Mixed team schedule

Our team on parade - Is it just my imagination or is Marie shrinking?

Our team on parade – Is it just my imagination or is Marie shrinking?

Game times for our mixed team at the world (in Bern time which is one hour ahead of BST)

Saturday, 12th – 8am v Denmark / 4pm v Lithuania

Sunday, 13th – 4pm v Romania

Monday, 14th – 8am v Slovakia

Tuesday, 15th – 12noon v France / 8pm v Sweden

Wednesday, 16th – 8pm v Belgium

Thursday, 17th – 8pm v Italy


Jen joins the profile people

ICA members like to know a bit of background information on our international players and Jen Ward has kindly taken up the challenge of answering some ‘profile’ questions for us before her debut on the world stage in Berne at the World Mixed:

Jen will begin her Irish international curling this weekend

Jen will begin her Irish international curling this weekend

Name – Jen Ward
Age – 29
Occupation – HR Officer
Years curling – 1
Home club and ice Rink – None 

In-turn or out-turn? – Out-turn

Best ever curling memory? – I’ve only really got one so far – winning the Mixed Championships in March.  Hopefully loads more to come after our trip to Bern!

How do you relax away from work (and curling) – Go to the cinema

What’s your biggest fear – Birds

What’s your guiltiest pleasure – Blue WKD

Favourite TV programme? – Friends; never gets old!

Last gig you went to  It was a few weeks ago – Sziget Music Festival in Budapest. I also go to see Steve J Ward every week in Edinburgh (bit of PR for my wee brother J)

Favourite holiday destination and why? – Aviemore;  we’ve had a timeshare there since I was 9 and the whole family spends a week there every July (JJ and Gillian included) – it’s always a riot!!

Apart from the ICA, what websites do you spend the most time on? – Instagram and Daily Mail

Best / worst subjects at school? – Best: French; Worst: Home Economics (I still can’t sew or bake so clearly it didn’t work!)

The film you can watch time and time again – Cool Runnings

Mixed team off to take on the world

Johnjo. Marie, Tony and Jen will represent Ireland at the World Mixed starting on Saturday in Berne

Johnjo. Marie, Tony and Jen will represent Ireland at the World Mixed starting on Saturday in Berne

The Irish Mixed Curling Champions for 2015 – Johnjo Kenny, Marie O’Kane, Tony Tierney and Jen Ward, and their supporters, jet off to Berne, Switzerland, on Thursday ahead of the start of the inaugural World Mixed Curling Championships.

While the rest of us having been spending the summer lounging around in our windcheaters and wellies, JJ and crew have been putting in the ice hours at Stirling keeping their slides ticking over.

While three of the team are veterans of international curling, Jen is the new kid on the block. Indeed she only started curling after a “come and try” session last year. Skip (and uncle) Johnjo thought she would benefit from playing in the Irish Mixed Championships last March in Dumfries and it would give Jen a flavour of competition.
JJ takes up the story:
We entered the event with not a lot of expectation but as can happen in competition we hit our best games in the semi-final and final just as our rivals did not produce their A game. With more luck than good judgement we came out on top and are relishing this opportunity to participate in a World Championship“.
We doubt if anyone has gone from novice to World Championships in as short a timescale as Jen. We wish the team good luck and good curling!

WCF change the rules again

Some of us haven’t seen our curling shoes since March, but we will still have to try and get our heads round the latest news coming out of the World Curling Federation conference in Belgrade:

Belgrade, Serbia – Member Associations of the World Curling Federation (WCF) have re-elected 2002 Olympic gold medallist Bent Ånund Ramsfjell, from Norway, as their Vice President for Europe. 
Delegates gathered in Belgrade, Serbia for the WCF’s fourth annual Congress also voted on a series of rule changes for the sport of curling at the Federation’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) held on Saturday.
 There were two board elections that saw Ramsfjell (Norway) retaining his place as Vice President (Europe), for four years until 2019. Also, Toyo Ogawa from Japan was re-elected to the Board of Directors.
WCF President, Kate Caithness, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Bent and Toyo back onto the board in their respective positions and I look forward to working with them in the coming years.
 “Thank you to the Curling Association of Serbia for their hospitality this week, for what has been another successful Congress and Annual General Assembly. 
“Through the decisions that have been made today I am certain the sport of curling will continue to grow worldwide.”
 Some 26 proposals relating to the Rules of the Curling and a further three relating to Mixed Doubles curling, the Olympics’ newest curling discipline, were considered.
Key Competition and Rules changes approved by the AGA:

  • Introduction of the Olympic semi-final system at the Pacific-Asia and European A Division Curling Championships to replace the Page system.
  • Introduction of a new play-off and relegation system for the European B Division Championships.
  • Qualification for the third place team from the Pacific-Asia Championships to the WCF’s Olympic Qualification Event, if they have not previously qualified.
  • Two minutes more thinking time for wheelchair curling games: new total of 38 minutes.

 Changes to the rules and format of Mixed Doubles:

  • In order to vary the strategies of teams and shots, the in-house pre-placed stone will be moved from the back of the pin hole to the back of the four foot rings.
  • Removal of the requirement for the non-throwing member of the team to be in the house.
  • Introduction of a “PowerPlay” option into the game.
  • In addition, the European Curling Championship C Division event has been moved from the beginning of the season to the end to allow for more preparation time for competing teams.
  • As part of the proceedings, the Hong Kong Curling Association and Qatar Curling Federation moved from Conditional to Provisional Membership of the WCF and the Hellenic Winter Sports Federation replaced the Hellenic Ice Sports Federation. The total number of Member Associations remains 54.
    The 5th Annual World Curling Congress will take place in Stockholm, Sweden from 7-10 September 2016. The 2016 WCF Annual General Assembly will be held on Saturday 10 September. This will be part of the Swedish Curling Association’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
    For information on the work of the WCF see its 2014/15 Annual Review, http://worldcurling.org/wcf-annual-review, and a complete recap of the rules changes can be found here, http://wcf.co2015aga.

Can’t wait to hear John Burns explaining a ‘power play’ to the Irish Mixed Doubles entrants.

Irish team heading for first World Mixed

The Irish Mixed Champions 2015

The Irish Mixed Champions 2015

Ireland will be represented at the forthcoming World Mixed Curling Championships by Johnjo Kenny, Marie O’Kane, Tony Tierney and Jen Ward.

We will have an update on the team’s preparations shortly.

In the meantime, here is more information about the championships from the WCF:

Berne, Switzerland – The inaugural World Mixed Curling Championship will begin a week on Saturday (12 September 2015), in Berne, Switzerland, with teams from four continents set to compete.

An impressive 36 teams from across the globe have entered with the aim of making history as they contend for the first ever World Mixed Curling Championship title, at the eight-sheet Curling Bahn Allmend rink in the Swiss capital.

This event replaces the European Mixed Curling Championship, which was last held in Taarnby, Denmark in September 2014. That Championship was won by Sweden, while Norway and Switzerland picked up Silver and Bronze respectively.

These three teams will return for this year’s new event and will be joined by Australia, Canada, Israel, China, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan and United States, which are the teams that have entered from outside of Europe.

With 24 sessions of round robin play scheduled for the first six days (Saturday 12 to Thursday 17 September 2015) competition will be fierce.

The round robin will be followed by a tiebreaker session, if necessary, a qualification round and quarter-finals on Friday (18 September 2015).

The top teams from the four groups will all qualify directly to the quarter-finals, while the teams that come in second and third will enter a quarter-final qualification round.

The semi-finals will be played on Saturday (19 September 2015) morning followed by the Gold and Bronze medal matches at 15:00 local time (CEST). The Gold medal game will be broadcast live.

The Championship is an open entry event for all World Curling Federation (WCF) Member Associations. Each Member Association could enter one mixed gender team, consisting of two male and two female athletes.

The nine teams in Group A are: Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

The nine teams in Group B are: Australia, Canada, Spain, Finland, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Norway and Wales.

The nine teams in Group C are: China, Czech Republic, England, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

The nine teams in Group D are: Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Scotland, Turkey and United States.

A series of games, throughout the Championship, will be broadcast live on www.swiss-sport.tv. They are:

Thursday 17 September 2015
16:00 (CEST) – Round robin game (Sheet A: Canada v Norway)
20:00 (CEST) – Round robin game (Sheet B: Switzerland v England)

Friday 18 September 2015
14:00 (CEST) – Qualification game (Feature game TBA)
20:00 (CEST) – Qualification game (Feature game TBA)

Saturday 19 September 2015
10:00 (CEST) – Semi-final game (Feature game TBA)
15:00 (CEST) – Gold medal game

World Championship curling will return to Switzerland later this season, when Lucerne will host the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2016 (21-28 February). The city of Basel will stage the World Men’s Curling Championship 2016 between 2 and 10 April. Further details can be found here:http://worldcurling.org/events.

Results, statistics, news and photos from the World Mixed Curling Championship 2015 can be seen here on the WCF’s official event website: http://worldcurling.org/wmxcc2015.