Few days after 13th Tallinn Cup (TC) it is a good time to make a summary of TC. To be honest I would never have thought back in spring 2005 – when the idea of organizing first ever international curling tournament in Estonia – that 12 years later after 13 editions of TC we have had 376 teams and 24 different nationalities taking part of that tradition. Amazing! Here are the statistics of that period:
- FINLAND: 146 teams and 5 wins
- ESTONIA: 79 teams and 1 win
- RUSSIA: 54 teams and 3 wins
- LATVIA: 46 teams and one win
- LITHUANIA: 6 teams and one win
- BELARUS: 4 teams
- SWITZERLAND: 4 teams
- HUNGARY: 2 teams
- ITALY: 2 teams
- KAZAKHSTAN: 2 teams
- POLAND: 2 teams
- SCOTLAND: 2 teams and one win
- SWEDEN: 2 teams
- USA: 2 teams
- ALAND: one team
- BRAZIL: one team
- CZECH REPUBLIC: one team
- DENMARK: one team
- NORWAY: one team
- SLOVAKIA: one team
17 times we have also had mixed international teams (one of them won in 2016) with players from Andorra, Canada, Germany, and Wales. All together players from 24 different nationalities. Applause, please!
TC is truly international
After seeing the statistics of participants at the TC we can’t deny that TC is a truly international event. Almost 80 percent of all participants are from abroad. Out of these 80 percent teams from Finland account alone almost 50 percent!!! It is true to point out that hugely thanks to Finnish teams TC took-off in the first place. The importance of Russian and Latvian teams have also been remarkable. There are still two Finnish teams – Ryttylän Visa and M-Curling – who have participated in every single TC. Respect!
About the format of the TC
Just like curling has developed in Estonia also TC has seen some development in 12 years run. Just like Estonian curling got started at the Jeti arena also TC got started from there. When Estonian curling moved to our new home at the Tondiraba curling arena, TC also moved there. Here is the overview of teams numbers at the TC:
2005: 24 teams
2006-2011: 28 teams
2012: 42 teams
2013: 40 teams
2014: 48 teams
2015-2017: 18 teams
The main reason why we have had 18 teams in last three competitions is that we use our three sheet curling rink. If we want to organize a bigger tournament we also have to rent an extra hockey pad. Renting extra hockey pad means bigger risks for the organizer. Turning hockey pad into curling area needs 2-3 days of preparation, this means more working hours before the event and during the event. And you need to sell out these extra sheets at the hockey pad which means with our three sheeter altogether 48 spots. This is not an easy task and that is why we have taken the more conservative approach to organizing TC. It is also worth mentioning that when we started curling in Estonia TC was the only international tournament for years. Today Curling Tallinn organizes 8 international events yearly plus there are a lot of other possibilities abroad. It is much harder to organize a tournament of 48 today than it was for us some years ago, plus it is much more expensive and a lot of more work for the organizer. Maybe that is explaining why 18 and not 48. But you never know…
The role of TC
I think TC has played a very significant role not only in Estonian curling development but also in the entire region (246 participants from Finland, Russia, and Latvia). For years TC was the only possibility for Estonian players to meet with teams abroad and to get some taste of international competition. Because TC is truly international it has been also chance for foreign teams to play against multiple foreign teams. In fact, few times we have sold out the tournament just in one day from the announcement of registration. That shows itself something.
Traditions are important. I asked the Americans where they got an idea to come and play at the TC? They replied:“We found the tournament at the curlingcalendar and we saw that it is truly international and has been organized 12 years already, so it should be good.” So traditions are important and through that, it is also easier to attract foreign teams (in last 2 season we have had 3 teams from the Americas zone: 2 teams from the United States and one team from Brazil).
TC as fun bonspiel
During last few seasons we have added multiple new tournaments to Curling Tallinn calendar, so there should be something for everybody. We think it is also important to have fun bonspiels like TC on our calendar. Because of that, we have kept the original format of TC alive and important part of the competition is the Saturday night banquet knowing that you do not have an early round in the morning. Even better – TC doesn’t have games on Sunday and this gives a special feeling to the Saturday night!
We thank our main partners for helping us with the organizing. We thank the City of Tallinn and it’s Sports and Youth Department. We thank Ministry of Culture and Cultural Endowment of Estonia. We thank Sportland and we thank Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn and Susi hotel. Without their support, we would not be here where we are.
In 12 years of organizing I would like to thank different contributors: thank you Leo, Ivo, Silver, Juuli, Harri, Vladimir, Jevgeni, Dmitri, Rauno, Eiko-Siim, Margus and many others.
The biggest thanks go to all participating teams and players. Thank you for your contribution to building the TC tradition. Let’s move forward together and let’s keep the tradition going!
More information: tallinncup.ee
Founder of TC