As we reach the end of the round-robin stage at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021 and we close in on the play-offs and Olympic Qualification places being secured, let’s take a closer look at how those spots are determined.
Olympic qualification procedure
The Olympic Qualification procedure is set out as follows:
The seven highest ranked National Olympic Committees from the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021 will qualify for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 mixed doubles competition.
In the situation where the Chinese National Olympic Committee team holds a position amongst the top seven places in this championship, the National Olympic Committee finishing in eighth place will automatically qualify for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 mixed doubles competition.
In the situation where the Chinese National Olympic Committee team finish outside of the top seven places at this event, it will qualify automatically for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 mixed doubles competition through the allocation of the host country quota place.
The top six in Aberdeen
While the qualification procedure is clear, the specifics of how it is implemented at the World Championship need to be clarified to avoid any confusion.
The round-robin stage of the World Mixed Doubles Championship is split into two groups. At the conclusion of the round-robin stage the groups are ranked in accordance with Rule C9 of the Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition.
(a) During the round-robin portion of a competition, teams with the same win-loss record will be listed alphabetically by their three-letter code and ranked equal.
(b) The following criteria (in order) will be used to rank the teams at the completion of the round robin:
(i) Teams will be ranked according to their win/loss record;
(ii) If two teams are tied, the team that won their round-robin game will be ranked higher;
(iii) Where three or more teams are tied, the record of the games between the tied teams shall provide the ranking (should this procedure provide a ranking for some teams but not all, then the record of the games between the remaining teams that are still tied shall determine the ranking);
(iv) For all remaining teams, whose ranking cannot be determined by (i) or (ii) or (iii), ranking is determined using the Draw Shot Challenge (DSC).
Following these rankings, the top three teams in each group progress to the play-off stage of the competition.
By earning a play-off place, teams automatically qualify their National Olympic Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 mixed doubles event.
The seventh qualification place
At the conclusion of the round-robin stage, once the Group Rankings have been determined the two groups are merged into a single group ranking table. This determines their final ranking position in the round robin, from 1–20.
This ranking is set by comparing the Draw Shot Challenge results of teams who hold the same rank in both groups.
For example: A1 and B1 have their Draw Shot Challenge result compared, with the better result earning the first-placed rank while the other earns the second-placed rank. This process is applied for each of the ten group positions.
The teams who finish in fourth place in the groups will receive the rank of seventh or eighth, with the Draw Shot Challenge determining the order between the teams as per the example above.
Those two teams will then compete in an Olympic Qualification game, where the winner will earn the final rank of seventh to earn the Beijing 2022 qualification place from this championship, while the loser will receive the final rank of eighth place.
As China have automatically qualified for Beijing 2022 as the host nation, in the situation where they are ranked in seventh or eighth place, no qualification game is required and the other team in one of those ranking positions will receive the final Olympic Qualification place available from the World Mixed Doubles Championship.
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