We may never know who the true winner of the Men's Home Hardware Canada Cup of Curling in Estevan could have been.
During the fifth end of the mens final between Brad Jacobs and Kevin Koe on Sunday, a mix up in timing resulted in Koe's final shot being discounted as thrown while out of time. The team argued angrily and explicitly that the officials had let the clock run down, despite having called a 30 second timeout with eleven seconds left on the clock. As a result, the deuce that could have been gained by Koe to change the game was lost, and Jacobs eventually won the Cup with a 5-4 score.
The root of it all is an experimental timing system, of which dissatisfaction was expressed almost unilaterally by the competitors.
Instead of the standard 38 minutes of thinking time allowed per game, the Canada Cup rules gave four minutes thinking time per end for the first half of the game, and four minutes and fifteen seconds per end for the latter half.
Koe gets his last shot off, and pulls out a point, the score now 3-2. pic.twitter.com/FvAEGNzIXi— Discover Estevan (@DiscoverEstevan) December 10, 2018
"I think they just did a really poor job there," Koe had stated after the game, "We took a timeout earlier, and he (an official) told us we had 11 seconds, and they didn't correct the clock. We thought he was just going to do it. The guy at the other end didn't know."
He added that his team's final draw of the end had missed anyway, but due to attempted communication while the shot was being made, the distraction may have thrown the shot.
"That's probably not why we lost the game, but that's a big thing. We could have been tied up, we could have maybe swept that different and maybe get our deuce there...but BJ (Neufeld, Koe's third) wasn't even paying attention because the other official was calling him over."
Curling Canada has since released a statement on the matter on their Facebook page on Thursday, admitting that mistakes were made.
"After an internal review, it has been determined that during the fifth end of the men’s final of the Canada Cup on Sunday in Estevan, Sask., there was an officiating mistake that resulted in Kevin Koe’s team being told its final delivery was being pulled from play," they said in the post.
"The communication to Team Koe took place while the stone was progressing down the sheet, potentially resulting in a communication lapse between vice-skip B.J. Neufeld and the sweepers. That communication to the team was the result of incorrect timing a few moments earlier. The team clearly called for its 30-second clock-stop with 11 seconds showing on the clock, but the clock was allowed to run down to two seconds before stopping, and was never reset to 11 seconds. The team should have had 41 seconds available in total (11 seconds on the clock plus the 30-second clock-stop) to deliver its final stone, and it took approximately 36 seconds, meaning the stone was delivered legally within the time that should have been allowed."
They added that they would be making sure such incidents don't happen in the future. This includes trashing the experimental timing rule, Curling Canada stating that the full game timing system will be used for all national and world championship events.