What is Mixed Doubles Curling all about?

Team Italy at the 2011 World Championship in St Paul, USA Photo: WCF/Leslie Ingram-Brown

Curling’s return to the Olympic Winter Games programme in Nagano in 1998 proved to be a spring board for the growth and development of the sport as it headed into the 21st century.

Seeking to capitalise on this new wave of interest, the World Curling Federation developed the discipline of Mixed Doubles Curling.

Today, Mixed Doubles Curling is played around the world, on four continents, in over 30 nations and to World Championship level.

Instead of playing in teams of four, Mixed Doubles Curling is for teams of two players – one male and one female.

The game is played on the same sheets of ice as ‘traditional’ curling.

But teams have only six stones each (instead of eight) and one of those six stones, from each team, is prepositioned on the centreline before each end of play starts.

As for the order of play: Player One delivers the 1st and last stones and Player Two plays the 2nd 3rd and 4th stones. However, the two players can swap positions from one end to the next if they choose.

The sweeping can be done by both team members.

Depending on the desired shot - you will see players delivering their stone and then moving quickly to sweep it into position - with their teammate coming out of the house to sweep too, if necessary.

Mixed Doubles is hands on and can be pretty fast and furious! with each team receiving only 46 minutes of playing time and games being fixed at 8 ends (compared to 73 minutes of playing time and 10 ends for ‘traditional’ curling).

While time-honoured traditions and good sportsmanship are still at the heart of the game, Mixed Doubles Curling is dynamic and appeals to many young curlers, as well as to the new Member Associations of the World Curling Federation. With only two players required, it is easy to put together a team.

Mixed Doubles Curling - What do the players think?
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Australia's Hugh Millikin and New Zealand's Bridget Becker explain what they like about the game. (Recorded during the 2010 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia)

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