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.