USA Curling

World Mixed and World Seniors Preview

By Terry Kolesar | April 17, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2014

Scotland set to host 2014 World Senior, World Mixed Doubles championships

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Scotland is set to host the world's best senior and mixed doubles teams as the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships and 2014 World Mixed Doubles Championship take place April 24-30 in Dumfries. 

The Dumfries Ice Bowl will be the location for both the World Senior Championships and the World Mixed Doubles Championship. USA's senior teams will be captained by three-time senior national champion Margie Smith (St. Paul, Minn.) and 2014 champion Jeff Wright (Libertyville, Ill.). The U.S. mixed doubles team for 2014 is Joyance Meechai (New York City) and Steve Gebauer (Minneapolis, Minn.). 

This is the rookie appearance for Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) and teammates Russ Armstrong (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.), Jim Wilson (Chicago), and Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.), which won the U.S. senior national title in January at the Portage Curling Club from a field of 19 teams. 

Smith's team of Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.), and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.) will make its second consecutive appearance at the world championship. This will be the third appearance for Smith, who skipped teams in 2013 (7th) and 2011 (4th), as well as for Dexter and Kosal. 2014 will mark the second appearance for O'Leary. They are coached by Jim Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.). 

The doubles team of Meechai and Gebauer also goes into the competition with the rookie moniker. The duo captured the 2014 U.S. mixed doubles title back in December at the Medford (Wis.) Curling Club where Gebauer grew up curling. Thirty-four countries will compete in this year's world mixed doubles, including Brazil, which marks South America's debut in international competition. The U.S. pair will compete in a round robin pool with China, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, and Spain. The top team from each of the four pools will advance directly to the quarterfinals. The second- and third-place teams in each pool will play quarterfinal qualification games to create a total of six playoff teams. Hungary is the defending world mixed doubles champion.

Both competitions will be eight ends in length. Mixed doubles varies from traditional curling in that there are no sweepers and only six stones are used per side. The teams, composed of one woman and one man, each deliver five stones with one stone already pre-positioned to start the end. One player delivers the first and last stones while their partner delivers the stones in between. They can switch throwing order each end if they choose to.

The round robins for each discipline get underway on April 24. The U.S. senior men are competing in the Blue Pool for the preliminary round robin along with the Czech Republic, England, Finland, Hungary, New Zealand, Russia, and host Scotland. The U.S. senior men are the first American team to hit the ice as they face Hungary at 11:45 a.m. April 24. The men's field is split into three pools. When the round robin ends, the top two teams each pool advances to the quarterfinals, along with the third-place team with the best Draw Shot Challenge average. The other two third-place teams will play a qualification game for the final quarterfinal berth to bring the playoff field to eight teams.

The U.S. senior ladies take the ice at 3:30 p.m. on April 24 against England. Other teams in their pool include Austria, Slovakia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Japan, and Sweden.  The other pool features Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, Russia, Scotland, and Switzerland. At the conclusion of the round robin, the top team in each pool advances to the semifinals. The second- and third-place teams in each pool will compete for the final two semifinal spots. 

The world senior championship began in 2002 while the world mixed doubles competition debuted in 2008. The U.S. men have won world senior gold twice - in 2002 and again in 2010. The U.S. has yet to medal in world mixed doubles competition and the best world senior finish for the Americans has been bronze (2007, 2004, and 2002). Canada is the defending senior champion in both divisions. The Canadian women have won every gold medal since 2008 and nine overall titles in 12 years. The Canadian men have won a leading eight world senior championship titles. 

Selected live coverage of the 2014 World Senior and World Mixed Doubles Championship events will be available via the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV. USA will have two mixed doubles games featured, including USA v. China on April 26 and USA v. New Zealand on April 27.

Here is a look at the round robin schedules for the U.S. teams (all times local BST, +5 from ET):

World Seniors: 
Thursday, April 24: USA men v. Hungary, 11:45 a.m.; USA women v. England, 3:30 p.m.
Friday, April 25: USA men v. New Zealand, 7:30 a.m.; USA women v. Austria, 11 a.m.; USA men v. Russia & USA women v. New Zealand, 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 26: USA women v. Japan, 12 p.m.; USA men v. Finland, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 27: USA women v. Sweden, 11 a.m.; USA men v. England, 9:30 p.m.
Monday, April 28: USA men v. Scotland, 12 p.m.; USA women v. Slovakia, 3:30 p.m.; USA men v. Czech Republic, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29: USA women v. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m. 

Mixed Doubles:
Thursday, April 24: USA v. Germany, 3:45 p.m.
Friday, April 25: USA v. Norway, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 26: USA v. France, 8 a.m.; USA v. China, 5:45 p.m.*
Sunday, April 27: USA v. Ireland, 2:30 p.m.; USA v. New Zealand, 9 p.m.*
Monday, April 28: USA v. Spain, 5:45 p.m.
*feature game on the live WCF webstream

Event information links:

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).

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