Wheelchair Curling

Wheelchair curling is a variation of curling in which athletes with a disability that affects their lower limbs use a wheelchair to play the sport. The sport originated during the late 1990's in Europe and was soon adopted in North America. Wheelchair curling is very popular in Canada, the country has won the gold medal in the last three Winter Paralympics Games.

The rules for game play are very similar to that of regular curling. The rocks used and the pitch in which the game is played is exactly the same. One major difference is, there is no sweeping involved in wheelchair curling. Athletes can throw the stones from the stationary wheelchair by hand or use a delivery stick to push the stone. Stones that are delivered between the near hogline and the house have to be placed on either side of the center line within 18 inches, and should be released before reaching the near hogline.

In competitions, rules require that teams have to mixed gender teams. The games played are eight ends in duration. A time limit of 68 minutes is granted for each team with one 60-second time out.

Wheelchair curling was included as a part of the Turin Winter Paralympics Games in 2006. It is also a part of the annual World Championships event.

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