|CURLINGPALOOZA ROCKS ON|
|Wednesday, 14 December 2011 12:20|
Hit 'spiel for rookies looks to build on first-year success
Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun
It’s called U2 Curlingpalooza. And it’s a great idea.
The U2 stands for under two years experience, and the contest for rookie curlers is in its sophomore year.
Many bonspiels have trouble attracting participants, but events designed for rookies capitalize on their enthusiasm and thirst for more curling.
Ottawa clubs staged the rookie ’spiel last year and found great success by offering novice curlers a new challenge.
“It was a pretty good experience after only three months of curling,” said Yannick Marcerou, a participant last year and part of the team of second-year rock-throwers organizing this year’s event.
He finds the experience “motivates people absolutely.”
The Jan. 14 tournament features two five-end games, cash prizes and even a hot shots competition.
“We really liked the hot shots,” enthused Marcerou. “We are actually learning those shots, so it’s closer to what we are learning.”
The few clubs that offer season-long novice programs are also finding major member retention.
These people learn how to curl properly gaining more and more confidence causing them to stay with the game for a longer time. They also tend to migrate to other leagues. More importantly, their word of mouth ensures a bevy of rookies the next year.
A novice ’spiel is like the icing on a cake.
As Marcerou said, “We do it for the fun of it and it teaches us what it’s like to curl in a competitive environment.”
The Curlingpalooza entry fee is $160 per team, which includes dinner. The curling begins at 2 p.m. For more information, call 613-234-4119.
In Dominion Tankard and Scotties zones, those moving to regions are: 1A — Shane Latimer and Jenn Hanna, B — Willie Jeffries and Rachel Homan; 2A — Jim Hunker and Tracy Samaan, B — Bryan Cochrane and Christine McCrady; 3A — Josh Adams and B — Chris Gardner; 4A — Lisa Farnell. In Tim Hortons masters regional action, provincial-bound skips are: 1A — Dick Stoddart and Joyce Potter, B — Layne Noble and Lise Lavasseur. In Gore Mutual school boy and school girl zone, winners were: 1A — Paige Wilson and Spencer Richmond, B — Courtney Stafford and Chase Ritskes.
Two area under-18 squads defeated teams from northern Ontario on the weekend and will represent Ontario in the U18 Optimist championships in Toronto in April. They are Almonte’s Lauren Horton, Jordan Mark, Cassandra Lewin and Jessica Armstrong, and Navan’s Jason Camm, Curtis Easter, Richard Seto and Zack Shurtleff.
The BDO Classic Canadian Open begins Wednesday with 18 top men’s rinks, including Gatineau’s Jean-Michel Menard. The tournament will use the five-rock rule to produce more offence. It will be an interesting experiment. CBC is televising the quarter-finals Saturday at 2 p.m., while the CBC Bold will air the semi-finals at 7 p.m. The final is on CBC Sunday at 1 p.m. ... The OCA announced that the 2013 Dominion Tankard will be held in Barrie. The 2014 Tankard is in Smiths Falls.