The first-ever Pan Continental Curling Championships is now underway in Calgary, Canada – here are some interesting facts about the event.
What is the PCCC?
The Pan Continental Curling Championships is a new annual competition for women’s and men’s teams from two of World Curling’s Zones – the Americas and Pacific-Asia. It features both A and B divisions and provides a direct qualification route to the World Championships – similar to the European Curling Championships format.
Why does the PCCC exist?
These championships have been introduced to offer developing Member Associations from the Americas and Pacific-Asia zones an opportunity to compete on an equal playing field, giving them a chance to improve their World Rankings and offer a consistent platform for improvement, while also ensuring that all World Championship places are earned on the ice.
This event replaces the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships and the Americas Challenge.
It has been introduced following a vote by the Member Associations during the 2021 General Assembly.
What is the format?
The inaugural PCCC features 13 women’s teams, divided into an A division of nine teams and a B division of four teams; and 16 men’s teams, divided into an A division of eight teams and a B division of eight teams.
All teams play in round-robin format. In the A divisions, the top four teams move onto the semi-finals, then gold medal finals for the semi-final winners.
In the B divisions, the top-ranked teams are promoted to next season’s A division, while, in the men’s competition, this season’s bottom-placed A division team is relegated.
The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that a special arrangement has been invoked to increase the size of the women’s A division from eight to nine teams for this year only. As a result, the bottom two women’s teams will be relegated this year.
The women’s A division will revert to eight teams next season.
How many teams qualify for world championships from this event?
The top five women’s and men’s teams will qualify for this season’s World Championships
Why are there no European teams?
The European nations have their own championships – the Le Gruyere AOP European Curling Championships – staged in Oestersund, Sweden, in November. It is the qualification event for European teams, with the top eight women’s’ and men’s’ teams qualifying for the Worlds this season.
Why does Canada play if they already have a spot as hosts of the BKT Tires &OK Tire World Men’s Championship, being held in Ottawa, Canada, in April?
Although the host country is guaranteed a world championship slot, if they did not play in the PCCC, they would be relegated to next season’s PCCC B-Division and would not be able to qualify for that season’s World Championship.
Likewise, if the Canadian men finish eighth at this event, they would be relegated and would not be able to qualify for the 2024 World Championship.
Who can compete in the B-Division?
Any World Curling Federation Member Association from the Americas or Pacific-Asia zones is entitled to enter this event. Following this season any new teams who enter would go into the B division.
Where can I watch?
All games from the A-Division are being streamed on the Curling Channel, while select games are being broadcast on television in various territories.
Why isn’t China competing?
Travel-related difficulties have caused the absence of China’s teams from this event. They will have to compete in next season’s B divisions.