The Swift Current Curling Club will play host to the 2014 Mixed Doubles Curling Provincial Championships on February 13-16, presented by Living Sky Casino. Teams will compete for the chance to be Saskatchewan’s representative at the National trials in Ottawa this March. The Canadian Champions will then travel to Scotland to compete at the World Championships.
The first World Mixed Doubles Championships took place in 2008 and was developed from the mixed doubles event at the Continental Cup of Curling, an event many viewers watched on TV over this past weekend. The World Curling Federation is currently pushing to have mixed doubles curling included as an Olympic medal sport, as soon as 2018 in South Korea.
Each team consists of one male curler and one female curler and the game format is played over eight ends. Each team has only six stones and one of those stones from each team is prepositioned on the centre line before every end of play. One player delivers the first and last stones of the end while the other player throws the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next. No stone, including those in the house, can be removed from play prior to the delivery of the fourth stone of an end.
Committee representative Kelly Schafer notes that this is one of the most exciting spectator events in curling, as you never know what is going to happen next. Schafer, a former National Mixed Doubles champion in Scotland, says it is by far the most nerve racking, intense competition format curlers can endure. The game is completely different, with no sweepers and no hitting allowed for the first few stones, the rings become congested early and you have the added excitement of switching positions throughout the game if you choose. With this particular game format, anything can happen.
The committee Chair Bill Lendrum invites you to come and enjoy the event and the curling lounge specials over the weekend. The committee are also looking for both sponsors and volunteers and would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved in any way.
As well, this competition is a Provincial Open Championship; therefore, local teams are strongly encouraged to enter a team. To enter a team please contact Saskatchewan Curling Association or visit www.curlsask.ca