European Curling Championships

Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships

The waiting is over! The 2016 Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships get underway today with the best nations in Europe set to battle it out at intu Braehead Arena between 19th to 26th November.  Scotland women’s and men’s teams led by Olympic and world medallists Eve Muirhead and Tom Brewster respectively are both in action today and tickets are available.

Championships overview: This year’s European champions will come from the “A” Division in the men’s and women’s competitions, each made up of ten teams.  Every team will play each other initially and the top seven in each division after the round robin stages will automatically qualify for their respective world championships, the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship (Edmonton, Canada, 1-9 April 2017) and Women’s Curling Championship (Beijing, China 18-26 March 2017) where 2018 Olympic qualification points will be available.

The teams finishing in eighth place in the “A” Divisions will enter a play-off with the team finishing top of the “B” Division to decide the final team to qualify for the men’s’ and women’s world championships respectively.  And each team finishing bottom (i.e. tenth) of the “A” Division will be relegated and replaced by the team finishing top of their respective “B” Division.  Still with us?  Good!

Round-robin play takes place throughout the week before the top four sides in each division go through to the semi-final stages on Thursday evening and Friday morning, with promotion and relegation also decided ahead of medal matches from Friday evening on the 25th and continuing throughout Saturday 26th November.

Tom Brewster. European Curling Championships

Photo: Brian Battensby

The ten “A” Division men’s teams are: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland. The Scotland men’s team is skip Tom Brewster (pictured), third Glen Muirhead, second Ross Paterson and lead Hammy McMillan, supported by fifth player Duncan Menzies and coach Mike Harris.

The ten “A” Division women’s teams are: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland. The Scotland women’s team is skip Eve Muirhead, third Anna Sloan, second player Vicki Adams and lead Lauren Gray, supported by fifth player Kelly Schafer and coach Glenn Howard.

In total there are 26 men’s teams and 20 women’s teams will be taking part. The teams in the “B” Divisions – including England and Wales – have it all to play for as the nation finishing top of the table after the round robin stage will gain automatic promotion to the “A-Division” for the next European Championships, as well as entering a best-of-three series against the team finishing 8th in the A-Division for the right to compete at the World Curling Championships in 2017.

Today’s highlights: Scotland men open with their European Curling Championships campaign with a tough double-header.  At 9am they face Denmark, a team promoted from last year’s European “B” Division who went onto clinch silver medals at the World Championship earlier this year, and then at 7pm it’s 2014 world champions Norway, skipped by Thomas Ulsrud, who are the opponents.  Also in action are Scotland’s women who play their opening match against Italy in the afternoon session at 2pm.  This is today’s full schedule of matches.

Action from 9am today with the first of the three sessions.  Session two from 2pm, session three from 7pm.

Daily ticket types: Three options are available.  An ‘all-day’ ticket for entry to all sessions.  An ‘early session’ ticket for morning and afternoon sessions only, and a ‘late session’ for evening only.

Tickets in advance for the European Curling Championships are available via the ‘Get Tickets’ link.

Tickets on the day are available at the intu Braehead Arena box office.

The 2016 European Curling Championships is one of a series of prestigious events being held in Scotland over the next four years. They will be followed by the World Junior Curling Championships at Curl Aberdeen in 2018, the World Wheelchair Curling Championship at The Peak in Stirling in 2019 and climaxing with the World Men’s Curling Championship at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow in 2020.