David Murdoch's Scottish side will play Germany and Spain in their opening games at the European Curling Championship in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, on December 6. The draw for the A division has just gone online here.
Kelly Wood's team open their account against the Czech Republic and Russia.
The main function of the Euro event is, of course, to decide which nations will be playing in the World Championships. As the next World Championships are outside of Europe, the top seven highest ranked Associations from the A group, plus the winner of the 'ECC World Challenge', will qualify. The 'ECC World Challenge' involves the last team from the A Division in a qualifying position playing a best-of-three challenge against the winner of the B Division. The winner qualifies for the Worlds.
These days twelve teams compete at both the men's and women's World Championships each year. Two teams come from the Pacific Zone. The Pacific Curling Championships begin this Sunday, November 2, in Naseby, New Zealand. The draw (and results) for that event can be found here.
Two teams represent the Americas Zone at the Worlds, this Zone encompassing both North and South America. In the men's event Canada has a secure place as the host nation in 2009. Curling Today previously noted that the USA is to face a challenge from Brazil, see here. Details of this challenge have been made public today, see here.
The four-sheet Capital Curling Club in Bismarck, North Dakota, will host the best-of-five competition spread over three days in the city that hosted the Ford World Curling Championships in 2002. Brazil will be represented by Celso Kossaka, Cesar Satiro Santos, Marcelo Cabral Mello, Luis Augusto Z. da Silva and Anderson K. Santos. They are currently studying at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, and train at the nearby Lennoxville Curling Club.
The USA representative will be the top men's team in the US Order of Merit based on the current season's competition results as of December 31 and which has already qualified for the 2009 USA Curling National Championships and 2010 USA Olympic Team Trials.
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