The field for the 2021 U18 curling championships is being expanded to include some teams who missed out this year.

Curling Canada has announced the U18 boys and girls championships will be held in Timmins, ON from Feb. 7 to 13, 2021.

Instead of 14 teams, there will be 27 teams competing for the national titles in each gender. This will give many of those young athletes who qualified for the 2020 event the chance to compete for the national title.

The 27 teams will be split into three pools and will play an eight-game round-robin within their pool (all games will be eight ends).

“We’re very excited that support from the curling community has made it possible for an expanded field of young athletes to compete at the 2021 Canadian Under-18 Championships in Timmins,” says John Shea, Chair of the Curling Canada Board of Governors. “This is another example of our ongoing investment in the future of our sport, and we know this event will be in good hands in Timmins, which put together a solid bid to host the 2021 Under-18 Championships.”

For the 2021 event only, the 14 member associations, a host team representing the Northern Ontario Curling Association, and 12 additional teams based on combined rankings of the Member Associations from the 2018 and 2019 Under-18 championships will comprise the field.

To be eligible, three of the four members from the 2020 championship must return, and if a replacement player is required, the spare would have to be eligible under the 2021 age and residency guidelines.

While Cochrane curlers were among those competing for a provincial title earlier this year, none claimed their respective titles.