Curling Canada unveils sweeping changes with return-to-play guidelines


Olympic logo generic. (Aaron Favila/AP)

OTTAWA — Curling Canada’s return-to-play guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic include changes to sweeping rules, on-ice player positioning and pre-game handshakes for players planning to participate in the 2020-21 season.

The 29-page document, which appears on the federation’s website, covers topics including game play, building cleanliness, food and beverage plans, customer awareness, financial planning, insurance and national championships.

The most notable changes involving game play include the use of one sweeper during games, no sweeping the opposition’s stone behind the tee-line and new markings on ice for non-throwing team members to be stationed.

“Curling will look a bit different this upcoming season, but we’re pleased to announce there’s still a way to play while also ensuring that the safety of curlers remains a top priority,” said Danny Lamoureux, Curling Canada’s director of curling club development and championship services.

Instead of traditional handshakes, a friendly wave or broom tap is suggested.

Coin flips to decide last-stone advantage and the use of traditional manual scoreboards are also discouraged. The federation recommends using online tools on mobile phones instead.

The guidelines, designed by Curling Canada, were made in consultation with member associations, curling centre managers and medical professionals. Guidelines can be customized to adhere to governmental and health regulations that may be in place in a facility’s jurisdiction, the federation said.

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