season 2018-19 will be eligible. A team can still compete with their 2017-18 registered team if ranked in the top twelve and yet still reform after the technical age out period of June 30 and would carry forward points to the next season from this event. The consolidated top twelve of each gender and age will be invited first. We reserve the right to reduce the field size to eight as the size of the U21 cohort is smaller this year. U18 teams with a U21 ranking in the top twelve would have to declare which event they want to participate in as they cannot participate in both.
The event will be an OJCT points eligible major event therefore the maximum number of points available to teams, and is operating after the end of both the 2017-18 U21 and U18 points season meaning for U21s and U18s, it will be an event accumulating points for the next accummulation season 2018-19 despite being played in this curling calendar year.
The event will take place April 27 – 29, 2018, will be hosted at the Leaside Curling Club in Toronto and be a triple knockout format using the new WCF approved, five rock free guard zone rule for each gender and age group with four separate champions being the outcome.
An entry fee of $300 will apply for those being invited as well as the OJCT will be using the funds gathered from the 2017-18 registration process and well as those from its event partners to create a prize pool that will be aligned with two major development outcomes for both U18 and U21 that will be the major prizes of this event
- Those developmental outcomes include for teams:
- U21 – a fully paid men’s and women’s entry to the WCT Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, an elite World Curling Tour event on the weekend after Labour Day 2018 and a travel subsidy to cover their costs of travel to the event. The prize would be open to a U21 team who continues in 2018-19 and/or to one that graduates from the U21 ranks at the end of June, 2018.
- U18 – a fully paid men’s and women’s entry to the Marc Kennedy Curling Classic in Edmonton in March of 2019. With this announcement, the OJCT announces a partnership with Marc and the event in Alberta which attracts high performance U18 and U21 teams from Western Canada and from the Nordic region with a similar partnership that Marc has developed with the Nordic Tour. For the winning U18 teams if they graduate to U21 in 2018-19, they will participate in the new U21 division of Marc’s event around the 3rd week of March
We also announce that two sponsors have been brought on board to help the Tour with the event
- Stu Sankey and the WCT has agreed to help underwrite the cost of the entry in the Oakville event and contribute to a travel bursary fund we are creating to support all of the teams going to these development events
- Our second sponsor is Mr. David Gravelle and Pro Curling Wear and Hot Shots Curling Camps. Dave has generously agreed to donate the 2018-19 team jackets for the U18 teams who represent the Tour at the Marc Kennedy event and also provide the U21 team (four members plus the coach) with entries to the 2018 Hot Shots Camp in Oakville the week before Labour Day as a means for the team to get advanced instruction and on ice time with the elite coaches who participate in his camps (John Epping, Danielle Inglis, Wendy Morgan, etc. are regulars at these camps which are typically adults from the US)
- We hope to add more sponsors in the weeks ahead so stay tuned
Entries for U21 event eligible teams will be sent in the first week of February while U18 event eligible teams will be sent invitations after the OCA U18 qualifiers in the last week of February. Registration for newly formed or reformed 2018-19 U21 teams will be open in the first week of February and for U18 teams, the last week of March.
Please direct any questions about the event to OJCT Chair, Perry Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org