Return to Curling Plans – Summer Newsletter

We hope you are having a wonderful summer and staying cool too. Your Board of Directors has begun planning for next season’s curling under the shadow of COVID-19. With curling about 9 weeks away we wanted to provide you insights into our planning for return to play this coming season:

Membership preference date

We have extended this until August 31st. We know many want to know the Club’s plans for curling. More on that later in this email.

Curling with COVID-19

Over the summer a lot of thought has gone into the reopening. We are closely following developments from the Ontario Government, CurlON and Curling Canada.

Ontario Entering Phase 3

In late June Ontario entered ‘Phase 3’ of reopening, the phase that allows curling clubs to open. Highlights of phase 3 include:

  • Maximum 50 people at indoor gatherings where space permits
  • Wearing mask (mandatory in Ottawa)
  • Maintain six feet social distancing

CurlON / Curling Canada Rule Changes

In early July Curling Canada and CurlON issued ‘Return to Play’ curling club specific guidelines which Huntley Curling Club will be following. Some of the highlights include: 

  • One sweeper only on all delivered stones. No relaying (second sweeper taking over halfway down the sheet).
  • The person in charge of the house is not allowed to sweep under any circumstance.
  • The skip of the non-delivering must remain in the hack area until all stones come to rest. They are not allowed to sweep the opposition stone behind the tee-line. Lessening of physical distancing restrictions would/could allow this guideline to be removed.
  • The skip or vice skip (not both) of non-delivering team must stand at the hack until the other team is finished playing and has relinquished control of the house.
  • The skip or vice skip (both teams) may not sweep any stones (both colours) set in motion by the delivering team.

For more information you can retrieve the guidelines.
The Board of Directors met July 22nd to discuss how Huntley will approach the return to curling. This email provides a summary of our plan, full draft details are available on the club’s website.
We would like to share some of our thoughts, and we encourage you to provide feedback.

Arrival and preparation for your games

When inside the club you are required to wear a mask covering your nose, mouth, and chin. Masks are not required on the ice or while sitting at your table at the bar.
Please arrive at the curling club wearing your curling clothes, except your curling shoes
Arrive at the club no more than 15 minutes before the start of your game.
Remove footwear at the front door and hang your coat on a coat rack. For physical distancing purposes we are allowing eight coats per rack. The club is purchasing additional coat racks.
Proceed down the stairs beside Sheet 4 to the locker rooms where you will put on your curling shoes.
Members will be required to carry all their belongings to the ice surface – no personal items should be left in the change rooms, even during your curling game. We are making (cubie like) space in the ice area to store belongings.

Adjusted Twilight and Evening Start Times

It is well known that Covid spreads easily in crowds. Our goal is to minimize crowding opportunities such as the period between draws when there is a group in the bar, some in the change rooms and some waiting behind the glass while the ice is pebbled.
To reduce crowding opportunities, we are implementing a 30 minute ‘no curling’ period between draws. This break provides plenty of time for those who have finished their game to either settle in the lounge or exit the club without any contact with the next draw that will be entering the club to play their game.

To accommodate the extra 30 minutes between draws we have adjusted twilight and evening draw times as follows:

  • Twilight 4:30-6:15
  • Early evening 6:45-8:30
  • Late evening 9:00-11:00

The above times provide 105 minutes for each match while enabling 30 minutes between matches.

Please see the most recent post for updated information about game times.

Game Ending Times

To enable prompt clearing of the ice we are telling twilight and evening leagues that no end may start play 15 minutes prior the end times noted above.
After your game proceed directly to the (newly configured for COVID distancing) bar or exit the club.

Cleaning and Sanitizing our Club

Keeping all areas of our club clean and sanitized is vital to our collective safety. Here is the plan for the ice and lounge areas:

Ice Area

All rocks must be lined up in single file.
We all touch rocks, most with our bare hands. To keep rocks sanitized each team will be responsible for wiping down their own rocks prior to starting the game.

Use of Club Equipment (Won’t be available)

Members must provide their own equipment to curl. Huntley will not make club equipment such as brooms, stabilizers, sliders, etc. available.

Keeping the Club Clean and Sanitized

The Board of Directors is closely following public health cleaning and sanitizing requirements so that the club adheres to these safety conditions.
Keeping high touch surfaces clean and sanitized is another way the Curling Club can minimize risk. We currently have a cleaner in the club twice a week. In addition, the Board is investigating hiring a professional cleaner to focus on ‘COVID cleaning’ which will be above and beyond the regular biweekly cleaning. See update in our most recent post regarding cleaning.
Furthermore, the Club is spending a lot of money purchasing cleaning and sanitation supplies for high touch surfaces. We are hoping members will use these items to assist in clean up after their games; wiping down tables, bathroom countertops, etc.

Socializing in the Reconfigured Bar Area

Thanks to the creativity of your new Bar Director, Aaron Robinson we’re offering drinks, and conversation mixed with physical distancing.

Reconfigured Bar Area

The new configuration uses three 8-foot rectangular tables pushed together into a single table. There are four such configurations with eight chairs around each. We are farther apart at these tables.
Each of these tables will be clearly marked with ‘Sheet 1, Sheet 2, Sheet 3, Sheet 4’. Members will sit at the table corresponding to the sheet they played on.

New Serving Procedures

Serving rules have changed too. Instead of lining up at the bar, one table at a time will allowed at the bar to purchase their round. Any lineups will be toward the kitchen along the bar and kitchen window.

Masks at Your Table

While seated at a table in the lounge you are not required to wear your mask (unless public health rules change). If you get up from your chair for any reason, you must wear your mask.

75 Minute Time Limit

Time in the bar area will be limited to 75 minutes, after which you will need to vacate the club to make room for the next draw.

Kitchen for Light Food Preparation Only

Our kitchen will be closed for cooking and operation of appliances. We are allowing simple food preparation only – unwrapping packaged food for example.

We want to hear from you

We’ve packed a lot into this message, but hopefully it enlightens you about the more significant aspects of our club’s reopening. In the coming weeks we will provide more information as it becomes available.

Your Opinion Matters

In the meantime you are encouraged to share your comments or questions about our reopening plans with your Board of Directors in an email to info@huntleycurling.ca . Your responses will be discussed by the Board at the next meeting in August.

Sincerely,
Your Board of Directors.