February 27, 2009

Scotland's wheels avoid relegation

Scotland has finished in fifth place at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Vancouver. Aileen Neilson, Michael McCreadie, Tom Killin and Jim Sellar beat Norway in a tiebreaker. Mike Haggerty's game report is here. All the results and stats are here, by Curlit. For more insight from someone who knows the game backwards, check out Eric Eales' wheelchair curling blog.

Last year, the rules in place were that ties in ranking for relegation would be determined by the pre-event draw shot challenge. Japan were relegated by the smallest of margins, blatantly unfair. The WCF rules were changed, a result I reported in a blog post in which I was able to use the famous Vulcan quotation by T'Plana-Hath, see here! (A blog highlight of 2008 to enjoy and treasure)

Now, no team can be relegated except by losing a match. As it should be. And of course in Vancouver this year no fewer than five teams ended with 5-4 records! Just the situation that the use of DSC ranking was trying to avoid. China, Italy, Korea, Norway and Scotland were involved in a three-level series of tiebreak games to determine who would be in ninth place and join Switzerland, who finished bottom of the table, in the qualifying tournament for the World Championship in 2011. There is no World Championship in 2010 as this is a Paralympics year.

Scotland's win over Norway has secured our place at the Wheelchair Worlds in 2011. Tiebreaks continue today, Korea v China and Italy v Norway, and the losers then play to avoid ninth place. Scotland's Ian Addison is chief umpire - he will have had the job of sorting this all out!

Aileen Neilson, seen here in Yadranka McAulay's photo, has assumed the role of Scotland's skip.

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