2014 World Senior Curling Championships begin next week

2012 World Senior men's Champion John Jo Kenny returns to skip Ireland this year Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

The Dumfries Ice Bowl in Scotland will host the thirteenth edition of the World Senior Curling Championships for men’s and women's teams, with play getting underway on Thursday 24 April 2014.

This is the second time that the World Senior Curling Championships will have been hosted in Scotland - having been staged at Greenacres near Glasgow in 2005.

To be eligible to take part in these Championships, athletes must not be less than 50 years of age by the end of 30 June in the year immediately preceding the year in which the Championship is taking place.

Altogether, 15 women's and 25 men's national teams are competing - in both cases a new record number of competing teams.

The women have been divided into two groups. Group A will be comprised of Austria; Czech Republic; England; Japan; New Zealand; Slovakia; Sweden and USA.

Group B includes Australia; Canada; Finland; Italy; Russia; Scotland and Switzerland.

The men’s Championship is broken into three groups. Group A consists of Australia; Canada; France; Germany; Japan; Latvia; Norway; Poland and Slovakia.

Group B involves Czech Republic; England; Finland; Hungary; New Zealand; Russia; Scotland and USA while group C includes Austria; Denmark; Ireland; Italy; Netherlands; Sweden; Switzerland and Wales.

Round-robin play starts on Thursday 24 April and continues until Tuesday 29 April.

After that, in the women's event, the group winners will go on to the semi-finals while the teams that finish second in each group will play the third-placed team from the other group, with the winners of both games completing the semi-final line-up.

In the men's event, the top two teams in each group and, from the three third placed teams, the team with the best Draw Shot Challenge average, qualify automatically for the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, the other two third placed teams will play-off for the last remaining quarter-final spot.

In both men's and women's competitions, semi-finals will be played on the morning of Wednesday 30 April with bronze and gold medal games taking place later that day.

In last year's event in Fredericton, Canada, the Canadian men beat New Zealand for gold. Canada’s women also took gold as they defeated Austria in their final.

Among the players involved this year, Australia's skip, Hugh Millikin, holds the record as the individual athlete with the highest number of international medals in World Curling history. Millikin has won 21 medals so far, including two bronze medals in this event.

Meanwhile, 2012 World Senior Champion, John Jo Kenny, returns to skip Ireland.

The home nation is represented by teams led by 2007 World Senior Curling Champion Keith Prentice, who also won bronze in 2009, and Christine Cannon, who took silver at the World Women’s Curling Championships in 1994.

At the same time as staging the World Senior Curling Championships, the Dumfries Ice Bowl will also act as host to the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. You can keep up to date with all the information from this event here: http://wmdcc2014.worldcurling.net

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