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(Updated Jan 25th, 2015)

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Men's Bonspiel Cancelled

The Men's Bonspiel set for January 30th and 31st has been cancelled due to insufficient teams.  Thank you to the teams that registered, we will try again next year.  In the meantime, consider registering for the oilmen's bonspiel scheduled for Feb 28th to March 1st, or represent our club at one of the many out of town events.

75" Samsung Smart TV Raffle Tickets now available

Raffle tickets for the Samsung 75" Smart TV are now available.  The draw will be held on March 26th.  Tickets are $5 each, and are available from curling club members, or directly through the curling club.

Upcoming Bonspiel Dates

Oilmen's Feb 28th to Mar 1st, 2015
Ladies  March 13th-15th, 2015

Oilmen's funspiel Feb 27th - Mar 1st

Registration/Sponsorship forms are available here.

Discover Curling - Getting Started for Adults

For those new to the game, and have not taken the learn to curl clinic offered by the club, here is a good introductory video presented by the Canadian Curling Association.
YouTube video here.

For those that have no idea what this game is all about, maybe this video will help.
YouTube video here.

REAL reason curling is better than hockey!

Check out the YouTube video here.  This is from last season, but I still like it.

 Bert's Rant - 2014 Edition

It’s great to see all the new curlers this year, which got me thinking about curling etiquette.  For new curlers, etiquette is mostly acquired by observing and talking to other curlers.  We tend to accept certain practices as the norm, even though they may not necessarily be correct.  Pulling out rocks for your opponent is such a practice.

Embedded deep in Grande Cache curling folklore is the notion that it is proper etiquette to pull out your opponent’s rock for them.  Since I only started curling after I moved to Grande Cache, I accepted this practice as part of the game.  In the meantime, I have had the opportunity to visit a dozen or so other curling clubs for both competitive and fun events.  Upon traveling outside of Grande Cache, two things became apparent.  The first is the fact that the Grande Cache Curling Club is the only club I have seen that does not have an upstairs lounge.  Our club had an upstairs lounge when it was first built in the early 70s, but later the space was converted for other purposes.  This is the topic of a whole other rant, but at least we have a curling club.  The other thing I noticed when I played out of town was the practice of not pulling out your opponent’s rocks.  Now to be fair, there were still a few teams and individuals that did pull out the rock, but the practice is not nearly as prevalent as it is in Grande Cache.  There are however, entire curling clubs where rocks are never pulled out for opponents.

Curling etiquette includes such things as being on time for the start of your game, shaking hands with your opponents before and after a game, and may even include complementing your opponent when they make a great shot.  Etiquette is not to be confused with rules.  Curling is a gentlemen’s game in the sense that it is self regulating; in club curling there are no referees or umpires and teams declare their own violation of the rules.  As such, it is important that each player be familiar with the “Rules of Curling for General Play”, a copy of which can be obtained from the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) website here.

When Nick Wolfe headed up the club’s junior program, he specifically taught the juniors to never pull out rocks for their opponent.  I now head up the club’s junior program, and I also instruct the juniors to never pull out rocks for their opponent.  If you watch any competitive curling event, teams get their own rocks.  The proponents of pulling out a rock for your opponent will argue “In a friendly social league, its proper curling etiquette to pull out your opponent’s rock”.  This has been the accepted practice in Grande Cache for a long time, so why change it?  Information from the Canadian Curling Association states that rocks should not be pulled out for your opponent for two reasons.  The first reason is that it creates a tripping hazard, which does no one any favors (except maybe the local chiropractor).  The second reason is that some teams do not throw their rocks in order.  A skip may choose to throw rocks 2 and 6 for example.  Rocks that are positioned half way between the rock box and hack, or even closer, can interfere with someone attempting to deliver a stone (players that tend to have their sliding brooms positioned quite far to their side for example).  The practice I have never understood is pulling out a rock and moving it to the area behind the hack.  Since the area behind the hack is usually the dirtiest area of the sheet, I can only conclude that people who engage in this practice are deliberately trying to have the rock collect debris which will cause it to “pick” when thrown.  Surely this can’t be proper etiquette?

Here is the safest and most efficient process:  A team pulls out their own rocks. While the thrower is taking off their gripper or putting on their slider, retrieving their throwing broom or stabilizer, one of the sweepers on the same team retrieves the proper numbered stone and places it in front of the hack.  The other sweeper can clean the slide path if needed.  This way, when the thrower gets to the hack, their rock is ready for them.  It is a disservice to your own team, and a waste of time when the thrower has to get their own rock because the sweepers are not paying attention.  The process of teams getting their own rocks avoids creating a tripping hazard and ensures the thrower has the proper stone.  To save even more time, stones do not need to be placed in order following the completion of each end.  The stones can be placed in any order, and then retrieved in the order they are required.  The only time stones need to be placed in order is at the very end of the game.

For those new to the game, start off right; never touch your opponent’s rocks.  For those established curlers that currently pull rocks for their opponents, I encourage you to try the safe and efficient method described above.  For those that believe that the Canadian Curling Association, Nick Wolfe and myself (two CCA level 2 instructors) are wrong, and insist it is proper etiquette to pull rocks for your opponents, that’s fine too.  If you would like to submit a compelling argument in favor of pulling rocks for your opponent, I will gladly post it.  However, you are going to need a little more than “It’s proper curling etiquette”.  The game of curling is over 600 years old, things do change over time.

Asham curling supplies available

Asham curling supplies are available for purchase through the curling club.  We currently have an assortment of brooms, replacement brush heads and grippers available.  Asham shoes and the rest of their products are available for order.  Check the Asham catalogue at the club or visit Asham.com to view their product line.

Practice Ice

There will be practice ice on Wednesdays from 8:15 to 9:30pm, unless otherwise posted.  No charge for curling club members, $5 for non-members.

For Curling Nerds

If you are reading this, consider yourself a curling nerd.  What causes a curling stone to curl?  Check out this YouTube video on the physics of curling.


Free WiFi available!

Free WiFi is now available at the curling club.  Internet access is sponsored by Nucleus, one of the club's new advertising partners.  Nucleus is an internet service provider (isp), and can provide internet service to Grande Cache, provided ports are available.  Residential service is $39.95/month, and business service is $49.95/month.  If you are frustrated with your current isp, give Nucleus a try.  Check their website at nucleus.com for more information.  Ask at the bar for the WiFi password.

Important:  If you obtain internet service through Nucleus, please mention that you were referred by the Grande Cache curling club.  The curling club will receive a $25 credit for each new account that is created.

  Advertisers Wanted

The Curling Club is always looking for Advertisers for either "In-Ice" or 4X8 wall signs.  Check the Advertising section for more information.

Attention Members:  Please help the club attract new advertisers by speaking with employers and other business people.  Have them contact Bert Opitz at 780-827-2126 for complete details.  If you own a business, please also consider advertising with the Curling Club.

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