Scots Duo Mouat and Aitken Set for World Mixed Doubles
Scottish Mixed Doubles Champions Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken, coached by David Aitken, will take to the ice in the Kobbs-Lofberg Arena in Karlstad, Sweden on Saturday 16th April, when competition gets underway in the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.
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. 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 and Qatar, 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 (no alternate/spare player is allowed). 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 scheduled for 8 ends – compared to 38 minutes and 10 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, hosts Sweden.
Group C: England, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxemburg, Norway, Romania, Turkey.
Group D: Australia, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Italy, Serbia.
Group E: Belarus, Denmark, Spain, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States.
Group F: Brazil, Czech Republic, Estonia, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Wales.
The Scots, pictured left at the Scottish Mixed Doubles Championship in December (photo: Jayne Stirling) open their campaign at noon on Saturday, against Russia which will be televised live online at World Curling TV. They then play the Czech Republic on Sunday afternoon.
Round-robin play continues until Thursday 21st April. After tie-breakers if needed, the top-ranked sixteen teams will play in a head-to-head format. Winners will continue to the quarter-finals and onwards to the medal games on Saturday 23rd April.
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 sixteen teams.
Pictured top, Mouat and Aitken in their last World Mixed Doubles Championship appearance in 2014 where they just missed out on a quarter final place (Photo: WCF/Richard Gray).
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. A full preview of Scotland’s teams will follow.
Follow the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship:
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