The Canadian Curling Association has added a new national competition to its calendar.
A Canadian mixed doubles trials will be held March 14-17, 2013 in Leduc.
The winner represents Canada at the world mixed doubles championship April 13-20 in Fredericton, N.B.
Mixed doubles is a new event in curling. Switzerland has won four of the five world doubles championships to date.
The World Curling Federation is lobbying the International Olympic Committee to get mixed doubles into the Winter Games.
Previously, the four curlers who won the Canadian mixed championship elected a male and female from their team to play in the world mixed doubles.
Canada's doubles trials will feature 32 teams, including two couples from the winning team at the national mixed championship Nov. 15-24 in Mont-Royal, Que.
"This new event was felt to be critical to enable Canada to ensure it sends its best curlers to represent us at the world mixed doubles championship," CCA chief executive officer Greg Stremlaw said Monday in a statement.
"Other nations are qualifying using a mixed doubles championship, so it makes sense to provide Canada with the same opportunity to capture consistent podium results in this discipline, especially with the world mixed doubles being held in Fredericton next April and a strong chance of mixed doubles being granted Olympic inclusion as early as 2018."
In mixed doubles, games are eight ends instead of 10. Each team has six stones to throw with one set on the centre line before every end of play.
One player throws the first and last stones while the other throws the second, third and fourth. Both team members can sweep the stones.