Record number of teams to compete in World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2016

The international curling spotlight turns to the Löfbergs Lila Arena in Karlstad, Sweden on Saturday (16 April), when competition gets underway in the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.

For up-to-date scores, standings, live coverage, quotes and pictures during WMDCC 2016 visit, www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2016

This is the ninth edition of this event, and the first to take place since Mixed Doubles was confirmed as a new discipline on the programme of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea. With a new record total of 42 teams involved, from Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, and including newcomers at this level Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Qatar and Serbia, its global popularity continues to grow.

Instead of playing in teams of four, Mixed Doubles Curling is for teams of two players – one male and one female, and no alternates. The game is played on the same sheets of ice as “traditional” curling, with some differences, including:

* Teams have only six stones each – instead of eight – and one of those stones, from each team, is prepositioned before each end of play starts.
* Player one delivers the first and last stones and player two plays the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next.
* Sweeping can be done by both team members.
* Each team receives 22 minutes of thinking time and games are fixed at eight ends – compared to 38 minutes of thinking time and ten ends for “traditional‟ curling.

The teams involved this year have been divided into six groups. They are:

Group A: Belgium, Bulgaria, defending champions Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland and Slovakia.
Group B: Austria, Finland, Germany, Korea, Lithuania, Slovenia and hosts Sweden.
Group C: England, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania and Turkey.
Group D: Australia, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Italy and Serbia.
Group E: Belarus, Denmark, Spain, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA.
Group F: Brazil, Czech Republic, Estonia, Qatar, Russia, Scotland and Wales.

Round-robin play gets underway on Saturday (16 April), at 12.00 (Central European Time, CET), and continues until Thursday 21 April. After any tie-breakers that may be required, the top 16 ranked teams will play in a head-to-head format. Winners will continue to the quarter-finals and onwards to the medal games on Saturday 23 April at 16.00 (CET).

This is the first event at which Olympic qualification points are available and because of this, knock-out losers will continue to play, to determine final rankings and points allocation among the top 12 teams. The Gold medallists will receive 14 points, while the team that collects Silver medals will earn 12 points. The team that wins Bronze medals will take ten points, while the remaining teams ranked from fourth to 12th will receive from nine points to one point depending on their position.

After the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships the seven teams with the most points accumulated over two years and the host nation, Korea, will qualify for the Olympic Winter Games. There will be no Olympic Qualification Event for Mixed Doubles.

At the same time as staging the World Mixed Doubles Championship, Karlstad will also act as host to the Men's and Women's World Senior Curling Championships, being held in the Karlstad Curling Arena.

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of the Championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV