Members of the 100 Mile House Curling Club are calling the addition of the new Open Doubles Bonspiel to their season calendar a ‘huge’ success.
“Right from the start, there was a lot of local interest and we ended up getting 15 local teams (none from out of town). The biggest surprise was the number of teams that were playing doubles for the first time. Only four teams were from our doubles league, one team had one experienced curler and 10 teams had never played the game before,” said Maria Hamilton, treasurer of the club.
Played out on Feb. 21 from 23, the format was a round-robin with three pools of five teams. Each team was guaranteed four games.
“Tiebreakers at the end of the round-robin play were determined by a draw to the button, which each curler threw on Friday night. This is the first time and this type of draw was done in 100 Mile and all of the teams were very intrigued and sometimes a little confused. By the end of the weekend, everyone got it,” said Hamilton.
After the end of the round-robin, 12 teams advanced to the playoffs, with the top four teams playing in the A Event, the next best four in the B Event, and the last best four in the C Event.
The A Event winner was brother/sister junior team Logan and Rachel Sikiric beating Eugene Gerwing and Gord Smith. Jim Mitchell and Doug Meier beat Pat and Maria Hamilton in the B Event and Al Reid and Grant Green beat Peter and Christine Grenzer.
“Doubles curling is different from regular curling in that there are only two curlers,” explained Hamilton. “Each team has a rock set up prior to the end – one in the house and one guarding it. One team member throws the first and last stones, the second curlers throw two, three and four. There is a modified free guard rule which doesn’t allow any rock to be taken out until the fourth stone is delivered. It is a fast-paced, high energy game that is great fun to both play and watch.”
The bonspiel also included a Saturday dinner, with the 40 participants eating a homemade pork roast dinner made by two local ladies. Hamilton also said that 18 businesses donated door prizes which followed the theme – ‘What is there to do around here?’ The prizes included bowling, movies, theatre, painting, cross country skiing certificates and gift cards.
“The event was a huge success. Every team that we asked said they really enjoyed the game and would do it again. We will definitely be doing this bonspiel again and hope to get more league teams next year. Many spectators came to see what the doubles game was all about.”