Format for the Tour Challenge

Tour Challenge rings

The Tour Challenge features the largest field in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series with a total of 60 teams split into two tiers.

Tier 1: 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams. Both divisions are divided into three pools of five teams each for round-robin play. The winners of the Tier 1 event receive invitations to Humpty’s Champions Cup, which is the final tournament of the season and showcases all of the winners from major events in curling.

Tier 2: 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams. Both divisions are divided into three pools of five teams each for round-robin play. The winners of this season’s Tier 2 event receive invitations to the 2019 Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford, Sask.

Five-rock rule: All Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling games utilize the five-rock free-guard zone. Rocks sitting in the free-guard zone (outside the house from the tee line to the nearest hog line) cannot be removed from play until five rocks have been thrown.

Time/Timeouts: Matches are played to eight ends. Each team will have 33 minutes of “Thinking Time” plus two, 90-second timeouts. If a team runs out of time, they cannot throw any more rocks for the remainder of the match.

Teams get five minutes to complete an extra end regardless of how much time they finished the eighth end. Each team gets one, 90-second timeout regardless of how many timeouts they had remaining after the eighth end.

Pre-game draw-to-the-button shootout: During the round-robin, a different player for each game, will execute the draw to the button. The chosen player will first deliver a rock towards the home end with the help of brushers. If the player covers the pinhole completely, the same shooter will then deliver a second draw to the button without brushers.

Should both teams cover again, a third stone would be delivered by a different player with the help of one brusher only, then no brusher if both teams cover again and so on, until we determine a pre-game draw winner.

The total distance of the shootouts will be used to rank the teams tied with the same record.

Playoff Qualification: After all round-robin matches are completed, the top eight teams based on win/loss records and ties from the field of 15 teams advance to the playoff round or tiebreaking system. Teams will then be re-ranked by their round-robin win/loss records and if tied by their shootout scores (head-to-head is not used as not all teams play against each other).

Tiebreaker games will be eight ends. Should more than one tiebreaker draw be needed, the head official reserves the right to change tiebreakers to six-end games.

Shootout scores can achieve qualification but not elimination without playing a tiebreaker match. Exception: Teams at 1-3 records may be eliminated from tiebreakers as a maximum of two tiebreaker draws will be played.