Q:

What competition changes were made at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier?

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Quick Answer

The Canadian Curling Association's changes to the Tim Hortons Brier in 2015 include automatic entry of the 2014 winning team into the 2015 contest and the separation of the Northwest Territories and Yukon team into two sets of competitors. The competition also expanded to include a team from Nunavat.

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Full Answer

The creation of separate teams in the northern territories was intended to make the competition more equitable and reduce the number of inter-territorial playoffs, which dramatically increased team travel expenses.

Under the new model, the winning team from the year before competes as Team Canada and does not represent the province they previously competed for, allowing that province to put forward another team. As a result, the total number of teams competing increased from 12 to 15 in 2015. Unlike in past years, where every provincial team advanced to the primary tournament, only the top 10 teams move forward by default, along with Team Canada. The four remaining team compete in a pre-qualification tournament that decides a twelfth and final team.

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts was similarly adjusted in 2015, creating nearly uniform men's and women's national competitions. As a part of this overhaul, the Curling Association also rebranded in the same year as Curling Canada, launching a new logo and website.

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