During the seminar there was huge discussion on how to play the game perhaps on a shorter field of play with junior stones. It was decided that the game should be played as close to the regular game as possible and at the close of the seminar the rules were formulated.
The following year the first International Wheelchair Curling Bonspiel took place in Sursee Switzerland. This proved to be a Test Event for the first World Wheelchair Championship which took place in January 2002.
In March that year the International Paralympic Committee granted official medal status to Wheelchair Curling for mixed gender Teams. The organising committee of the Torino Paralympic Winter Games in 2006 agreed to include wheelchair curling in their programme.
Wheelchair Curling is open to individuals who are non-ambulant or can only walk short distances. This includes athletes with significant impairments in lower leg/gait function, such as spinal injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or double leg amputation, who use a wheelchair for daily mobility.
- Each team must be comprised of male and female players.
- It is governed by, and played, according to the rules of the World Curling Federation (WCF), with only one modification for wheelchair users - no sweeping.
- The first curling world cup for wheelchair players was held in January 2000, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
- The first World Championship was also held in Switzerland in 2002, with the home team winning the title. Scotland would go on to win the subsequent two World Championships.
Wheelchair Curling today
Wheelchair Curling is practiced by athletes in 24 countries The World Wheelchair Curling Championship is held every year except in years when the Paralympic Winter Games take place.
The World Curling Federation has created a guidance package for ice rinks, participants, coaches and volunteers to get involved in Wheelchair Curling. Please contact the WCF Secretariat or your Member Association for more information.
For more about Wheelchair Curling see:
- Curling: A Paralympic Sport
- Rules and Regulations
- Classification Rules - Wheelchair Curling
- WCF website Wheelchair Curling pages
A DVD called 'Curling from a Wheelchair' is available on request and may be ordered through your Member Association.