Are You Ready for Some Playoffs?

Do you know what starts tonight? It’s Wine Country Curling playdowns! Seven teams are vying for the right to represent our curling club in the Arena National Championships, to be held in Pennsylvania the first week of May. 

Although this will be the fourth year in a row that we’ve sent two teams to Arena Nationals, it will be the first that we’ve had a playdown for. In the past, teams were formed primarily based on which four men and which four women were able to take the necessary time off work and travel to the other side of the country. So it’s super exciting to see that number jump from eight willing and able to represent us all the way up to twenty-eight.

Here are the seven teams that have entered:

Men’s Division:
Jensen: Mikkel Jensen, Bob Seyfried, Rob Shelton, Dan Stefani
Jones: Jeff Jones, Nick Graf, Randy Cohen, Todd Krein
Kuhl: Bob Kuhl, David Betts, Josh Bally, Nelson Hilger
Markowski: David Markowski, Camren Spangler, Chris Hillman, Brian Feldman
Skidmore: Chris Skidmore, Tristan Hanon, Tim Bilbrey, Tyler McEwen

Women’s Division:
Feldman: Katie Feldman, Laura Lunetta, Sonia Montero, Suzan Minshall
Tudor: Jessica Tudor Elliott, Melissa McGuire, Ashley Spalding, Ilene Barbree

Of course, seven teams require some finagling to make a proper playdown. We will be using up to six different dates to settle who will be heading off to Pennsylvania. The women will engage in a best-of-three series, while the men will play a double-elimination bracket. The women will play on February 23, March 12, and March 26 (if necessary). The men’s bracket is below:

Each game will be six ends, timed with 24 minutes of thinking time, in order to emulate the eight-end, thirty-minute time limit they will encounter at Arena Nationals. While the timekeepers will be players from the other teams, anyone who is interested in learning how to time a match, or anyone who wishes to see what a timed, competitive match is like, can come out to help out with tonight’s match, or any of the other matches scheduled throughout February and March.

Oh, and did we mention there’ll be learn-to-curls on the ice at the same time? They’re ALWAYS looking for helpers, as well.

In the meantime, make sure you congratulate and cheer on the twenty-eight curlers helping ensure we send out best representatives ever!

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