The World Curling Federation Congress in Reno was attended by our WCF representatives, Alison Arthur and John Brown. John was also there as a member of the WCF Competition and Rules Commission.
A number of changes were made to Competition Rules which will affect our Championships and the International Championships in which our teams participate.
A number of the rules of the game were tidied up for consistency and a number of penalties were inserted into the rule book where there had been gaps previously. The main change to the rules of the game is that as soon as a stone is burnt after it has crossed the hog line at the playing end then no sweeping is allowed by either team of any stones.
With regard to the Competitions and Competition Rules the major changes are:
The European Mixed Championships will be replaced by a World Mixed Championship (open entry) from 2015-16.
The European, Pacific and American Junior Challenges will be replaced by a World Junior B Championship from 2015-16 – to be held at the same time as the current competitions (first week in January) and all flights will continue to be paid by the WCF.
Rules for Mixed curling will be added to the Rule Book– no changes to what are used at the moment but there are no rules for Mixed curling in the current rulebook – main rules – alternate gender play, skip and vice-skip must be of different genders, no alternates allowed.
The current ‘playing time’ system used when timeclocks are being used will be replaced by ‘thinking time’. A team’s clock will not run during the time the stone is in play but only during the period between the previous opponent’s stone coming to rest and your stone being delivered. The limit will be 38 minutes per team for a 10 end game, 32 minutes for an 8 end game. This will start from the European Championships in November 2014.
When time clocks are being used a team will be able to call one time-out per game. This time-out will last for 1 minute plus the travel time from the coaches’ bench to the head which will be determined for each end of the ice at each venue and announced at the team meeting. This will start from the European Championships in November 2014.
There will be no more than one round of tie break games in any Championship – beginning immediately.
The Last Stone Draw procedure before the start of a game will be modified from 1st January 2015 (thus affecting the Junior Challenge). Two LSD stones will be thrown by a player before a game rather than one – one with each rotation and each player in a team must throw a minimum number of times during the round robin stages of a Championship.
A new system will be introduced in 2015-16 for measuring LSD stones that cover or partially cover the button. This will involve two measurements rather than one.
John will be happy to explain these rules further if required. The final detailed wording will be included in the new WCF rule book to be printed by end October.
Qatar and Hong Kong have been approved as Conditional members of the WCF
Kate Caithness of Scotland was elected unopposed for another 4 years as WCF President. Also appointed were Bent Ramsfjell of Norway as Vice President (Europe), Graham Prouse of Canada as VP (Americas) and Hugh Millikin of Australia as VP (Pacific and Asia). Four other directors appointed were Hew Chalmers (Scotland), Andy Anderson (USA), Laura Lochanski (Canada) and Toyu Ogawa (Japan).
The subscription levels which are graded according to membership numbers were changed and England will now pay $400 per year rather than $200. But we will now have 4 votes as opposed to 2, though still only 2 representatives.
Sochi in Russia will host the World Senior and World Mixed Doubles Championships in April 2015.
By John Brown.