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Archive for December, 2020

2020 to 2021 – CURLING REBIRTH – Part 3

December 8th, 2020


In August, 2020, CurlON produced an excellent checklist for reopening for the 2020 season amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.  Sadly, the season was lost due to the general public’s disregard of social distancing and other government recommendations.  But reopening for next season is likely to occur.

  • Many of our curling manias …and systems …and mindsets will change, or, at least, we will have opened our minds to change. This is a good thing.
  • Doubles and Triples will become mainstream;
  • New ways to enjoy curling will be visited.
  • Cleaning will become top-of-mind.
  • That first time of meeting again should be, well….. outstanding!
  • The world should know that we are back, so shout out about the opening on social media.

The response to reopening will be different depending on your involvement in the sport.

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  • Fun will return to the game not only with reopening, but also with the anticipated changes to the game.
  • The after-game revelry will return. It will be the club’s option to introduce new post-curling activities, but you must embrace change to enhance the social environment.
  • Faster games of triples and doubles will be a good introduction for new players who come to your club as a couple or singly. Your social leagues could become six ends to reinforce the social time post-game.

Competitive players

  • Get ready to return to pre-Covid schedules, but post-Covid protocols.
  • Training will include expanded and/or new events of doubles and triples. The Canadian Olympic Council would support additional events in curling, so, they could get Olympic recognition.
  • FitNutCurler has continued to educate curlers about fitness through her website and social media. Fitness, curling related, could provide a connection with


In December 2020, it was reported from Port Elgin Curling Club, Ontario, that membership during the pandemic initially dropped by 40% because of members fearing the pandemic, but the net increase in the club membership is 30%!  The world outside the confines of your curling facility is waiting at your doors. The reason can be explained by:

  • Isolation in 2020 needs to be countered by an active and social 2021
  • Curling has continued to have a presence on social media
  • Curling is growing internationally.
  • Curling is a life-long sport and can be participated interactively by generations of families


Before your club reconvenes:

  • Recap the costs of the 2020-21 season, much of which was not business as usual.
  • Review your facility: mechanical; electrical; structural. If one of your sunk costs is staff, use them to perform the facility review.
  • Reconfirm the Board of directors. Like the members of the club, they need some invigoration.
  • Have each Board director re-plan their area of responsibility to include in your Business Plan for next season.
  • Review your 10 year Business Plan. It has surely been affected by this pandemic.
  • Innovate your program by including changes to leagues, length of league schedules, reduce time on ice for recreation players, invest in curling instruction, and provide practice time.on ice with covid ruleshttp://yorkurbanist.com/2020/12/08/2020-to-2021-curling-rebirth-part-3/?preview=true&preview_id=2501&preview_nonce=d847f2cfa5

Also see our demographic analysis: http://yorkurbanist.com/curling/curling-facility-design/curling-facilities-and-demographics-trends-2015/

2020 to 2021 – CURLING REBIRTH – Part 2

December 8th, 2020


Inoculations have begun as the basis for future success. The markets, in November 2020, are suggesting a strong rebound of the North American economy.  Governments will have the challenge of budgeting. How will taxation change? What will the budget anticipate from tax sources? Will government assistance continue? .. and in what manner?Calgary club ice and rock

Recreational curling will not open until municipalities allow their residents to return to normal activities. Even private clubs will be reticent to open for a shortened season.  Most Volunteer boards, faced with a changed social and physical environment, will hesitate and defer opening until Fall, 2021. Elite players will continue to train, waiting for each succession of curling events to emerge.


With clubs closed, and with a vaccine program started, what is your plan for reopening?

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau suggested on November 27, 2020, that the majority of Canadians will be inoculated by September 2021.  Given that curling seasons for most clubs start early October, we have to be happy…right? What will your club do prior to the vaccine?

Normal will not return! The pandemic will be etched into every future program that is proposed.

Business as usual will suggest that you send out applications in August.  But, with a market that has been once bitten, will they apply?  There is work to do. The work starts now! The 2020-21 season is all but canceled.  The work of the boards of directors is not. Here are some suggestions about the boards’ duties:

  • Keep the membership informed.  Have you considered reopening in January?  If so, have you told the members that that is a possibility?
  • Maintain enthusiasm of the sport. Curling is a social sport and, as such, needs nurturing.
  • The moment you know you are reopening, get the word out by email, FaceBook, phone and mail to those without computers (some still do not have that apparatus).
  • Daytime curlers may be seniors who feel isolated by the pandemic and its endemic government policies.  Set up a system of a calling tree.  A board member calls five key individuals and gives them an assignment to call 5 people.  That connects 25 seniors with two calls.  One more level and 125 members have been called and informed.
  • Evening curlers are more likely to correspond by email or text.  Send a directive from the board to those by email and text to say we are opening on _______(date)__________. Also tell them about how their fees or the clubs surplus has been used to provide for those less privileged.

Once the club reopening date is identified, what will be the changes in protocols?

2020 to 2021 – CURLING REBIRTH

December 8th, 2020

THE SITUATION1234245_10151870281554709_1070664670_n

December 31, 2019 – The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in WuhanHubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.

January 30, 2020 – The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus was a “public health emergency of international concern

February 26, 2020 – Canadian Federal Minister Hajdu recommended that citizens stockpile food and medication.

March 11, 2020 – The WHO declared the existence of a global pandemic.

March 15, 2020 – Many Curling clubs close before the end of season.

August-September, 2020 – Decision time: Will curling facilities open either in limited manners or not at all.  Decision making varied.  In the United States, some opened as usual. Indeed, the Pittsburgh Curling Club new facility had been opened full time since March 2020 at the very time that other clubs closed early. Clubs operating out of municipal facilities were governed by local directives. Most urban facilities did not open. Rural communities remained open. The Grand Slam events were curtailed, promising that events in Spring 2021 would signal the first events.

November 18, 2020 – The Canadian Curling Association announced that their premiere events, Scotties and Brier would be hosted in Calgary, a change from the previously announced host cities of Thunder Bay, Ontario and Kelowna, BC. Still some events had been attracting elite teams on a local basis, but the Okatoks, AB event during this week was suddenly ended with provincial announcements of gathering restrictions.

November 23, 2020 – the Province of Ontario shuts down the City of Toronto and Region of Peel.  This results in the closure of Cricket Club curling and Mississaugua G&CC curling, two of the last curling facilities opened.  Most curling facilities have not opened in this new political and medical climate. Some have surmised that they might open in the new year with the pronouncements of three labs about pending vaccines.

The resulting impacts are social, physical and economic. Social impacts on curling include:

  • Lessened interaction between persons involved in the sport;
  • The elimination of physical activity has a psychological impact;
  • Players choose to follow other pursuits,
  • As work from home becomes common, individuals and families may move
  • The timing could be the stimulus to make the lifestyle change anticipated with aging and family adjustments

Economic impacts are many:

  • Utilization of facilities is erased;
  • Employees are laid off;
  • Bar and food sales are eliminated;
  • Ancillary expenses, such as equipment and clothing purchases will not be made;
  • Events are eliminated that contribute to the economic fortunes of the surrounding community.


The announcements from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, of their pending vaccines, have encouraged investors to continue investing. The stock markets are harbingers of a healthy economic environment. Hopes abound in business, but hospitals, whose rooms in Canada were saved for Covid victims during the first wave, have braced themselves for the second wave.  American hospitals are becoming overwhelmed and the medical statistics elsewhere in the world have caused shutdowns of cities and states. Conservative, or right leaning, aficionados are rejecting closures, while liberal thinkers are promoting the safety of social distancing and masking.  That dichotomy was well illustrated during the 2020 US elections.

The advent of vaccines could be Spring, 2021. What may result?  How does the curling community respond before and after initial inoculations?

Part 2:  http://yorkurbanist.com/2020/12/08/2020-to-2021-curling-rebirth-part-2/