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COVID has impacted our lives in many ways. Curling is no different. Most curling clubs in the state are planning to open, though a few including Wausau and Madison have indefinitely postponed the start of their season. We are planning to curl this season. We benefit from a wealth of good insights throughout the curling world on how to best adjust our sport to mitigate the risks associated with COVID. Recommended protocols include starting curling on opposite ends of sheets for adjacent games, use of only one sweeper, limited or no sweeping in the house, and social distancing on the ice. We plan to comply with all mask wearing requirements. In the clubhouse, we will focus on social distancing, and again appropriate mask-wearing. We are fortunate to have a newly expanded facility with capacity beyond our current membership to facilitate distancing. Detailed COVID-associated guidelines are available on our website. (what is the timing and form of our formal guidelines?)

Regardless of COVID related adjustments, it is not possible to eliminate all risks of a COVID infection in any group activity. We expect and understand that some members will decide to forgo curling this year or maybe wait until something changes later in the year to make them more comfortable. 

We will also approach the introduction of any new curlers differently this year. We will not hold traditional Learn to Curl events. Rather we will provide orientation/training in small groups on a scheduled basis. 

 

 

RETURN TO CURLING IN A COVID ENVIRONMENT

 

Introduction:

Over the last several months, the Stevens Point Curling Club Board of Directors has been carefully watching, weighing, and discussing how to safely and effectively return to curling this fall. Your Board of Directors considered all possibilities to ensure that our first year at our brand-new facility is successful, safe, and enjoyable for all. 

Pre-Season:

League Chairs have been asked to reach out to team Skips to inquire about the likelihood of that team and team members returning to our club this fall. This will assist the Board in determining league sizes, structures, and ability to manage our finances in a new facility. When asked, please provide a solid answer on your plan to return or not. Please feel free to use this document as a deciding decision on your return to curling.  

Masks:

The issue of masks has, unfortunately, been turned into a political one. While we will not be curling by the end of Executive Order #2 (set to expire November 21st), the Board will be reviewing all pertinent information and deciding whether or not masks will be required inside the building after the expiration of the Order. In the event that Executive Order #2 is extended, the Board will follow the rules and regulations set forth within that Order. It is expected that the membership will be surveyed on a regular basis to gauge their interests in keeping a club-mandatory mask requirement. Please remember: our goal is to create the safest, most comfortable environment for our members to enjoy. Mask wearing is to protect you and your fellow curlers. 

Wearing a mask before, while, and after curling will be a requirement when in the curling club. 

Locker Rooms:

Social distancing shall be adhered to, and masks shall be worn consistent with Board policies. There are no immediate plans to limit access to the number of people allowed in the locker rooms, but if an outbreak does occur, this may be implemented. We highly recommend that members come to the club ‘prepared to curl’ (proper outerwear is worn) if able to prevent congestion in the locker rooms.

Ice Prep:

All-League Chairs and select others shall be trained on proper pebbling and nipping techniques and shall be the only person(s) to utilize those tools for ice prep. They should be sanitized after each use.

Game Play:

  • Members curling will enter at the far end, down the hallway. Once a game is completed, members will exit on the club room end of the ice house. This will prevent congestion in the locker room hallway.
  • Games on Sheets 1 & 3 will begin on the far end (playing towards the glass/clubhouse). Sheets 2 & 4 will begin on the near end. No handshaking is allowed, and even elbow bumping is strongly discouraged. League chairs will determine to handle colors and hammer assignments prior to the game beginning and will include those assignments as part of the schedule. 
  • Only one sweeper per stone is permitted. Teams can choose who will be sweeping on each delivery. 
  • Congregation of non-throwing players in the center of the ice is strictly prohibited. ‘X’’s will be on the ice to identify 6’ separation. 
  • Skips need to be cognizant of their surroundings and social distancing, and any unnecessary sweeping in the house should be avoided (if the stone is going to go through, don’t dust it out).
  • After each game, each team member is responsible for sanitizing the stones that they utilized (the other option is to have the losing team/team cleaning the ice take care of this).
  • Drinks on the Ice should be clearly marked with the owner's name and in an enclosed container (containers from home can be utilized). Open containers on the ice shall be prohibited.

Post-Game Socialization:

Limited socialization should occur at the club, especially if multiple shifts end up in the clubhouse.  Tables should be ‘doubled up’ to encourage proper social distancing.

Waivers & Non-Compliance:

Each member shall be required to sign a waiver indicating that they agree to hold the club harmless if COVID-19 is contracted while at the facility. Additionally, members should agree to assist with proper contact tracing if they end up getting COVID-19 and have spent time at our facility. Finally, all members should understand that if a COVID-19 breakout occurs, the club will close for several days for proper sanitation. Club fees shouldn’t be reimbursed during this time. 

If a member refuses to follow the set rules (enforced by the Board and the League Chairs), the Board and/or the League Chairs may eject that member from play for that night, or for the season if it continues to be an issue.