Swept up in roaring game

JOE PAVIA, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

One of the great things about writing this column is getting enthusiastic feedback from readers.

With that in mind, here are some recent questions and comments from fans of the roaring game.

On Nov. 18, this column described the refreshing new Canadian Curling Association television spot encouraging people to visit its site for new curlers at startcurling.ca.

Reader Ty Paziuk agreed that the spots were good, but wondered, "why are they only showing the new commercial during curling broadcasts?"

The main reason is a large portion of the curling television audience is composed of people who don't curl. The CCA is hoping its campaign convinces some of those viewers to give the game a try.

My Nov. 25 column bemoaned the lack of entries in various zone competitions. Longtime Washington State resident Peter Woodcox, a former member of the Rideau Curling Club, agreed with the article's premise that many teams are reluctant to invest significant time and money working their way up to the provincials, only to have to face the likes of Glenn Howard in the Tankard.

Woodcox had an idea, though, arguing that "just being at the provincials is a cool experience. That's the average guy's realistic dream and the OCA needs to market that event that way." The name Woodcox uses in his e-mails is "Iceless in Olympia."

In mid-November, the lead for Canada's senior men's champions, George Mitchell, wrote to suggest changing the name of his event from seniors to masters.

"The senior label has to go for our age group," he wrote. "Why? Because 'senior' has the automatic connotation of being 65 years of age and that sucks. Hell, our group can take on anyone and still win our fair share of games."

Mitchell went on to list the notable players his rink has faced in national senior competition -- former Brier and world champs Al Hackner, Rick Lang and Russ Howard among them.

Mitchell continued: "Hell, if the juniors can get televised, why not us? It's a much more exciting game."

Mitchell makes a good point, but until a sponsor comes forward, the senior championship -- whatever it is called -- will be relegated to local coverage.

Two-time Ontario junior champion Karen Sagle wrote in December that she is looking for a strong women's competitive team.

Sagle's problem is she is in South Korea teaching English. She has to decide in the next few months if she will return to Ontario, and it could depend on what rinks are looking for curlers.

If you want to recruit Sagle, let me know.

Thanks to all my readers for their questions and comments. Keep the feedback coming!

Grand masters

Men 70 years of age and up can still enter the Grand Master competition playdowns in zones 1 through 4. The 16 zone winners advance to provincials in March. Visit grandmasterscurling.com for more information.

Curling this week

The Pepsi junior provincials begin Saturday in Teeswater. Representing this area are Jamie Sinclair, Rachel Homan, Kurtis Byrd and Mat Camm. The finals are Wednesday. Look for a strong showing from Sinclair. Bantam zones 1 and 2 are this weekend.


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