Basel, Switzerland set to host World Men's Curling Championship 2016

  • The World Men's Curling Championship trophy Photo: WCF / Céline Stucki

The World Curling Federation’s World Men’s Curling Championship 2016 is set to get underway on Saturday (2 April) in Basel, Switzerland, with 12 teams representing the world’s top men’s curling nations.

The event, which will be preceded by the World Curling Federation’s 50th anniversary on Friday 1 April, will run for 10 days up until Sunday 10 April 2016.

For the schedule, scores, live coverage, quotes and pictures during WMCC 2016 visit: www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2016

The World Curling Championship started in 1959 as the Scotch Cup. This will be the 58th edition of the World Men’s Curling Championship and the eighth time it will be held in Switzerland. This year's venue, the St Jakobshalle, was also used to host the same event in 2012.

The 12 teams competing are packed with experience. They are: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia, Scotland, defending champions Sweden, and hosts Switzerland.

Sweden, skipped by Niklas Edin, won last year's championship in Halifax, Canada and they return as a complete unit, but face a daunting challenge knowing that no team has ever retained the title since Canada's Randy Ferby achieved it in 2003.

Two other former world champion skips are competing this year – Norway's Thomas Ulsrud, who won in Beijing in 2013, and Canada's Kevin Koe, who led his team to Gold in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy in 2010.

Scotland's Tom Brewster is a two-times world Silver medallist, while the host nation skip Sven Michel is a former European champion. Finland, the United States and Japan finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively at last year's championship and their three skips – Finland's Aku Kauste, John Shuster from the USA, and Japan's Yusuke Morozumi – return with teams that are very close to last year's line-ups.

Denmark are led by the very experienced Rasmus Stjerne, while Russia's skip Alexey Stukalskiy will be making his fourth appearance at this event. The Korean team, skipped by Soo Hyuk Kim, won the Pacific-Asia Curling Championship 2015, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to claim their spot here, and the field is completed by a German team, under skip Alexander Baumann, who will be making their first appearance at this level.

Starting on Saturday 2 April at 09.00 (Central European Time), the teams will battle it out in 17 sessions of round-robin play, until the evening of Thursday 7 April. After this, a tie-breaker session will be played, if needed, to determine the top four ranked teams.

Then, curling's Page Play-off system will be used, in which the top two ranked teams from the round-robin face each other, with the winner of that game going direct to the final, and the loser being given a second chance by playing a semi-final against the winner of the play-off between the teams ranked third and fourth. The winner of the sole semi-final goes onto the final to play for Gold or Silver, and the loser faces the Page 3-4 loser for Bronze. These Gold and Bronze medal finals take place on Sunday 27 March at 15.00 and 10.00 (CET) respectively.

This is the first men's event at which points to qualify for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea [9-25 February 2018] will be up for grabs. The qualification process involves this championship and the 2017 Ford World Men's Championships in Edmonton, Canada [1-9 April 2017]. As hosts, Korea will qualify for Pyeongchang, as will the seven teams with the best qualifying points tally from 2016 and 2017. The final two places on the Olympic line-up will be decided at a special WCF Olympic Qualification Event, to be held at the end of 2017.

World Curling TV, the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Basel. A broadcast schedule is available here: www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2016/tv-schedule-world-mens-curling-championship-2016

In addition, curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2016 World Championships events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV