Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016 starts Saturday

  • WWCC 2016 to take place in Credit Union iPlex, Swift Current, Canada

The international curling spotlight turns to Canada on Saturday (19 March) when the Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016 gets underway at the Credit Union iplex in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

This will be the 14th time that the World Curling Federation (WCF) has staged its World Women's Championship in Canada and the second time that Swift Current has been the venue – the last time being in 2010.

With 12 of the top women's teams from the international world of curling taking part, play will continue until Sunday 27 March, when the medals will be decided. This is also the first event at which points to qualify for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be up for grabs.

For the schedule, scores, live coverage, quotes and pictures during WWCC 2016 visit:

The twelve teams who have qualified are: hosts Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Scotland, defending champions Switzerland, Sweden and the USA.

Canada is represented by an experienced Alberta team, skipped by Chelsea Carey, who is making her debut on the world stage. The defending champion nation Switzerland is represented by a team skipped by Binia Feltscher who won the world crown in 2014.

Having won World Championship Gold in Riga, Latvia in 2013, Scotland's Olympic Bronze medallist skip Eve Muirhead will be looking to return to the podium, while current European champion Anna Sidorova of Russia will be hoping to improve on the Bronze medals she won at the last two World Championships.

Danish skip Lene Nielsen will be making her seventh World Women's Championship appearance this year, while Germany's Daniela Driendl will skip at a World Championship for the second time. Finland make a second consecutive appearance at world level, this time with Oona Kauste as skip.

Italy's Federica Apollonia will be making her debut, while Olympic Silver medallist Margaretha Sigfridsson will be skipping Sweden for the eighth time. USA's experienced skip Erika Brown will also make her eighth appearance.

The field is completed by the two nations that qualified from the 2015 Pacific Asia Championships, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The winners Japan are skipped by Satsuki Fujisawa, while Silver medallists Korea, skipped by Un Chi Gim.

Following the opening ceremony on Saturday (19 March), the teams battle it out in 17 sessions of round-robin play, until the evening of Thursday 24 March. After this, a tie-breaker will be played, if needed, to determine the top four ranked teams.

Then, curling's Page Play-off system will be used, in which the top two ranked teams from the round-robin face each other, with the winner of that game going direct to the final, and the loser being given a second chance by playing a semi-final against the winner of the Play-off between the teams ranked third and fourth. The winner of that sole semi-final goes onto the final to play for Gold or Silver, and the loser faces the Page 3v4 loser for Bronze. These Gold (at 15:00) and Bronze (at 10:00) medal finals take place on Sunday 27 March (both times Mountain Standard Time).

The Olympic qualification process involves this Championships and the 2017 World Women's Championships in Beijing, China (18-26 March 2017). Hosts, Korea will qualify for Pyeongchang, as will the seven teams with the best qualifying points tally from 2016 and 2017. The final two places on the Olympic line-up will be decided at a special WCF Olympic Qualification Event, to be held at the end of 2017.

World Curling TV, the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Swift Current. A broadcast schedule is available here:

In addition, curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2016 World Championships events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel

Here's how to interact on social media:

Twitter & Instagram: @worldcurling
Hashtags: #fwwcc2016 #Roadto2018 #curling