By D. Mark Crown
Special to KTW
Curling on ice is a well-known sport with a large audience in British Columbia and Canada. There is, however, another version of the game that is very popular with seniors— and one that doesn’t require a winter coat.
Floor curling is played indoors on a smooth surface such as hardwood or linoleum. It is very similar to ice curling because it shares the same scoring rules and the teams are formed in the same manner.
Each team consists of four players who throw their rocks in the same order in each end. The team with rocks closest to the center dot score points.
Wilf Schneider is the zone 8 representative for floor curling at the B.C. Seniors Games, which will be held in Kamloops in August.
Schneider used to compete in ice curling, but has now transitioned to floor curling because of how convenient it is.
“And, this is ideal for people who are kind of worried about slipping on the ice,” he said. “There is no sweeping, but the idea is essentially the same.”
There are a few differences in the game that make floor curling unique.
First, because there is no ice for the rocks to slide on, the curling area is covered with shuffleboard wax or cornmeal. This reduces the friction on the rocks and allows them to slide across the floor.
Another difference is the rocks are delivered from a standing position. The person throwing the rock uses a specially designed stick, which cups the rock. This allows them to push the rock from a standstill with one hand.
Players are not allowed to move when throwing their rocks and there is no sweeping because it would remove the wax from the floor.
Schneider encourages curious seniors to try floor curling for themselves.
“There is no great big learning curve,” he said. “The camaraderie is important. We play a game that takes about an hour and then we stop for coffee and socialize.”
If you are interested in floor curling and would like to get involved, or would like more information about the August BC Seniors Games in Kamloops, contact Schneider 250-374-7201 or visit the BC Seniors Games website bcseniorsgames. org.
Kamloops will host the 2013 BC Seniors Games from Aug. 20 to Aug. 24, 2013. The city is expecting more than 3,500 athletes, ages 55 and up, to attend the Games, which will feature 25 events, ranging from cribbage to ice hockey.
The BC Seniors Games Society is a volunteer non-profit society funded by the provincial government and in co-operation with the BC Games Society, which event manages the Games.