The Canadian Curling Association is deeply considering the inclusion of a Team Canada at future Briers.
If changes are made to the current format, then the defending Brier champion will automatically qualify for the following Brier without having to go through provincial playdowns. The format has been adopted by organizers of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on the women’s side since 1986.
But there seems to be a twist if the Brier will include the defending Canadian Champion. Unlike the Scotties, two teams represent Ontario at the Brier, one from Northern Ontario and one from Southern Ontario (known simply as Ontario). Due to the recent success of Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs (a third place last year and an impressive 5-4 win over former World Champion Glenn Howard today), there apparently are no immediate intentions of having only one Ontario team at the Brier.
The alternative plan is extremely interesting. A format that is under discussion, is to have the worst team at the Brier every year relegated. I’m not sure if a last place team one year plays a last place team the following year, to see who qualifies for the Brier the year after that, but in my opinion the possible relegation plan has merit. The reason is that it makes more games at the Brier interesting. All of a sudden perennial underdogs such as Yukon/Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island have a lot to play for on an annual basis. More curling games then have meaning. What’s not to like about that? What do you think?