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Saturday , 6 March 2021

No sweeping other team’s rocks, just one sweeper: new pandemic rules for curling

While curling is a social sport, some tweaks have been made in the rules by Curling Alberta this upcoming season to allow for social distancing.

Just one sweeper will be allowed to sweep rocks instead of two, skips will not be allowed to sweep opposing team’s rocks, and curlers are only allowed to touch the rocks they throw.

The Bonnyville Curling Club will be using these new rules, and president Colin Hanusz said they’ll see how these tweaks work.

“We’re trying to get back to some curling and some activity. And we feel we can still have a lot of fun curling, even with these COVID rules,” said Hanusz.

“We haven’t got a lot of pushback yet. People understand. We do expect some hiccups implementing these new rules, because we got lots of older curlers who’ve been curling in the same rules for 50 years. So this is definitely a change, but people understand.”

Last year with the start of COVID in the area, they had to cancel some events and Hanusz described it as a “tough year” financially for the club.

He presented to Bonnyville town council last Tuesday in requesting $15,000 for club operations, which is their annual ask.

However, with the season set to start November 2, Hanusz is optimistic about being able to host bonspiels in the new year.

“We’ll see what restrictions might be in place to Alberta Health Services, but if nothing changes from the restrictions we have in place right now, we will be able to do bonspiels but we might cap it at, say 12 or 16 teams,” he said.

“There has been interest from some new people. And we’re two weeks out from starting up our leagues, and we’re just kind of wrapping up into registration this week. But I expect some new teams to be coming in.”

Registration will be capped on Thursday.

For updates on the curling season locally, go to Bonnyville Curling Club’s Facebook page or email [email protected]

“Curling is a sport where you can get out in the evenings and do it with a small cohort and practice distancing. It’s a pretty safe activity in these times.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.