thecurler.com has not, so far, provided much coverage of the growing sport of 2-person stick curling. To a great extent, this is a recreational activity which has attracted 100’s of curlers in clubs across the province. At my own Fort Rouge Curling Club, there are two full draws Friday afternoons with 40+ curlers. A pure number would be 48 curlers but there a few who take part in both draws.
However, it is also an increasingly competitive sport, as I learned this weekend when I took part in a bonspiel in Warren with my longtime 4’s skip, Norm Magnusson, who has played a few stick spiels with me and is my playing partner in one of the Fort Rouge leagues.
A quick recap of rules for the un-initiated. The game is played in an hour: 2 players, six rocks, six ends. As a matter of safety, sweeping is allowed only from the hogline in – keeping a somewhat older group of curlers from rushing down the ice to sweep,
The Warren ‘Spiel was very well organized and offered the warm hospitality that rural curling clubs are famous for. Icemaker Pat Kilcullen’s ice was keen, had a good swing to it, and had a great surface, great underfoot.
The 24-team bonspiel was played in four pools of six teams, a five game round-robin. Eight teams advanced to a championship round.
Warren’s Jim Rouse and Ross MacMillan won the bonspiel championship with a 3-2 win over the Magnusson-Coutts team. We had won seven games in a row but couldn’t score enough points to beat Rouse-MacMIllan who blanked the 5th end to hold hammer coming home.
A privilege as well for us to play against one of the veterans of the stick game in the Warren area – Alvin MacMillan. We beat him and his daughter Bev Schick in the semi-final but it wasn’t easy.