US Curling Power Rankings – November 15, 2016

Five US-based teams participated in the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge this past weekend in Cranbrook, BC (John Shuster in the Tier I event, with Craig Brown, Brady Clark, Nina Roth, and Cory Christensen in Tier II). All five made it through pool play into either tiebreakers (Shuster and Christensen) or the quarterfinals. With none of the teams advancing past the semifinals in their event, there was a little shifting in the rankings, but not much.


  1. Heath McCormick – Idle.
  2. Craig Brown – 4-2 in Tier II, semifinalist.
  3. Todd Birr – Idle.
  4. Brady Clark – 2-3 in Tier II, made playoffs.
  5. John Shuster – 2-2 in Tier I pool play, lost tiebreaker. (PW:6)
  6. Brandon Corbett – Idle. (PW: 5)


  1. Jessica Schultz – Idle.
  2. Jamie Sinclair – Idle.
  3. Nina Roth – 4-1 in Tier II, made playoffs. (PW: 4)
  4. Cory Christensen – 2-2 in Tier II pool play, lost tiebreaker. (PW: 3)
  5. Cassie Potter – Idle.
  6. Cristin Clark – Idle.


This week’s action will be at the DEKALB Superspiel in Morris, MB, where five US men’s teams (including McCormick and Birr) Fensonand three US Women’s teams (Schultz, Sinclair, and Potter) are in the fields.


US Curling Power Rankings – November 1, 2016

The first Grand Slam of the season is in the books, with the lone American representative in the field, the John Shuster rink, failing to win a match in their pool. Closer to home, five US teams played in the Huron ReproGraphics Oil Heritage Classic in Sarina, ON. Heath McCormick’s foursome (which includes Chris Plys, Korey Dropkin, and Thomas Howell) picked up their second World Curling Tour title of the season by fighting their way out of the C-bracket and then turning on the jets in the playoffs.  With no US women’s team playing this past week, their poll remains unchanged.


  1. Heath McCormick – Champion at Sarnia; 7-2 for the week (31-12 on the season).
  2. Craig Brown – B-qualifier in Sarnia; win over Brady Clark.
  3. Todd Birr – Semifinalist in Sarnia (B-qualifier); wins over Heath McCormick and Brady Clark.
  4. Brady Clark – 1-3 in Sarnia, missed playoffs; win over Brandon Corbett.
  5. Brandon Corbett – 3-3 in Sarnia (C-finalist), missed playoffs; win over Brady Clark.
  6. John Shuster – 0-4 at the WFG Masters, missed playoffs.


  1. Jessica Schultz
  2. Jamie Sinclair
  3. Cory Christensen
  4. Nina Roth
  5. Cassie Potter
  6. Cristin Clark


Most of the US rinks will be participating in the Pacific Northwest Mixed Doubles Invitational in Seattle this week, but a couple of teams will be at the CookstownCash in Cookstown, ON with others at the Ken Kurbis Galaxy Bonspiel in Winnipeg.

US Curling Power Rankings – October 25, 2016

As we come to the start of the Grand Slam season and the quarter-point of the overall season, the US teams on the World Curling Tour have put together some good results mixed in with inconsistency. With only #1-ranked Heath McCormick playing this past week amongst men’s teams (going 3-3 with wins in all three brackets at the Curling Challenge de Gatineau, but failing to advance to the playoffs), their poll remains unchanged.  On the women’s side, results from the Canad Inns Women’s Classic and the Medicine Hat Charity Spiel have caused a shake-up of the top four teams.


  1. Jessica Schultz – Semifinalist at the Medicine Hat Charity Spiel (B-bracket qualifier); 4-2 for the week; third consecutive playoff appearance on the season; highest winning percentage of US teams (12-9, .571).
  2. Jamie Sinclair – 4-3 at the Canad Inns Women’s Classic (C-finalist); two wins in both B-bracket and C-bracket play; 17 wins on the season (most amongst US teams).
  3. Cory Christensen – Went 0-3 at the Canad Inns Women’s Classic (second A/B/C/out of the season); 10-12 record thus far in 2016-2017.
  4. Nina Roth – 0-3 at the Canad Inns Women’s Classic; 4-2 season record against other US rinks.
  5. Cassie Potter
  6. Cristin Clark


  1. Heath McCormick – 24-10 for the season (7 more than 2nd); 5-0 record against other US teams.
  2. Craig Brown
  3. Brady Clark
  4. Todd Birr
  5. John Shuster
  6. Lyle Sieg
  7. Pete Fenson


John Shuster will carry the US Curling banner at the WFG Masters in Okotoks, AB this week, with most of the other American rinks (Birr, Brown, Clark, McCormick) heading to Sarnia, ON for the Huron ReproGraphics Oil Heritage Classic. The US women’s teams are off this week with the Masters being the only event on the schedule.

US Curling Power Rankings – October 18, 2016

This week’s rankings change very little from those of seven days ago. On the women’s side, the top five teams stay put while Cristin Clark enters the rankings at 6th following her 2-3 performance at the Hub International Crown of Curling in Kamloops, BC. The men’s poll has Brady Clark moving up from 4th to 3rd as a result of his semifinal finish in Kamloops and Pete Fenson dropping from 6th to 8th after a 1-3 outing at the Canad Inns Men’s Classic in Portage La Prairie, MB. Below are the two polls, but read on following that for an explanation of how equal results that create unequal outcomes are handled by the ranking, with examples from this past week’s action.


  1. Heath McCormick
  2. Craig Brown – 3-3 at Portage La Prairie, win over John Shuster, missed playoffs
  3. Brady Clark – Semifinalist in Kamloops, 5-3 for the event
  4. Todd Birr
  5. John Shuster – 3-3 at Portage La Prairie, missed playoffs
  6. John Shoesmith
  7. Lyle Sieg
  8. Pete Fenson – 1-3 at Portage La Prairie, missed playoffs


  1. Cory Christensen
  2. Nina Roth
  3. Jessica Schultz
  4. Jamie Sinclair – 2-2 in pool play at the Atkins Curling Classic, made playoffs by tiebreaker
  5. Cassie Potter – 2-2 in pool play at the Atkins Curling Classic, missed playoffs on a tiebreaker
  6. Cristin Clark – 2-3 in Kamloops, missed playoffs

At the Atkins Curling  Classic, 11 teams finished 2-2 in pool play, with only three spots available in the playoffs. Jamie Sinclair made the playoffs out of that logjam, while Cassie Potter did not. So how does our ranking handle that situation when determining who had the better week? We consider those to be equal results for the event UNLESS the team which makes the playoffs ends up advancing in the bracket, while not penalizing said team for their additional loss in the quarterfinal.

In a triple-knockout tournament like the Canad Inns Men’s Classic, two teams (or more) can have equal win-loss results but be eliminated at vastly different times in the event, based almost entirely on the order of those wins and losses. Craig Brown lost his opener, then picked up three straight wins to advance to the B-semi, only to lose there and again in the C-semi to be eliminated. John Shuster, however, won his opener, then lost his next two to end up in the C-bracket before winning his way to the C-final, where the luck would run out. Both rinks finished at 3-3 and missed the playoffs, so are judged to have had equal weeks (head-to-head and run-of-results being other factors for consideration).

Week 10 sees the women’s teams heading to Portage La Prairie, MB (Cory Christensen, Nina Roth, and Jamie Sinclair) and Medicine Hat, AB (Jessica Schultz) for events, while Heath McCormick’s rink will be playing in Gatineau, QC. As always, check out CurlingZone for updates and line scores from the events.

US Curling Power Rankings – October 11, 2016

The St. Paul Cash Spiel brought all the top US teams together for a true comparison of who’s hot and who’s not on the circuit. The top-ranked rinks led by Heath McCormick and Cory Christensen came away with the titles and as such retained their #1 places in the rankings. However, much as I warned in the event preview last week, a fair amount of movement could be expected in the new poll, which is true, more so on the men’s side than the women’s.


  1. Heath McCormick – Perfect week in St. Paul, going 7-0 en route to the title, including wins over #2 Craig Brown and #3 Todd Birr. 21-7 on the season.
  2. Craig Brown – Perfect until a loss in the final to McCormick. Wins over Birr and #5 John Shuster.
  3. Todd Birr – Went 4-2 in making the semifinal, punctuated by a win over #4 Brady Clark in the quarterfinals.
  4. Brady Clark – Perfect in round-robin, but upended by Birr in the playoff opener.
  5. John Shuster – 3-1 in pool play to make his first playoff of the season. Slowly moving back up the poll. Still under .500 (10-12).
  6. Pete Fenson – 2-2 in pool play, missed playoffs.
  7. John Shoesmith – Idle since the Cloverdale Cashspiel, but stays in on the basis of a 4-1 record at the event.
  8. Lyle Sieg – 1-3 in St. Paul, missing the playoffs.


  1. Cory Christensen – Won the St. Paul Cash Spiel, going 5-1 with wins over #2 Nina Roth and #4 Jamie Sinclair.
  2. Nina Roth – Continues her run of decent results, running the table in pool play and picking up wins over Sinclair, #3 Jessica Schultz, and #5 Cassie Potter on the way to the final. Best win-loss record of the US teams (14-10).
  3. Jessica Schultz – A second consecutive playoff appearance and second win of the season over Christensen jumps her up the rankings. Went 4-2 and made the semifinals.
  4. Jamie Sinclair – Another positive weekend (3-2 overall, semifinal appearance), with a win over Potter in pool play.
  5. Cassie Potter – Goes 2-2 in her first competition of the season.

This week’s action sends some US rinks to Manitoba (men in Portage la Prairie, women in Winnipeg) and British Columbia (Kamloops for both the men and women), with others idle. Catch all the action on CurlingZone.

US Curling Power Rankings – September 27, 2016

Following this past weekend’s events in Saskatoon, SK (College Clean Restoration Curling Classic) and Kitchener-Waterloo, ON (KW Fall Classic), there is a bit of a shake-up in the rankings, with Pete Fenson (7th to 3rd) and Cory Christensen (4th to 1st) making the largest jumps. None of the five US men’s rinks in Saskatoon made it to the final eight, while both of the US women’s rinks at the KW advanced to the playoffs (giving each of the four US teams one playoff appearance on the season). Additionally, Mark Haluptzok played in the Mother Club Fall Curling Classic in Winnipeg, MB, going 1-4 in round-robin and missing the playoffs. With 11 US men’s rinks having competed at least once thus far, I am going to trim back how many are listed in the weekly ranking (all rinks will be ranked, however). Previous rankings can be found here and here.


  1. Heath McCormick – 2-3 in the CCR, missed playoffs.
  2. Brady Clark – 2-3 at the CCR, missed playoffs.
  3. Pete Fenson – 3-3 at the CCR, with wins over Craig Brown (A-draw) and Brady Clark (B-draw); missed playoffs.
  4. John Shoesmith – Idle
  5. Lyle Sieg – Idle
  6. John Shuster – 4-3 at the CCR, made the A-finals and C-finals; missed playoffs.
  7. Craig Brown – 2-3 at the CCR, missed playoffs.


  1. Cory Christensen – Semifinalist at the KW (4-2), top seed after pool play
  2. Jamie Sinclair – Idle
  3. Nina Roth – Idle
  4. Jessica Schultz – 3-2 at the KW, made playoffs.

The next major event for the US teams is the St. Paul Cashspiel, October 7-9. Expect another shake-up of the poll following that event. I will post a preview next week following my trip to the Twin Cities and visit to the St. Paul Curling Club.

US Curling Power Rankings – September 20, 2016

This week’s rankings stay fairly static with the top two men’s teams (Heath McCormick and Brady Clark) off and the top women’s team (Jamie Sinclair) the only one to play in either the Shorty Jenkins Classic or the Colonial Square Ladies Classic. Four US men’s teams played in the Cloverdale Cash Spiel in Surrey, BC, and two of them enter the poll after their performances.


  1. Heath McCormick – Idle; playing in the College Clean Restoration (CCR) Curling Classic in Saskatoon, SK this week.
  2. Brady Clark – Idle; playing the CCR.
  3. Craig Brown – Missed playoffs at the Shorty Jenkins Classic, win over John Shuster in pool play; playing the CCR.
  4. John Shoesmith – Made playoffs at the Cloverdale Cash Spiel (4-1), undefeated in round-robin (4-0), win over Darryl Horsman (not ranked).
  5. Lyle Sieg – semifinalist at Cloverdale (3-3), win over Mike Siggins (not ranked).
  6. Todd Birr – Idle
  7. Pete Fenson – Idle; playing the CCR.
  8. John Shuster – Missed playoffs at the Shorty Jenkins Classic; playing the CCR.


  1. Jamie Sinclair – Missed playoffs at the Shorty Jenkins Classic
  2. Nina Roth – Idle
  3. Jessica Schultz – Idle; playing in the KW Fall Classic in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON this week.
  4. Cory Christensen – Idle, playing in the KW Fall Classic.