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Mixed curling, also known as coed curling, is the sport of curling when played by men and women together. Some community and school level curling is mixed, while most top-level curling championships are divided into men's and women's divisions. A normal mixed team consists of 2 men and 2 women with the throwers alternating in gender. In 2008,[when?] the World Curling Federation introduced a World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.
The World Mixed Curling Championship is the world's top-level mixed curling event. The World Curling Championships, and the top Canadian tournaments known as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Tim Hortons Brier are single-sex events or are divided into single-sex divisions.
In mixed doubles curling, two players, one woman and one man, compose each team. The idea was developed by Curling Canada's Warren Hansen in 2001 to be one of four discipline variations for the introduction of the Continental Cup of Curling.
The first World Mixed Doubles Championship took place in 2008. Since its inception, Switzerland has won six of the first ten titles. Russia and Hungary have won their first world curling titles in the mixed doubles championship, and New Zealand, France, Austria, and the Czech Republic won their first world curling medals.
The IOC did not approve the events for inclusion into the 2010 Winter Olympics, but an attempt to include the mixed doubles in the following winter Olympiad succeeded, making its Olympic debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Rules of play
At the start of each end, two rocks start in play — one in the back 4 foot with the front of the rock at the very center of the house, and a rock of the opposite color guarding on the center line, halfway between the front of the house and the hog line. Five rocks are played per team, with scoring performed as normal. One thrower must throw the first and last stones of each end, while the other thrower must throw the three in between.
No stone, including those in the house, can be removed from play prior to the delivery of the fourth stone of an end. If there is a violation, the delivered stone shall be removed from play, and any displaced stone(s) shall be replaced to their original position by the non-offending team.
Originally, the non-throwing team member must be behind the house-end hogline until the rock is released. This rule was relaxed in the 2016-2017 season, with the non-throwing member allowed to be near the thrower in order to start sweeping immediately if needed.
There is an additional concept, known as the option, given to one of the teams. The option is given to the team which did not score in the previous end (or randomly determined in the first end), and switches teams in the event of a blank end. The team with the option has the option to select which of the two rocks in play is theirs, with the hammer going to the team with the rock in the house.
In the 2015-16 season, a new rule called power play was added, which each team can exercise in one end per game, only when they have the hammer. Instead of positioning the rock in the house on the center line, it is placed to a position straddling the edge of the eight-foot circle, with the back edge of the stone touching the tee line. The opponent's guard stone is placed in line with the stone in the house and the hack. The power play cannot be used in an extra end.
- "Olympic Programme Updates". Olympic.org. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- National Lead Writer (2014-01-27). "Sochi Olympics: Popularity, Buzz and Drama of Curling with NBC's Andrew Catalon". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Mixed Doubles curling confirmed for PyeongChang 2018 Olympics". World Curling Federation. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "Mixed Doubles rules". Curling Canada.
- "Why not Coed Curling". 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-01. Blog posting with 24 comments in response, including information about differences between curling as played by men and women.