The action gets underway Monday afternoon at the St. Albert Curling Club.
Forty-eight teams from across the country are in the community as they vie for the title of Canadian Stick Curling Champion. Competitors are generally over the age of 60 with several in their 80s and still competing. There are 23 Alberta teams entered – most from Edmonton and surrounding areas, as well as teams from PEI to Vancouver Island coming in to St. Albert to curl.
St. Albert hosted this event in 2014 when Morinville curlers, Ryan Meyers and Dennis Fitzgerald were runners up. This year, they enter as the 2018 Alberta Stick Curling Champions and have their sights set on the Canadian title. Also in the hunt will be two members of the 2015 Alberta Wheelchair Curling Championship team, Mike McMullen and Don Kuchelyma as well as St. Albert curlers Milt McDougall and his partner, Bob McKenzie. Milt has been stick curling in St. Albert for close to 10 years, where the club has grown from eight curlers to over 100 in 2017-18. Also in the field are defending Canadian Champions, Jim Russell and Milt Larsen from the Mayflower CC in Halifax, and three time champion, John Campbell from Armstrong, B.C.
ABOUT STICK CURLING
Two-person stick curling is one of the fastest growing areas of curling where the rocks are delivered with the aid of a Stick rather than the traditional slide delivery.
Teams consist of two players, positioned at opposite ends of the ice. A game is six ends, with each team delivering six rocks per end. Players remain at one end of the ice or the other, taking turns delivering/skipping alternate ends.
The significant difference from regular four-person curling is that there is no sweeping between the hoglines, and the four-rock rule prohibits the removal of any stone from play (including rocks in the house) until the 4th stone is delivered. Whereas the four-rock rule, or Free Guard Zone in regular curling allows rocks in the house to be removed.
Games take approximately 60 minutes to complete.
Ties are broken by an extra end in which each member of the team will deliver three rocks.