Continental Cup of Curling
|Continental Cup of Curling|
|2013 host city||Penticton, British Columbia|
|2013 arena||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|2013 champion||Team North America|
|2013 Continental Cup of Curling|
The Continental Cup of Curling is a curling tournament held annually between teams from North America against teams from the rest of the world. Each side is represented by six teams (three women's teams and three men's teams), and compete using a unique points system. The tournament is modeled after golf's Ryder Cup. The event is held near the beginning of the curling season and is not held in the same season as the Olympics.
Competition Format 
Each side is represented by six teams – for the North Americans, four (two of each gender) are determined by the Canadian Curling Association based on recent participation at either the Canada Cup of Curling, the World Curling Championship, or the Olympic Winter Games. The other two North American teams are determined by the United States Curling Association. The World Curling Federation determines the six rinks representing Team World for the event.
There are four main competitions for the event, and for either side to claim the Continental Cup, a minimum majority of the points must be attained from these competitions. Prior to 2013, the minimum majority of the points was 201 points, but in the new points system to be implemented in 2013, the minimum majority of the points will be 30½ points.
Mixed Doubles 
One of the first events is the mixed doubles event, an eight-end game with two rocks in play at the start of each end (one for each team).
Prior to 2007, each team consisted of two sweepers and two throwers, where one man and one woman was to play each position. By tradition, each men's rink was paired with a women's rink to make two teams for this event, with each mixed team being given as the names of the two throwers. All 24 players on each side were required to play in either a sweeping or throwing role in this format. Starting in 2007, however, sweepers were eliminated to create a true "doubles" game, and any sweeping is to be done by either the thrower or the skip.
According to the current rules of mixed doubles curling, two rocks, one for each team, are put in play at the start of each end. One rock is placed inside the house and the other rock is a guard. Five rocks are played per team, with scoring tallied as in team curling. One thrower must throw the first and last stones of each end, while the other thrower must throw the three stones in between. The assignment of which stones to throw by which player may be freely changed between ends, and is simply determined by who throws the first stone. Each team is given 48 minutes on the game clock, and (as an extension of the free-guard zone rule) stones may not be removed from play until the third stone in each end is thrown (effectively creating a "five-rock rule").
There is an additional concept, known as the option, given to one of the teams. The option is given to the team which did not score in the previous end (a draw to the button determine which team will have the option in the first end), and switches teams in the event of a blank end. The team with the option has the option to select which of the two rocks in play is theirs, with the hammer going to the team with the rock in the house.
In the Continental Cup, there are six mixed doubles matches, with one point given for a win in each match (or a half point for both teams in the event of a tie after six ends). In the past, six points would have been given for a win, and three points would have been given for a tie. The mixed doubles games are played during the same days of competition as the team games, making up the afternoon draw. To determine the mixed doubles matchups, one captain will name a team while the other captain responds with the team that will oppose them. The right to name second alternates between the two captains through the six matchups.
The rules from this event (with the 2007 revision) were later adopted as a separate curling discipline with the inauguration of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in 2008.
|Year||Mixed doubles winner||Points|
The singles competition is akin to the skills competitions found in ice hockey. There are six singles matches (three women's and three men's), with one point given to the winner of each match. In the past, four points would be given to the winner of each match, and eight bonus points would be awarded to the team with the higher aggregate score for the singles events. By convention, each of the matches pit teams against each other. Prior to 2007, one team member was to throw all six shots, while the non-throwers must sweep or skip for the thrower. Starting in 2007, however, each member of the team must make at least one shot, and no member may make more than two shots.
Each singles match is determined based on a points system (with 0 for missing the shot entirely, 1 if the shot remains in play but outside the house, and higher points based on where the shooter eventually lands, up to a maximum of 5 points if the shooter reaches the button), and the team with the higher score wins the game. Three of the shots must be in-turns, while the other three must be out-turns, with the shots set up according to their chosen type of turn. The six shots are as follows:
- the runthrough — the shooter must hit their own center guard, which then must hit an opposing rock at the back of the button. The position of the hit guard determines the point value of the shot.
- the draw to the button - a simple draw to the button.
- the draw through a port - the shooter must draw their rock between two opposing rocks (a corner guard and a center guard on the opposite side of the center line). Points are only awarded if the thrown rock passes through the two opposing rocks without hitting either rock.
- the raise - the shooter must hit their own centre guard so that the guard is raised into the house. The position of the raised guard determines the point value of the shot.
- the hit-and-roll - the shooter must hit an opposing stone on a corner guard outside the house and then roll towards the center of the house. The hit stone must be completely removed from play in order to score points.
- the double takeout - the shooter must remove two opposing stones, one at the top of the four-foot and one at the back of the button. Both stones must be completely removed from play in order to score points. The position of the shooter determines the point value of the shot.
To determine the singles matchups, one team captain must choose one rink while the other captain chooses the rink opposing them. One captain will choose first for the first women's matchup and the second men's matchup, while the other captain chooses first for the first men's matchup and the second women's matchup. All women's games are completed before the men's games, and all shots of one type must be completed before the next shot is done. The team throwing first in one shot (which will be the same team in all three matches) will throw second in the next shot. The right to make the first shot in the runthrough alternates between the two teams every year.
|Year||Team winner||Points||Top men's team (points)||Top women's team (points)|
|2002||Europe||24–8||Kevin Martin (27)||Katarina Nyberg (24)|
|2003||Europe||20–12||Magnus Swartling (22)||Marianne Haslum (15)|
|2004||North America||28–4||Randy Ferbey (21)||Patti Lank (20)|
|2006||Europe||18–14|| Flemming Davanger (22)
Markku Uusipaavalniemi (22)
|Kelly Scott (22)|
|2007||North America||28–4||Team Glenn Howard (26)||Team Jennifer Jones (26)|
|2008||World||22–10||Team Wang Fengchun (20)||Team Wang Bingyu (18)|
|2011||North America||22–10||Team Kevin Martin (27)|| Team Jennifer Jones (16)
Team Mirjam Ott (16)
|2012||World||24–8||Team Jeff Stoughton (25)||Team Wang Bingyu (21)|
|2013||North America||4-2||Team Glenn Howard (22)|| Team Allison Pottinger (18)
Team Mirjam Ott (18)
The team games portion of the Continental Cup is highlighted by 18 eight-end curling games, with one point awarded to the winner of each game (a half point for each team if the game remains tied through eight ends). Prior to 2013, there were 12 team curling games, with six points awarded to the winner of each game. In the team portion, each team captain will name a rink to play on each of the three sheets of ice, with the other captain being able to choose which of their rinks will play against them. The team games are played over two or three days of competition, where the women's team matches make up the morning or afternoon draw and the men's matches make up the evening draw. The team captain that did not select first on the first day will select first on the second day.
The final event, and the event worth the most amount of points, is the skins portion. Up to 30 points can be claimed in this event, meaning that neither team can clinch the Continental Cup until the skins games are played. There are a total of five points, with half-point skins in the first six ends of the game and one-point skins in the final two ends. Prior to 2013, teams could claim 260 points in the skins games, and the points were distributed in an uneven manner through each of the eight ends, resulting in a different total point value for each skins game.
In order for a team to claim a skin, the team must either score at least two points with the hammer or force a steal without the hammer. In the skins competitions, blank ends will turn the hammer over to the opposing team. If after eight ends there remain points to be claimed, a draw to the button determines which team will get the points. 
The points for the skins games were distributed as follows:
|Points per game||End|
|5 points (2013–)||½||½||½||½||½||½||1||1|
|20 points (2007–2012)||1||1||2||2||2||2||4||6|
|30 points (2002–2006)||2||2||3||3||3||4||6||7|
|30 points (2007–2012)||1||1||3||3||3||4||6||9|
|40 points (2002–2006)||2||2||4||4||5||6||7||10|
|55 points (2007–2012)||4||4||5||6||6||8||10||12|
|60 points (2002–2006)||4||4||6||6||7||9||11||13|
From 2002 to 2007, there were six skins games, three men's and three women's, with the games worth 30, 40, and 60 points. The games were typically referred to as the "A", "B", and "C" games. From 2007 to 2012, eight skins games were played. Three were worth 20 points, three were worth 30 points and the remaining two were worth 55 points. Three men's skins games and three women's skins games were played, with the remaining "A" and "B" game featuring mixed teams. The teams playing in the featured games, also known as the "C" games, were required to contribute two players, one male and one female, to both mixed skins games, while the teams playing in the "A" skins game must contribute two players, one male and one female, to the "B" mixed skins game, and vice versa.
As with the team portion of the event, one captain will name a rink for each game, with the opposing captain naming the rink that will oppose them. A draw to the button determines which team will have the hammer in the first end. The matchups are not determined until the second day of competition.
The featured skins game was played on the last day of competition, while the others were played on the same day as the singles events. With the exception of the men's feature game in the 2003 cup, which was only played to seven ends with 13 points on the line in the eighth, all skins games are played to their conclusion, even if the Continental Cup has been clinched by one side partway through, or before all matches have been played (as was the case in 2007, when North America had clinched the Continental Cup before either of the feature skins game were played).
|Year||Skins winner||Points||Men's feature game||Women's feature game|
|2002||North America||139–121||Kevin Martin 43–17 Peja Lindholm||Colleen Jones 41–19 Elisabet Gustafson|
|2003||Europe||134–113||Randy Ferbey 30–17 Peja Lindholm||Anette Norberg 60–0 Sherry Middaugh|
|2004||North America||134–126||Randy Ferbey 47–13 Peja Lindholm||Anette Norberg 41–19 Colleen Jones|
|2006||Europe||163–97||Brad Gushue 43–17 David Murdoch||Anette Norberg 32–28 Shannon Kleibrink|
|2007||North America||199–61||Glenn Howard 47–8 David Murdoch||Kelly Scott 33–22 Kelly Wood|
|2008||North America||150–110||Kevin Martin 40–15 Thomas Ulsrud||Anette Norberg 41–14 Jennifer Jones|
|2011||North America||186–64||Kevin Martin 39–16 Thomas Ulsrud||Cheryl Bernard 42–13 Wang Bingyu|
|2012||World||235-165||Thomas Ulsrud 35–20 Jeff Stoughton||Wang Bingyu 30–25 Stefanie Lawton|
|2013||North America||17½-12½||Glenn Howard 3–2 Thomas Ulsrud||Jennifer Jones 4–1 Mirjam Ott|
List of Continental Cups 
Similar events in other sports 
- Ryder Cup — Men's golf
- Solheim Cup — Women's golf
- Mosconi Cup — Nine-ball pool
- Weber Cup — Ten-pin bowling
- IAAF World Cup — Athletics
- NFL Global Junior Championship — American Football, includes a Team Europe
- "Lineups confirmed for 2011 World Financial Group Continental Cup". Canadian Curling Association. 12 October 2010.
- "2012 World Financial Group Continental Cup Disciplines". Canadian Curling Association. 20 January 2011.
- "Continental Cup matchups now set". Canadian Curling Association. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- "World and Olympic champions headline 2008 Continental Cup". Canadian Curling Association. 9 July 2008. Archived from the original on 14 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "North America claims World Financial Group Continental Cup". Canadian Curling Association. 16 January 2011.
- "Team World wraps up fourth Continental Cup title". Canadian Curling Association. 16 January 2012.
- Cameron, Allen (13 January 2013). "Team North America claims WFG Continental Cup". Canadian Curling Association. Retrieved 13 January 2013.