October 21, 2008

Wheels roll into Kinross

This is a reminder that Kinross is holding the inaugural Kinross Wheelchair Curling International from today (Tuesday October 21) to Thursday October 23. See the previous post here. The first rounds are this evening at 6.45pm, and the final is scheduled for 3.15pm on Thursday.

Teams representing GB, England, Wales, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the Scotland Performance squads will participate in the event. This will be the first event in Scotland to try out the new World Curling Federation rules which allow for eight end games, although the programme notes that games will be 'eight ends or the bell'. The teams are in two sections, the top in each qualifying for the final.

One of the two Canadian teams is skipped by Jim Armstrong, a former Brier competitor. His participation in wheelchair curling has been the cause of some controversy in his home country. The problems stem from the eligibility rules as to who is allowed to curl from a wheelchair in international competition. It's all about classification. Eric Eales, who set up wheelchaircurling.com, the key portal for the sport, has written about the issue here. As it stands at present, Armstrong can compete in Canada, but not in WCF sanctioned events, such as the Paralympics.

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