The qualifying competition to find Scotland's teams to play at the European Curling Championships in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, December 6-13, 2008, will be held at the Dewar's Rinks in Perth, October 24-26. The draw was announced yesterday and is on the Royal Club website here.
The top three men's teams from last season, skipped by David Murdoch, Warwick Smith and Tom Brewster will contest a double round robin. To be eligible to compete, the teams must have three of last season's players. In the published draw, Ewan MacDonald (above) returns to David's lineup after the injury which has sidelined him for a season, replacing Graeme Connal, and Duncan Fernie comes into Tom's team in place of Hammy McMillan. Warwick's team is unchanged.
Scottish Champion Gail Munro's team is absent from the women's playoff, not being able to fulfill the requirement of having three of her team from last year. Kelly Wood's team will play off, best of five games, against Edith Loudon's team, with Mairi Milne no doubt continuing in the skip's role (Added later. Oops. Should have said Mairi continuing to throw last stones). Kelly's team is unchanged.
New rules for the main Scottish competitions (Men's, Women's and Junior Championships) can also be seen on the RCCC website here. One small - but none the less very significant change - is that all competitors will have to sign the Players International Participation Agreement before the final stages of the competitions, rather than just those on the winning team when the competition is over. A consequence of Vernon perhaps? An outcome of an independent investigation which has yet to take place? Or because of some other reason we are not privvy to?
This condition was already in place for the competitors in the Euro qualifying competition last season.
Incidentally, the Vernon story has reached the stage that conduct panels have been convened. We await developments!
Top: Ewan MacDonald's photo is by Hugh Stewart from the 2007 World Championship.
Above: Duncan Fernie's pic is by Bob from the 2008 Bruadar Scottish Championship.
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