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Curlers trying to sort through ranking system

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TSN Senior Reporter


As the curling season heats up, so has the talk of the team rankings.

More and more, players and teams have begun to think the current system that determines everything from which rinks play in national championships, Olympic qualifying and Grand Slam majors, may not truly reflect what’s happening on the ice.

There was an increase in this discussion when Ben Hebert, a Tim Hortons Brier, World and Olympic champion, sent out a message on Twitter pointing out that John Epping’s team, winners of two events in the early season, moved into second place on the World Curling Tour’s ranking.

That, in itself, wasn’t a problem, said Hebert, but the team it replaced on the list, skipped by Brendan Bottcher, ended last season by winning three Grand Slam majors and finishing runner-up at the Brier.

“[Epping] wins a small event in Oakville and then the Shorty Jenkins [event in Cornwall, Ont.] and pass Bottcher for second spot,” said Hebert. “Two WCT events that aren’t majors and are in September when lots of teams don’t have ice. The purses aren’t big but because the fields are full with the amount of teams, they get all these points.”

Hebert emphasized that he wasn’t being critical of Epping’s team, but rather the formula used to........