The Vernon Curling Club (VCC) is committed to the positive well-being of all members and staff of the VCC. The VCC will be aligning its Covid-19 Return to Curling Plan with updated Provincial Health Organization (PHO) guidelines and recommendations from our sport partner associations, Curling Canada, viaSport and CurlBC. The VCC is committed to ensuring a positive, low-risk social activity and environment that will enable our community to benefit from the mental and physical virtues that make curling great.

I’m on the fence about curling this season, what things should I consider?
This up-coming winter is likely to be an especially tough one for our physical and mental well-being since there will be very limited opportunities to get out of the house to keep physically and socially active. As the measures indicated below will show, the VCC is committed to providing a low-risk environment that will allow our curlers to keep physically and socially active during the winter months ahead. Everyone needs to make their decision to curl or not from the perspective of their own personal situation, but we thank you in advance for thoughtfully considering the VCC as a positive option for you to enjoy the benefits of a low-risk social activity this winter.

Will all VCC Leagues be playing during the 2020-21 season?
Yes, it is our intent to operate all leagues at normal capacity during the 2020-21 season. The School Program will not be operating. A decision will be made by October 1st regarding Junior league.

Will Waivers and Declaration of Compliance be required?
Yes. All users of the VCC facility will be expected to complete both. Each member will declare that they will not knowingly enter the VCC facility if they are experiencing any COVID related symptoms.

What if I test positive for COVID-19? 
For the protection of your friends, staff and members, you must inform the VCC immediately, and a staff member will complete an Incident Report Form.  The VCC will then send an email to all members that a member (their name will be kept private) has tested positive. The email will include the days and times that the particular member was curling so you can determine if you were in the club at the same time and take appropriate actions. If a member tests positive for COVID-19, Public Health and other government authorities may ask the VCC to provide the names of people using the club. Under these circumstances the VCC will co-operate and provide the authorities with your name and contact information. If you suspect you may have Covid-19 or have been exposed to Covid-19 you should dial *811 for further guidance.

Will masks be required?
At this time masks will be highly recommended for arrival at and moving around all ‘warm’ areas of the club. They will not be required on the ice surface while curling. The VCC will have masks available for purchase.

Will sanitizer and sanitizing wipes be made available at the VCC?
Yes, these will be made available throughout the VCC’s facility, including the entrance / exit areas and in the ice-arena for wiping down equipment including rocks and measuring equipment. Each team is to designate one person to sanitize the  teams’ 8 rocks. Each player uses only their two rocks. If rocks are swapped between players mid-game, they must be re-sanitized. If you use the measuring stick, you must sanitize your hands before & after using the stick.

Will lockers and locker rooms be open?
Locker rooms will not be available for changing during the 20-21 season. A maximum of 3 people may enter to retrieve their equipment and exit immediately. Curlers will be strongly encouraged to always arrive dressed and ready to curl, thus eliminating the need to use the locker rooms.

What about changing my shoes?
Curlers will still be expected to remove their outdoor footwear upon arrival and to change into their curling shoes. All personal belongings, including outdoor footwear, are to be placed at the home end of your sheet. We strongly suggest you bring one bag that can contain all your personal belongings i.e. shoes, purse/wallet, keys.

Will you be staggering start times?
Yes, all leagues will be staggering start times for each draw by 20 minutes in order to mitigate the congestion that can occur while curlers are staging in the lower lobby and while entering the ice arena. i.e. if your usual draw time is 6:30pm then you would either start at 6:20pm or 6:40pm. Times will be discussed with the league coordinators and determined prior to the first game. The earlier start time would be designated for games on sheets #1, #3, #5, #7, and the later start time would be for games on sheets #2, #4, #6, and #8. Participants arriving more than 15 minutes before their scheduled start time are asked to proceed to the upstairs lounge and avoid congregating in the lower lobby until 15 minutes prior to their scheduled start time.

How will teams be entering the ice area?
Curlers scheduled to play on sheets #1-4 would enter and depart via the door nearest sheet #2 while curlers scheduled to play on sheets #5-8 would enter and depart via the door nearest sheet #6.

Will there be any rule changes for the sport of curling because of COVID safety concerns?
We are in Phase 3 as per viaSport, and teams are permitted 4 players on the ice. Following Curling Canada’s and CurlBC’s recommendations, the ‘Single-Sweeper Rule’ will be observed:

  • Only one sweeper maximum is permitted at all times
  • No sweeper taking over for another sweeper mid-shot at any time
  • No sweeping any opponent’s stone after it passes the T-Line
  • Only the dedicated sweeper for a shot can sweep any stone (including ticks and bumps and raises)

If we return to Phase 2, only 3 players will be permitted on the ice surface. In this situation, there will be no exchanging of players during the game.

What if members of my team are from the same household or considered within our ‘bubble’; can we use two sweepers?
No. Whether one is from the same household or not, Curling Canada’s ‘Single-Sweeper Rule’ will be maintained for all VCC leagues and for all players.

Will loaner equipment (e.g. shoes, brooms, sliders, stabilizers) still be available?
Our preference for everyone’s safety is for all players to have their own equipment. Please ensure it is clearly labeled with your name. For those who still require an equipment loan you can rent brooms or stabilizers or shoes for $5.  Pre-game and post-game locations TBD to ensure used equipment gets sanitized before being loaned out again. Step-on sliders will be available at no charge. There will be no sharing of rental equipment between players.

Will there be any other changes to the on-ice experience this season?
Yes, following Curling Canada’s recommendations, the VCC has adopted a number of changes to the on-ice curling experience:

  • Determining hammer…bring your own coin, or consider ‘rock-paper-scissor’, or odd/even with a stopwatch
  • No pre- and post-game handshakes
  • Standing locations : all players should observe physical distancing during play, which means:
    • When standing on the side of the ice then you should only stand on the left side of your sheet of ice facing the scoreboard or right side if facing the windows/home end e.g., if you are on sheet #3 then please only stand on the sheet #2 side of the ice, if you are on sheet #2 then please only stand on the sheet #1 side of the ice, etc. etc. There will be permanent standing ‘dots’ in the ice positioned near the hoglines.
    • Only the ‘delivering team’ is permitted access to the house during their turn. The opposing skip and/or third must stand in the hack area or on the backboard and await their turn to reclaim access to the house when all rocks come to a stop.
  • No touching of curling stones with your hand; use your broom or foot, unless they are your designated stones.
  • Wear a glove to clean the bottom of your stone or use your broom, not your bare hand.
  • No chairs permitted on the ice area
  • No sitting on the ledges at the home end of the ice area
  • No group congregating on the backboards, aside from the Skip & Third.
  • One third will be designated to do all measurements, sanitizing hands before & after use of the measurement stick. Do not touch the stick with a gloved hand, as a glove cannot be sanitized. All other players to be physically distanced.
  • Thirds will determine the score, and the team that scored the point(s) is responsible for clearing the house of rocks. All other players to be physically distanced.
  • The third of the team that scored in the first end is designated to post the scores for both teams for the duration of that game. Staff will remove and sanitize numbers after each game.
  • The third of the winning team will report W/L to the league co-ordinator or to the bartender in the case of evening leagues.
  • Participants are asked to dispose of their own garbage & recycling at the conclusion of their game.

We will provide a diagram specific to VCC for flow of persons in/out of the building, the lower lobby & upper lounge, and positioning on the ice during game play.

Will there be water dispensers on the ice or in the upstairs lounge?  
No. We strongly recommend you bring you own water container with water from home.

Will the upstairs lounge & bar area be open?
The upstairs lounge will be open throughout the day to alleviate congestion in the lower lobby. Tables will be spaced 6ft apart, and have no more than 6 chairs at each table. When exiting, please return your dirty glass(es) to the dishwasher end of the bar, or in a designated dish bin to be placed at the top of the stairway. As well, please dispose of your personal garbage. The tables will be removed from Merk’s corner (by the dishwasher). This area can be used for storage of shoes/brooms while you are upstairs.

Will the concession be open?
The plan today is to have it open for drinks and a limited menu during the daytime. Seating for the concession will be provided in the upstairs lounge, as we have to minimize the congestion in the lower lobby. Evening concession TBD. Operation of the concession will follow BC Health Protocols.

Will non-curling guests / spectators be permitted at the VCC?
One of the great virtues of the VCC is its welcoming inclusivity and community feel. At this time, if space permits, non-curling guests will be permitted in the upstairs lounge at the VCC and measures will be in place to ensure that guests follow the same VCC policies and protocols as our curlers, including signing a waiver. However, this policy will be revisited once the season begins and a clearer idea about crowd capacities and lounge-usage emerges.

Will the pool table & shuffleboard & dartboards be available?
Not at this time. This will be reconsidered as time goes on.

Will league fee refunds be issued if the VCC is required to shut down for any reason?
Yes, a modified pro-rated league fee refund will be offered.

We fully understand that the upcoming season will be a challenge and we will do our best to keep everyone as safe as possible. Please be respectful of staff and curlers as we figure this season out. As the days and weeks go on this document may change, please look for updates as we move forward. We, as members, need to help out and ensure that we stay safe. If you are able to assist with additional cleaning or administrative duties (i.e. collecting waivers or W/L scores), please let us know.