*Editor’s Note: This tournament is now over. Information is listed for those interested in Sturling.

Alberta 55 Plus is hosting the Sturling Provincials at the curling club, beginning on Feb. 16, with a total of 48 curlers coming in teams from across Alberta to compete.

Three teams from Strathmore are competing, with the pairs consisting of Jim Adair and Joss Binns, Gus Cammer and Fred Sweere, and Ed Beaudin with Dick Frayn. 

Sturling, or “stick curling” was invented in Didsbury, Alta. in 1998, and is similar to regular curling, save for a few exceptions. Teams consist of two players as opposed to four, and sweeping is allowed only from the hog line to the back of the house at the playing end. 

The idea behind the sport is to be more inclusive for players with physical limitations who may be unable to sweep or brush, as well as to increase the challenge by not having the extra advantage sweeping provides to guiding thrown stones. 

“I throw six rocks from one end, and my partner throws six rocks from the other end. There is no sweeping allowed, so it is all just straight normal curing, and the games typically last only about an hour, so it is a lot quicker than normal curing,” said Joss Binns. “It is all about the draw. You have to be able to draw right to the button multiple times. That is the key to the game.”

A total of 12 teams are competing in each of the 55 plus, and 70 plus categories. These will be broken down into three pools of four teams each, which will compete in a round robin format. 

Sunday, Feb. 18, will feature the playoffs between the Top 2 teams in each pool vying for the overall tournament win.

The victorious team will receive medals from Alberta 55 Plus. As sturling has not yet progressed as a sport beyond the provincial level, this will mark the end of the competition circuit. 

As an alternative, Binns said there is a curling provincial competition taking place later this month in Cochrane to determine which team will advance to compete in Quebec in August. 

“Sturling is growing in popularity all over Alberta,” said Binns. “We have a sturling league now in Strathmore. It has been going for a number of years and we have 16 teams there playing. It certainly appeals to a wide group of people.”

Admission to watch the games take place over the weekend is free at the Strathmore Curling Club. Games will be starting at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 16.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 15, 2024 at 05:13

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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