Some policies in the Riverdale league inspire questions each year, so we’ve collected some of the reasons and background in this FAQ. Don’t see your question answered? Check with an Exec member, or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
How are teams seeded (or ranked) at the beginning of the season?
After registration has closed and team lineups have been finalized, the Executive Committee (EC) meets to seed (rank) all teams before the first round schedule is drafted. All members of the EC have input into the seeding process.
To inform its decision making, the EC uses all available data from at least the prior season, including each team’s:
- Final ranking from the prior season.
- Performance over the course of the regular season (i.e. how did the team perform in each round? Did the team get promoted to a higher division after each round or was the team relegated to a lower division after each round? Did the team remain in the same division over the course of the season?).
- Performance in the playoff games (i.e., did the team win its pool? Did the team lose the final, semi-final or quarter-final?).
- Team lineup (i.e., is this an established team with a stable lineup? Is the team new to the league? Is this a newly formed team from existing RCL members?)
This process is not as simple as it may appear.
- If a team has played in the Riverdale Curling League (RCL) for a long time and has had a relatively stable lineup, the EC will know with greater (but not absolute) certainty whether the pool in which the team is placed seems appropriate.
- If a team is new to the RCL or if a new team has been formed with existing members, it becomes more difficult. In these instances, factors that are considered are the experience and skill of the four players (i.e., is the person listed as the skip new to the role, etc.). Despite these considerations, the EC cannot predict how four players, irrespective of their individual experience and skill, might perform as a team.
Note: teams are not seeded within each of the league’s pools, as the first two rounds of curling are full round robin play, meaning that all teams play each other anyway.
How are the points used? Why are the points awarded for wins, losses, and ties different in each division?
Teams accumulate points for each game played. Points accumulated over the course of the season are used to (1) promote or relegate teams at the conclusion of the first two rounds and (2) rank teams for the playoffs at the end of the year. Generally, after a given round, the teams that accumulate the most points have the best records in each division, and the teams that accumulate the fewest points have the worst records. On the basis of the teams’ performance in each round, the two top-performing teams in each division are promoted to the next higher division (e.g. F to E), while the two lowest-performing teams are relegated to the next lower division (e.g. C to D). Note that teams are not promoted or relegated at the end of the third round as this is an abbreviated round and not all teams play each other.
The differential points scheme is based on other leagues at the club that have multiple divisions (e.g. Thursday men’s, Tuesday mixed), and is designed to ensure that teams end up in a playoff division that is aligned to the division(s) in which they played over the course of the season. In other words, a team cannot end up in a playoff division that far exceeds or is far beneath its experience and skill. For example, an H division cannot end up in the D playoffs, and a B team cannot end up in the F playoffs, etc. The RCL awards equal prize money to all division winners and runners up, irrespective of the playoff division in which the teams played.
There are tie breaking rules for teams that have the same number of points at the end of the first two rounds (i.e., head to head record, team draw to the button score, coin toss — in that order). These same tie breaking rules apply at the end of the regular season. Because teams play a different number of games over the course of the regular season (depending on which teams get ‘byes’ in the final round), the points per game average determines the team’s final standing before playoffs commence.
How often are the standings updated?
The standings are generally updated weekly (i.e., before the next Sunday), but there may be exceptions over the course of the season. The first season update generally takes place after the second week of play in the season to ensure that all teams have played at least one game.
It seems that there can be long breaks between weeks when the RCL curls?
Because the Riverdale Curling League rents ice from the Royal Canadian Curling Club, there are some Sundays during which the RCL does not play because of club closures (i.e. holiday weekends) or other club events (e.g. bonspiels, including the Rotator’s Bonspiel and Riverdale Bonspiel). The season calendar is posted on the RCL website before the beginning of each season to keep you informed of this. As there is no solution to ensure that the RCL plays every week during the curling season, we encourage you to join other leagues or play in bonspiels, either at the Royal Canadian Curling Club or other clubs in and around the GTA.