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Return to Play – Highlights of Rule Changes to Curling

In our house, skips dont sweep. In fact, with physical distancing measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19, skips cant sweep. They will still hold the broom, call the line and yell as loud and long and obnoxiously as ever. But they arent allowed to sweep. Ever.

Curling Canadas return-to-play protocols will bring many changes to the grand old game, all in the name of safe sport, and thats among the major ones.

Others include one sweeper only on a delivered rock. No exceptions.

No handshakes before, during or after the game. Touch only the two rocks you will deliver each end. Move the others if you have to with your broom or your foot.

And when youre not throwing a rock, sweeping a rock, or standing in the house to call the line, please stand in your designated spot on the side of the sheet.

Jasper Place Curling Club will be adopting these on-ice health and safety measures for the traditional four-player game.

TRIPLES  - An Interesting Alternative

Triples curling is here and now. Its the roaring games iteration of the moment, curling 3.0 if you will, tailor-made for fast-paced fun and physically distant safety in a COVID-19 pandemic environment.

In a typical six-end game of triples, everybody gets to call the shots, deliver the goods and sweep like crazy. Each member of a team will rotate through the three positions, playing two ends as lead, middle and skip. Its a new-age democracy on ice. Every player also delivers two rocks per end, so the action is fast, and most games will wrap up in two hours or less.

There is no free guard zone rule so the strategy will interesting.

Its competitive, too. Scores are doubled in the fifth and sixth ends, so no game should be too far out of reach for long. We dont want anybody shaking hands after four ends. In fact, we dont want anybody shaking hands at all.

And since only one person can sweep a delivered rock, according to the new rules from Curling Canada, triples curling is the perfect game for such a changed sporting landscape. One player delivers the rock, one player sweeps the rock and one player holds the broom and calls the line from the house.

Nobody will be left standing around, trying to look important as the stone glides onto the button.

 This is a made-up game. Curling clubs across the country will offer this program using many rule variations.  This describes the rules that Jasper Place will follow, and will be posted in the curling club.

Regular Play vs. Triples Play

Not sure how the rule changes will affect your enjoyment of the game? Wherever possible migration between the typical game and triples game (played on the same night) will be allowed whenever the 5-game square ends and is re-drawn for the next 5 games.

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