Spiel carries on curling tradition

Katie
Katie Brickman
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112th men’s annual bonspiel next weekend

Moose Jaw is the host of one of the longest traditions in curling.

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The annual men’s bonspiel will be held at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 and it is the 112th year of the event.

“This is the longest consecutive running annual bonspiel in the province,” said Shaunna Fritzler, business manager at the curling centre. “It is steeped with tradition and many years of curling.”

Prior to the Saskatchewan Curling Tour becoming the event for competitive teams, these annual spiels around the province used to be where a lot of the teams played to get experience and challenge themselves.

“It was those teams that were still going through the playdowns and vying for provincials as a warm-up to get some games,” said Fritzler. “Those competitive teams from Moose Jaw in the last 20 years would have used this spiel as a tune-up spiel.”

Now that the Tour is so competitive, this annual Moose Jaw spiel has become more leisure.

 “The tour, for sure, would definitely have a bit of an impact on it now. The annual spiels like this and around the province are recreational now,” stated Fritzler. “A group of friends may curl in a league or want to get together for the weekend to enter for a social weekend and just have some fun throwing stones.”

Fritzler explained that others told her that even 40 years ago this spiel used to have 100 teams entered to compete in the week-long event.

“Through the years, you would have seen Rod Montgomery’s team in there and Joel Jordison at times and some of the young junior teams as well,” she said.

There are already nine teams entered, but Fritzler is looking for a total of 16 teams. The spiel is open to anyone, but the teams have that already entered are Moose Jaw and area rinks.

“The price is pay-per-win. We will probably start with a round robin draw and then advance to playoffs with so much being awarded for first place, second place and third place,” she said.

The registration fee is $180 per team and entries are due by Jan. 27. Individuals can sign up if they are really interested, but Fritzler has no guarantees of finding them a team.

“It is open to anyone to come enjoy a weekend in Moose Jaw and do some curling,” said Fritzler.

There is no fee for people to come watch the action at the curling centre.

Those looking to enter a team can contact Fritzler at 306-624-2048 or SFritzler@mosaicplace.ca

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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