The elite women’s curling team from Canada will participate in the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts scheduled for February 18th through the 26th at the Meridian Centre located in St. Catharines. This will mark the first time the Scotties Tournament will be in St. Catharines located in the Niagara. For curling fans, this presents a marvelous opportunity to see the famed Canadian women’s curling team in action.
Established in 1961, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is an annual event sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association. The winner of the tournament will represent Canada at the World Curling Championships.
Starting in 1985, the winning team returns the following year as “Team Canada” to participate in the tournament.
Women's Scotties' Tournament of Hearts
The tournament itself has been sponsored by Kruger Products since 1982. Until then, it was known as the Scott Tournament of Hearts, but the name was changed to Scotties due to merging of the Scott Paper Company with Kimberly-Clark. Since 2007, it has been officially called the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The format of the tournament takes 12 teams that have pre-qualified over the year. The tournament itself is a round-robin format until the playoffs which determines the winning team. The 2017 tournament will be the last to have just 12 teams as it will expand to 16 teams in 2018. So, in some ways this event represents the last of the old format before embracing the new one the following year.
St.Catharines 2017 Scotties' Tournament of Hearts
The Meridian Centre which opened in September, 2014 offers over 5,300 seats and is the home to the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League. The relatively new facility is the perfect home for the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts thanks to the modern conveniences, ample seating, and the number of attractions in the local area for spectators to see apart from the tournament itself.
The winning team will represent Canada at the 2017 World Women’s Curling Championships which will be held in Beijing, China. If the team should medal in the event, they will automatically qualify for the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Ring Canadian Curling Trials which will be held in Ottawa later that year. That event will determine the four-player men’s and women’s teams that will represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics that will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.
There is considerable joy and excitement in St. Catharines in hosting the venerable event that will elevate one team to world and perhaps Olympic competition depending on the outcome. For those who love women’s curling, the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts represents a unique opportunity for those who live in the Niagara area to see the finest that Canada offers.
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