Twelve men’s and thirteen women’s teams will compete in the Scottish Senior Curling Championships this week at the Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton. The winners will be Scotland's representatives at the World Senior Championships in Dunedin, New Zealand, April 25 - May 2.
The World Curling Federation took a bit of a gamble in awarding the World event to New Zealand, the first time such a prestigious competition has gone 'down under'. There were fears that many countries would withdraw because of the increased costs. This has not proved to be the case as fourteen countries will send men's teams and eight women's teams, just slightly less than last year.
However, it has been a dilemma for some teams on the Scottish Senior circuit, where members felt unable to commit to time away from work or family, and the additional expense, should they win at Hamilton. These teams have not entered. Aware of the problem, the Royal Club has made available additional funding for our representative teams this season, see here.
But there is controversy looming. As recently as last week, the skip of one of the favourites for the men's senior title had not committed to travelling to Dunedin, if his team were to win the championship. A replacement is on standby. The question is really what are the teams playing for this week? Are they playing just to become National Champions, or are they competing for the right to represent Scotland at a World Championship?
I am not happy with the thought that the team which wins the title does not go on to the Worlds. I don't want to see an untried team - all of whose members did not win the right to go to New Zealand - don Scottish jerseys, and travel, partially at members expense, to the world event. I believe that if you know you cannot play at the Worlds, you should not be competing at Hamilton. I suspect I am not alone in that view.
But let's see what happens! In both the men's and women's competitions, there are two sections with the top two from each moving forward to Sunday’s semifinals. The women begin their games this afternoon, the men tomorrow morning. Find all the results on the RCCC website here.
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