Team Kerri Einarson’s quest to win a record fifth consecutive Canadian women’s curling championship will kick off on Feb. 16 against Team Laurie St-Georges of Quebec in the opening draw of the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary.

The Gimli, Man., team of Einarson, vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Harris and coach Reid Carruthers have claimed the past four Scotties titles and would break the record they currently co-hold with Team Colleen Jones (2001 through 2004) with a victory in the Feb. 25 gold-medal game at the WinSport Event Centre. 

The full field, and the two round-robin pools, have now been set after eight provincial championships were decided this past weekend.

The event will feature 18 teams — Team Canada, 13 provincial/territorial champions (Nunavut withdrew from the event earlier this month) and four Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) qualifiers — split into two pools of nine.

Two pre-qualified teams — Team Rachel Homan of Ottawa and Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg/Altona, Man. — were declared based on 2022-23 CTRS rankings, while two more were confirmed today as the highest-placed in the 2023-24 CTRS standings that didn’t win their respective provincial or territorial championship. Those teams are Team Kate Cameron of Winnipeg and Team Corryn Brown of Kamloops, B.C. 

Teams will play a complete eight-game round robin within their pools. From there, the top three teams in each pool advance to the playoffs.

There will be no tiebreakers; if teams are tied for a playoff spot, head-to-head results will be the first tiebreaker, and if that doesn’t resolve the tie, Last-Shot Draw rankings will rank the teams — the same formula used at World Championship events and the Winter Olympics.

A modified playoff format will see the first-place team from Pool A meeting second place from Pool B, and vice versa, in the first round of the playoffs at noon (all times Mountain) on Feb. 23, with the winners going directly to the Page playoff 1-2 game, while the losers meet the third-place finishers in the pools Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. The winners of those games will advance to the Page playoff 3-4 game.

The standard Page playoffs commence with the winner of the Page 1v2 game on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m., advancing directly to the final, and the loser plays the winner of the Page 3v4 game (scheduled for noon on Saturday) in the semifinal. 

The semifinal (Sunday, Feb. 25, at noon) winner takes on the winner of the Page 1v2 game in the final at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The winner will represent Canada at the 2024 BKT Tires World Women’s Curling Championship March 16-24 in Sydney, N.S.

Here’s a look at how the two pools are set up:

(Teams listed according to overall seeding based on CTRS standings as of today, and listed in order of skip [player calling the shots], vice-skip [player holding the broom for the skip], second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant)

Pool A
3. Team Canada - Kerri Einarson (Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard, Briane Harris, Krysten Karwacki, Reid Carruthers; Gimli, Man.)
4. Manitoba - Kaitlyn Lawes (Selena Njegovan, Jocelyn Peterman, Kristin MacCuish, Connor Njegovan; Winnipeg)
5. Alberta - Selena Sturmay (Danielle Schmiemann, Dezaray Hawes, Paige Papley, Ted Appelman; Edmonton)
8. British Columbia - Corryn Brown (Erin Pincott, Jenn Armstrong, Sam Fisher, Jim Cotter; Kamloops)
9. Saskatchewan - Skylar Ackerman (Ashley Thevenot, Taylor Stremick, Kaylin Skinner, Amber Holland, Patrick Ackerman; Saskatoon)
12. Northern Ontario - Krista McCarville (Andrea Kelly, Kendra Lilly, Ashley Sippala, Sarah Potts, Rick Lang; Thunder Bay, Ont.)
13. Quebec - Laurie St-Georges (Jamie Sinclair, Emily Riley, Kelly Middaugh, Marie-France Larouche; Glenmore & Laval-sur-le-Lac, Que.)
16. Prince Edward Island - Jane DiCarlo [throws third stones] (Veronica Mayne [throws fourth stones], Sabrina Smith, Whitney Jenkins; Crapaud)
17. Newfoundland & Labrador - Stacie Curtis (Erica Curtis, Julie Hynes, Camille Burt, Jessica Wiseman, Eugene Trickett; St. John’s)

Pool B
1. Ontario - Rachel Homan (Tracy Fleury, Emma Miskew, Sarah Wilkes, Rachel Brown, Don Bartlett; Ottawa)
2. Manitoba - Jennifer Jones (Emily Zacharias [throws second stones], Karlee Burgess [throws third stones], Lauren Lenentine, Glenn Howard, Winnipeg/Altona)
6. Ontario - Danielle Inglis (Kira Brunton, Calissa Daly, Cassandra de Groot, Kimberly Tuck, Steve Acorn; Ottawa)
7. Manitoba - Kate Cameron (Meghan Walter, Taylor McDonald, Mackenzie Elias, Mackenzie Zacharias; Winnipeg)
10. British Columbia - Clancy Grandy (Kayla MacMillan, Lindsay Dubue, Sarah Loken; Vancouver)
11. Northwest Territories - Kerry Galusha [throws lead stones] (Jo-Ann Rizzo [throws fourth stones], Margot Flemming [throws third stones], Sarah Koltun [throws second stones], Shona Barbour, Kevin Koe; Yellowknife)
14. Nova Scotia - Heather Smith [throws third stones] (Jill Brothers [throws fourth stones], Marie Christianson, Erin Carmody, Taylour Stevens, Colleen Jones; Halifax)
15. New Brunswick - Melissa Adams (Jaclyn Crandall, Molli Ward, Kendra Lister, Kayla Russell, Alex Robichaud; Fredericton)
18. Yukon - Bayly Scoffin (Kerry Foster, Raelyn Helston, Kimberly Tuor, Helen Strong, Kevin Patterson; Whitehorse)