Though adult team sports are still prohibited in B.C., the Dawson Creek Curling Club won’t be shutting things down anytime soon. That’s due to the fact that youth sports are allowed to continue and the cub’s school program rolling strong, but also to the attitude of the club’s management and members.
Things at the club look normal on Thursday afternoons when elementary students take up most sheets of ice (with some sheets open for social distancing), but look a bit different the other nights of the week. One of the changes made to the PHO’s orders on January 8 regarding sports and social gatherings was that adult sports could be played if there is only two people on the field of play.
So, in comes singles curling. The ladies league were the first to try it out on January 13, with all eight sheets booked up for a night of singles curling, meaning 16 women in total. Singles curling is what it sounds like — a regular game of curling, but with each person throwing eight rocks an end, calling their own shots, and only having a sweeper if they get up and go sweep their rock after they’ve thrown it.
“There are a lot of clubs closing down and not doing singles, but in our case, I’m really optimistic still, and I think you need to be optimistic or else you’re destined to fail. I’m not interested in failure, I want people to get out and enjoy the game,” said general manager Jeff Ginter.
Ginter has put out the option to play singles curling to each of the club’s leagues, including the doubles and triples leagues, and estimates half of the club’s members have signed on to play the scaled-down version.
“Obviously there’s a lot more rocks that you throw, but you get to practice not just throwing. Everyone gets to skip. Now they can call their own game and sweep their own rocks,” said Ginter.
It’s not just the youth league and the singles game that is keeping the club open, however. The current COVID-19 restrictions are in place until February 5, and Ginter, like sports people across the province, are hoping the restrictions are lifted, or at least more conducive to running a curling club, at that point.
The cash and mixed bonspiels have been pushed back into February and March, and the men’s and ladies bonspiels are already scheduled for post-Feb. 5 dates. Ginter would love to still be able to hold the bonspiels before the end of the season.
One thing that won’t be back this year though is getting together for a beer in the lounge afterwards.
“Our board of directors has chosen to not re-open our bar, to discourage gatherings. We could be open, but our board has decided to recognize the importance of the gatherings and not re-open until we get more of a green light from the province. Psychologically it puts us in a good place and lets us try and help the community,” said Ginter.