SUMMERSIDE – A new and less physically demanding way of curling is gaining popularity at the Silver Fox and is starting to take some of the spot light away from the traditional style of curling.
Glen Marsh, 78, has been stick curling for two years and enjoys it more than the regular curling.
“I started with stick curling two years ago and I wouldn’t even think about broom curling,” said Marsh. “It’s a great pastime once you start to understand the rules.”
Marsh suffered a heart attack in 2003 and says he looked into stick curling because of the lesser physical demand.
“You don’t have to bend down and get back up, race down the ice chasing the rock or put all your weight into sweeping the ice,” he said. “A lot of seniors have transferred into stick curling to avoid the strain in the regular style curling.”
Marsh’s teammate, Woody Pauptit, is one of those who transitioned into stick curling.
“My knees were giving out so I decided to prolong my career and take the stick, so far it’s been great,” said Pauptit. “I’ve curled for years now and I find this new type of curling is easier and the games are shorter.”
Stick curling, however, isn’t much different than regular curling, many of the same rules apply and the objective is the same, to have the most rocks in the house.
In order to play, a stick that looks similar to the customary curling broom is needed. The stick has a special attachment to grip the rock while the player walks it to the hog line before they send it down the ice.
With about 10 stick curlers at the Silver Fox, building manager Allan L. MacRae wants to see more people join.
“We want to get a league together where we would have stick curlers playing regularly,” he said. “I’d like to see it take off, we have a few mornings and afternoons where nothing is going on and it would fill up the ice.”
MacRae says that stick curling is a great outing for men and women at the curling club and good for them too.
“It’s good for people like Glen who can’t get down on the hack anymore, and people with disabilities or even injuries,” said MacRae.
Currently P.E.I. has an un-official stick-curling league, where teams from across the Island get together and play. Other teams include O’Leary, Alberton, Crapaud, Cornwall, Charlottetown and Montague.
Islanders will also have an opportunity to see the best in the country in early April when the Canadian Open 2 Person Stick Curling Championship goes to the Cornwall Curling Club.
On Tuesday, Jan. 22, there will be a small tournament at the Silver Fox that’s open to the public.
The Silver Fox is encouraging anyone interested in joining the stick-curling league to call the office at (902) 436-2153.
Stick Curling Canada Rules
Amended April 1, 2011 stickcurling.ca
1. Each team is comprised of two curlers.
2. One member of each team stays at each end of the rink, and must not cross center ice (except as provided for in Rule 9).
3. Sweeping/brushing is allowed by the delivering team only from the hog line to the back line or by the opposition team from the tee line to the back line at the playing end.
4. Each stone must be delivered with a curling / delivery stick, from a standing or sitting (in a wheelchair) position. The stone must be released before the stone reaches the hog line.
5. Except for wheelchair curlers, each delivery must begin with the right foot in the left hack, for right-handed curlers, or with the left foot in the right hack, for left-handed curlers. All stones must be released before reaching the hog line, and with some part of the stone within 2 feet of the center line.
6. The two delivering curlers alternately deliver six stones each per end, while their teammates skip that end. Then roles are reversed.
7. The first three stones delivered in an end may not be removed from play before delivery of the fourth stone of that end. If that happens, the delivered stone is removed from play and all other stones are returned to their original position.
8. Each team may call a maximum of two one-minute time outs (and meet at center ice) during a game. During an extra end, one additional time out is allowed. When they’re called, the opposing team may consult near center ice at the same time.
9. All games are six ends. In case of a tie, an extra end is played, with each player delivering 3 stones (skips and deliverers exchange roles at the midpoint of an extra end without moving the delivered stones).
10. Other rules and etiquette of regular curling apply.