Las Vegas ready to host 361° World Men’s Curling Championship 2018

  • Curling at the Orleans Arena © Michael Burns

The world's top men's curling nations will be competing at the World Curling Federation's, 361° World Men’s Curling Championship 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, from Saturday 31 March until Sunday 8 April.

The 8,000-seater Orleans Arena, close to the famous Las Vegas strip, will be the venue for the 13-team event and although this is the first world championship to be staged there, the Orleans Arena is no stranger to top-class international curling – having hosted curling's Continental Cup for three seasons.

The World Curling Championship started in 1959 as the Scotch Cup. This will be the ninth time the United States has hosted a World Curling Championship, the most recent time being in 2008 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

This is the first men’s championship to take place after the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the silver medallists from Sweden, skipped by Niklas Edin, are in the field, as well as the Olympic teams from Italy – skip Joel Retornaz – and Korea – skip ChangMin Kim.

This will also be the first world championship at which the field has been extended to 13 teams and the 13 Member Associations represented at this event are: defending champions Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and hosts United States.

To make it into this field, all teams, except for hosts the United States, have had to pre-qualify. The eight European nations qualified from the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2017, which were held in St Gallen, Switzerland last November, while the three Asian teams competing qualified from the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2017, held in Erina, Australia, also staged last November. Canada came out ahead of Brazil in the Americas Challenge to take their place in the line-up.

In this year’s competition a new play-off format will be used. The top six teams will qualify for the play-off stage – rather than four which was the case previously – after the round-robin stage is completed. The teams ranked first and second qualify directly for the semi-final games, while the third-ranked team will play the sixth-ranked team (3v6) in one qualification game and the fourth-ranked team and fifth-ranked team (4v5) will face each other in the other qualification game.

In the semi-finals, the first-ranked team will play the lowest-ranked qualifier and the second-ranked team will play the other. Semi-final winners will then play for the world title and gold and silver medals, with the losers playing for bronze medals.

Following the opening ceremony on Saturday 31 March the teams battle it out in 20 sessions of round-robin play, until the evening of Friday 6 April. After this, the qualification games and semi-finals will take place on Saturday 7 April and the medal games will be on Sunday 8 March.

Some details of the teams taking part are:

  • Canada: skip Brad Gushue and his team return to defend the title they won in Edmonton, Canada, in 2017.
  • China: a fourth appearance at the world championship level for skip Dejia Zou.
  • Germany: a third world championship appearance for skip Alexander Baumann, his team finished tenth in 2017.
  • Italy: a fifth world championship appearance for skip Joel Retornaz, his team finished ninth last year.
  • Japan: first appearance at a world championship.
  • Korea: first appearance at the world championship, finished seventh in 2018 Olympic Games
  • Netherlands: a second world championships appearance for skip Jaap Van Dorp, this team finished 11th last year.
  • Norway: a second world championship appearance for skip Steffen Walstad, this team finished eighth last year.
  • Russia: a third world championship appearance for skip Alexey Timofeev, this team finished 12th last year.
  • Scotland: first appearance at a world championship, skip Bruce Mouat is a former World Junior champion.
  • Sweden: this team are 2015 world championship and 2018 Olympic silver medallists, skip Niklas Edin is making an eighth world championship appearance and took gold in 2013 and 2105.
  • Switzerland: first team appearance at a world championship, skip Marc Pfister is making a third world championships appearance.
  • United States: first team appearance at a world championship, skip Greg Persinger was alternate in 2013.

    Curling fans around the world will be able to watch live coverage of these championships via the World Curling Federation's broadcast partners TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV (China), SBS (Korea), Eurosport (Europe), SRG (Switzerland), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France) and the Olympic Channel. Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

    To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media in the build to the World Men's Curling Championship 2018 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2018 #curling