The rings in the house get painted in on Sept. 16 ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 Whitehorse Curling Club season. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

The rings in the house get painted in on Sept. 16 ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 Whitehorse Curling Club season. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

Whitehorse Curling Club won’t require masks on the ice, bonspiels and junior programs return

The curling club will be relaxing some of it’s COVID-19 rules from last year but will remain flexible

The ice at the Whitehorse Curling Club is being put in and all league play will begin shortly thereafter.

On Sept. 10, the News reported that Curling Canada is mandating mandatory vaccines for curlers playing in events such as the Scotties or the Brier.

Prospective Yukon teams will have to follow the same protocol and be double vaccinated unless a valid reason is given.

Curlers in the Whitehorse Curling Club leagues won’t have to be double vaccinated, said club manager Bob Walker, but there will still be certain rules in place.

“We’re still going to have the distancing provisions on the ice downstairs,” said Walker. “And we are going to be keeping the same staggered start format.”

Last year, curlers had to wear masks on the ice and only one team member could sweep at a time, but that has changed for this season.

“We are going to go back to regular sweeping and mask requirements have been relaxed recently,” said Walker. “We are going to monitor it. Teams can make their own choices in terms of how many sweepers they want or if they want to be masked.”

The same masking rule will apply to the lounge area when teams leave the ice for their after-match libation.

“And if teams want to slide the tables together that’s okay,” said Walker.

Returning in 2021, after a year-long hiatus, is bonspiels. Although Walker said the rules and guidelines surrounding tournaments haven’t been entirely hashed out by the board.

“We didn’t answer all the questions in relation to bonspiels but we’ve still got a little bit of time before we get there,” said Walker. “The board did agree we need to look at bonspiels with a different lens.”

Walker said the club is comfortable with its rules for the leagues, but when it comes to bonspiels they invite people from other jurisdictions and others outside the curling community.

“With new people coming into the club we will need to think about how we’re going to do draws and distance people,” said Walker.

The club’s junior programs will also be making a comeback in 2021.

“We are very excited about having the junior programs back,” said Walker. “Youth are the future of any sport and a club is only as good as your ability to find new people to fall in love with your game.”

Walker said people will be encouraged to stay home when sick, like they were last year, and the club will continue to monitor things and react accordingly.

With the junior programs, because children under 12 cannot be vaccinated, Walker said the club will keep an even closer eye on things to ensure the safety of the participants.

People who want to play in any of the leagues can register now by visiting the Whitehorse Curling Club’s website.

Contact John Tonin at