Floor curling venue a cool place to be this summer

The 2011 West Kootenay BC Seniors games will feature many varied sports both familiar and unfamiliar. One of the sports that will be hosted in Castlegar that many people may not be familiar with is floor curling.

Sandra Deschene

Sandra Deschene

The 2011 West Kootenay BC Seniors games will feature many varied sports both familiar and unfamiliar. One of the sports that will be hosted in Castlegar that many people may not be familiar with is floor curling.

“We are expecting approximately 60 curlers from seven zones in the province and their will be an A and a B event,” said floor curling chair Sandra Deschene.

Floor curling will take at the Castlegar and District Curling Club on August 18 and 19.

Floor curling is very similar to the more traditional ice curling, said Deschene, who is the president of the Castlegar and District Curling Club.

“We consider them to be our cousin sport in that it is very, very similar to the sport of ice curling,” she said. “Like ice curling, they have to throw a rock into a house hoping to be closest to a centre button. Unlike ice curling, there is none of that dreaded task of sweeping.”

Instead of the heavy rocks used in ice curling, stick curlers use little wooden, circular disks that they throw.

In addition, the rink in floor curling is also much smaller than the rink in ice curling, about one-third of the size at 36 feet in length and eight feet in width.

Like ice curling, stick curling teams feature a skip that puts the broom on the playing surface to guide each player’s throw.

“They have to have really good eye-hand coordination to make their shots,” said Deschene. “They really do have some competitive games, but they also have a social congeniality that seems to reign.”

Deschene said that she has a large contingent of volunteers from the curling club who are helping prepare the rink for floor curling.

Employees from the rec centre are helping paint in the lines at the curling club.

Deschene and her crew will be putting together the draw for the competition soon.

“Now that I know how many teams are coming, we are able to make our draw,” she said.

In each category, teams will play each other once in a round-robin format. The top two teams in each division will play off for gold and silver, while third and fourth in each division will play for bronze.

The event will feature mixed competition with games consisting of eight ends.

Two local teams are set to compete.

On the A side, skip Keith Johnson will lead teammates Chris Moffat, Don Edwards, Gayle Edwards and spare Susan Hamm.

And on the B side, Mac Gregory will play skip for a team which consists of Melitta Gruber, Anne Burla, Garry Rayner, and spare Kathy Gregory.

“I would encourage people to come down and enjoy watching the games,” Deschene said.

“I remind people that while it might be very hot outside in August, the curling rink itself will be nice and cold.”