Thursday, October 15, 2009

European Championship draws announced

The Le Gruyère EUROPEAN CURLING CHAMPIONSHIPS will take place in Aberdeen, December 4-12. In the Men's Division A, the following countries will contest the European Championship title: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Scotland are defending champions and David Murdoch and his team have their first game against Sweden at 08.00 on Saturday, December 5, in the Linx arena.

The Women's title will be contested by the following countries in Division A: England, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland. Eve Muirhead and her team will play Italy in their first round match at 12.00 on Saturday, December 5.

The B Division involves twenty men's teams playing in two sections. In Section MB1 are Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Poland, England, Estonia, Bulgaria and Lithuania, Greece and Serbia. In MB2 are Ireland, Hungary, Wales, Belgium, Latvia, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, Belarus and Iceland.

There are twelve countries in the women's B group. They play in two sections, each with six teams. In WB1 are Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Croatia and Wales. In WB2 are Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Austria, Spain and Belarus.

The first B Division games are at Curl Aberdeen on the afternoon of Friday, December 4. (Added later. Oh no they aren't. Practice is Friday morning and afternoon. First games for real at Curl Aberdeen are also Saturday 08.00, same as the A Division. Too much Latvian hospitality to blame for this error made yesterday!)

The full draws will be on the event website, which is here.

The Aberdeen competition will be the last of the 'big championships'. The European Curling Federation, at its Special General Meeting in Prague recently, adopted a new playing system which will be put into operation at the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2010 in Champery, Switzerland.

The new system involves maintaining the A group with ten men's teams and ten women's teams. In Champery there will only be ten teams in the women’s B group and sixteen teams in the men’s B group. Other countries will contest a C group, played at a separate time. There will of course be promotion and relegation between B and C. The details are in a pdf file which can be downloaded from this webpage.