Representatives from PEI curling facilities met Wednesday evening via videoconference with Curling Canada’s Director, Club Development & Event Operations Danny Lamoureux and Curl PEI Executive Director Amy Duncan to review Curling Canada’s Return to Play Guidelines and discuss how they can be applied here on PEI for the upcoming curling season.
The most notable changes to play involve the use of one sweeper during games, no sweeping an opposition’s stone behind the tee-line, and new markings on ice for the non-throwing team to be stationed. The health and well-being of curlers, fans and high-performance athletes is Curling Canada’s top commitment and the guidelines can be customized in each jurisdiction in order to cooperate with federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government health authorities that must be followed.
Current PEI guidelines stipulate a maximum of 50 people in a facility at one time, including players, spectators and staff. Bonspiels are possible, limited to one day, and again with the 50 person limit. PEI’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has said that curling is considered a “low contact” sport that can be played as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.
Recommended practices include wiping rock handles between draws, and placing all rocks for both teams on one side of the sheet (a recent change, not reflected in the illustration) to improve distancing with adjacent sheets. A “declaration of compliance” form for COVID-19 would be a requirement. Due to the difficulty of sanitizing scoreboard numbers in the short time between draws, alternative means of recording/displaying the score may be needed.
More meetings will be held as the season approaches.