Outdoor Curling in Dundee & District Province. – updated 19/4/2022
Dundee & District Province have two rather fine trophies for outdoor curling which are played for in the event of an Outdoor Province Bonspiel. They are the Athole Stewart Trophy, which, is won by the individual rink with the highest number of points up over their opponents at the Bonspiel. The second trophy, the James Small Silver Broom, is won by the club which has the highest aggregate number of points up over their opponents for a club’s two teams.
Outdoor bonspiels are by their nature rare, the last Dundee & District Province Bonspiel took place on Thriepley Loch in December 2010. As a result of their rarity it is necessary to ensure clubs are aware of what is required in order to participate. The last bonspiel in 2010 was largely organised by the late Jim Scougall who was our expert on the preparation of outdoor ice. Since his untimely death the Province has appointed a sub-committee to organise the preparation of outdoor ice for a province outdoor bonspiel, if the opportunity arises.
Possible locations include Thriepley House and Loch where the new owner has indicated that she is happy for the Province to hold a Bonspiel, provided that everybody is covered by insurance. Piperdam would be keen but the Royal Caledonian Curling Club may wish to prepare it for a Grand Match. Kingennie has been mentioned as another possible venue.
However each club who wish to participate must be able, at short notice, to provide
Four curlers, each with a current RCCC membership card.
Two outdoor curling stones per team member, 8 per team. These stones must have been sitting outside for a few nights before any outdoor curling to cool the stones down. You cannot take stones straight from inside your house to an outdoor rink and expect them to move or curl.
The stones require to be identifiable as belonging to a specific team, pom-poms, tinsel, etc. A rope is also useful to pull stones over the ice.
Each team is required to provide a crampit, a hack-like device for standing on when delivering the stone
Each team is required to provide a “dolly” to identify the centre of the house, it has been known for a bottle of whisky to be used for this purpose.
Each team member will require a suitable broom or brush, pads will not work.
It may also be the case that other ice preparing tools may be required.
Outdoor ice is likely to be the result of a prolonged cold spell so talk of outdoor ice is likely to be in the air. However it is likely that relatively short notice will be given, possibly the night before, so it will be up to the club’s match secretary, or similar, to be able to organise each club. It is not the responsibility of the Province or the Province Secretary to organise the clubs. Notice by email and telephone will be given to a person nominated by each club to be responsible for outdoor curling. The names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of these people must be provided to the Province secretary at the beginning of each season.
Any organised outdoor event where a hazardous activity takes place now requires public liability insurance. The Royal Caledonian Curling Club provides affiliated clubs and registered members with Public Liability cover for all curling activities. We have been assured that this covers outdoor curling. However this coverage only applies to people who are members of an RCCC registered club and whose name is on the RCCC data base. Any owner of any piece of frozen water that the Province might wish to curl on will require everybody to be insured.
THEREFORE, BEFORE THE PROVINCE ALLOWS ANYBODY ON TO ANY PREPARED ICE FOR AN OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL BONSPEIL OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE CURLING, ALL PARTICIPATES MUST PRODUCE THEIR VALID RCCC MEMBERSHIP CARD. Therefore no children or no non-curling friends will be allowed on the ice even for photographs.
The Province accepts that this is boring but absolutely essential if we expect to go on to anybody’s property to curl. It is simply a reflection of the litigious nature of our society.
NO VALID MEMBERSHIP CARD – NO OUTDOOR CURLING
Safety on the Ice.
The same care must be taken on outdoor ice as in an ice rink along with some additional issues.
Care must be taken to avoid point loading the ice, for example, 8 adults plus 16 stones must not gather together on one point on the ice for a photo opportunity or similar reason. This could cause the ice to crack or break.