Manitoba Curling clubs are currently dark and will remain so until at least January 8 under the recently announced Province of Manitoba Health restrictions. Contingency plans currently in place were announced based on “Code Red” until Dec 11th.
With the additional 4 week extension of Public Health restrictions announced December 8, and in consultation with Sport Manitoba, the CurlManitoba Board of Directors has re-evaluated its Return-to-Play recommendations.
The CurlManitoba decisions and recommendations which follow received unanimous support of the Board of Directors in their December 16th meeting.
CurlManitoba is hopeful that a return-to-play may occur for curling clubs in January, at least on a limited basis. While we recognize that pandemic closures have had a significant negative impact on the business model of most Manitoba curling facilities, we urge all curling clubs to take a measured and responsible approach to re-opening.
If the early January update from Manitoba Health allows for return to play, CurlManitoba will emphasize that both the word and spirit of Manitoba Health’s recommendations be adhered to.
Recognizing the importance of recreational play to the physical health as well as the emotional/mental health of the very large Manitoba curling community, the primary emphasis for CurlManitoba will be the re-start of regular club and league play, if only in a somewhat restricted way.
In keeping with this priority, CurlManitoba is recommending that Manitoba’s curling clubs and curlers continue to make an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. CurlManitoba encourages that:
• Clubs not plan to host organized events or bonspiels until at least the end of February, if such events will involve participation of teams from outside their normal club circle; and that
• Curlers and curling teams not travel inter-regionally to participate in events outside their own community until at least the end of February.
CurlManitoba does not have the authority, which exists in some other major Provincial Sport Organizations, to enforce these recommendations. However, the organization believes strongly in the responsibility of the curling community to take a positive leadership role and encourages all curlers to be active leaders.
In keeping with its own recommendations, CurlManitoba is cancelling the provincial men’s, women’s and mixed doubles championships scheduled for February of 2021. CurlManitoba believes this step is necessary:
• In order to discourage travel between communities which would be required for regional qualifying;
• In order to limit volunteer preparations for the championships to the time and effort already expended;
• In order to ensure the health of athletes, volunteers, and spectators by not encouraging them to assemble in an uncontrollable situation at a championship venue.
CurlManitoba previously announced the appointment criteria for teams to represent Manitoba at the national events in the event that provincials had to be cancelled.
In addition, the status of the annual Manitoba Open Bonspiel remains in limbo. The bonspiel remains officially “postponed” with the hope that, as the end of the curling season approaches, it will be possible to once again host the world’s longest running annual curling event to bring curlers and business back into the curling clubs.