Biggest World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship to be staged in Stavanger, Norway
A record of 48 Member Associations will compete at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 in Stavanger, Norway, when it gets underway in the Sørmarka Arena on Saturday (20 April).
For Kosovo, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine, this event will be their first time competing at a World Curling Federation event. This is Chinese Taipei’s first time competing in World Mixed Doubles and for Greece, it is the first time they will compete at a World level event.
From next year on, the field at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship will be restricted to 20 Member Associations. From the Worlds in Stavanger, a total of 16 Member Associations will qualify directly to the new World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. The final four spots will be available from a new open-entry qualification tournament.
The 48 teams are in six groups. Each group plays a round robin and at the end of the round robin, there will be a ranking for first, second and third position in each group. The top two teams in each group qualify directly for the round of 16, as well as the four third-ranked teams with the best Draw Shot Challenge result.
The groups are:
Group A: Belarus, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, Romania, Sweden and Ukraine
Group B: Austria, Brazil, Guyana, Hungary, Netherlands, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and Turkey
Group C: Australia, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Nigeria and Wales
Group D: Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, Scotland and Slovakia
Group E: England, Finland, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and New Zealand
Group F: Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and United States
While a number of nations are making their debuts in the event, notably, both reigning team curling Olympic gold medal skips will also be competing for the first time – John Shuster will partner Cory Christensen for United States, while Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg joins up with Oskar Eriksson, who won his second-successive men’s team world title in Lethbridge, Canada, almost two weeks ago. Also competing are Hungary’s previous two-times world mixed doubles champions Dorottya Palancsa and Zsolt Kiss.
Mixed doubles made its Olympic debut at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, in South Korea, and, for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, in China, the number of participating teams has been increased from eight to ten.
Instead of playing in teams of four, mixed doubles curling is for teams of two players – one male and one female (no alternate/spare player is allowed). The game is played on the same sheets of ice as team curling, with some differences, including:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Sweeping can be done by both team members.
4. Each team receives 22 minutes of thinking time and games are fixed at eight ends. If games are tied after eight ends, extra end(s) will be played with three minutes of thinking time added for each extra-end.
Round-robin play gets underway on Saturday 20 April and continues until Thursday 25 April. After this, the 16 top-ranked teams will play in a head-to-head format, starting on Friday 26 April. Winners will continue to the quarter-finals and onwards to the medal games on Saturday 27 April.
This is the 12th edition of this event. It is also the second major championship to be hosted at the Sørmarka Arena, which staged the European Curling Championships in 2013. As has been the case in recent years, the World Senior Curling Championships, for women’s and men’s teams, will be staged under the same roof at the same time.
Live coverage of this championship will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners for this event: Eurosport Norway and Eurosport Player (Norway), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), Match TV (Russia), ERR (Estonia), the Olympic Channel. Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
You can follow the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and by searching the hashtags #WMDCC2019 #curling