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Coronavirus: new curling rules aim to reduce contact during games

Click to play video: 'Curling rules change with COVID-19' Curling rules change with COVID-19
Curling rules change with COVID-19 – Oct 9, 2020

On Thursday, the Kelowna Curling Club opened its doors and allowed curlers on the ice, for the first time since early March.

But in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the club has undertaken some changes.

“What we are doing is trying to minimize the amount of contact points you make at the curling club,” Kelowna Curling Club’s general manager Jock Tyre told Global News.

To ensure everyone knows the new club protocols, Tyre is making a YouTube video.

READ MORE: Canada’s top curling teams scramble for competition amidst pandemic

“We are asking you to wear a mask and be responsible,” said Tyre.

Wearing a mask is just one of many changes that the club is requesting people adhere to this season.

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But the real game-changers are the ones on the ice and not off it.

Click to play video: 'Curling through COVID: gameplay and traffic flow video' Curling through COVID: gameplay and traffic flow video
Curling through COVID: gameplay and traffic flow video – Aug 28, 2020

“First, you only got one sweeper per rock​. Second, you’ve got no sweeping behind the T-line by either team,” Tyre said.

“Third, the skip is not in the house, the opposition skip is standing behind you on the back boards until you surrender the house.”

The new rules are based on guidelines from Curling Canada and Curl B.C.

Some curlers are worried the new rules will change the game.

“In all honesty, of course it will,” said Bill Stewart, an avid curler.

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Changes coming to curling rules, schedule for 2020-21 season – Jul 13, 2020

That thought seems to be the consensus amongst serious rockhounds.

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“Talking to the competitive curlers, they don’t like the one sweeper, they don’t like sweeping the house,” Tyre said.

But for the average recreational curler, many are just happy to be back on the ice.

“I don’t think the restrictions will be restrictions,” said Shelley McGarry.

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Curling returns to Saskatchewan – Sep 7, 2020

As for curling with a mask on, some don’t mind, some don’t like it at all.

But the one thing most curlers did seem to agree on is that restricted curling is better than no curling at all.

 

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