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Competitive Curling Season Underway

Nugget Column #14 – Wednesday December 20th, 2016

The first playdown events of the season have been completed.

A “playdown” is a curling competition that leads to another level of competition that captures a larger geographical area. Most commonly there is a club playdown leading to a regional playdown that leads to a provincial playdown which advances the top team to a national playdown, and that winner represents the country at a World Championship (if it exists for that specific competition).

Mark Brown, Brad Beaver, Luc Gelinas, and David Lawes qualified through the Northern Ontario Curling Association’s Senior Men’s regional playdown hosted this past weekend by the Voyageur Curling Club in Mattawa. The local team finished with a 2-2 record and will now advance to a provincial playdown in Kenora January 25th – 29th.

Jeff Brown, Gavan Jamieson, Steve Decary, and Bobby Ray won a best 2 out 3 game club playdown over Team Palin to advance in the Travelers Curling Club Championships. Their regional goes February 17th – 19th in Capreol while provincials will be held in North Bay come the end of March 2017.

Defending Northern Ontario junior women’s champion and local curler, Kate Sherry, is getting ready for her provincial playdown taking place in North Bay December 27th – 30th. Volunteers are required on-ice and behind the glass. We also encourage spectators to come out and support a hometown competitor; a schedule of events can be found at and cost for admittance is a donation to the club’s capital fund.


Practice plays an important role in developing any skill or performance. Without practice it is difficult to improve, and when you’re not improving the likelihood that you are enjoying the activity at hand is lessened.

We encourage our curlers to utilize the practice scheduled made available on our website: It is a simple google sheets document that allows you to view open ice and write your name in where you wish to reserve.

Remember when you go to practice that you want to be using your time effectively and be having fun simultaneously. Here are a few tips:

  1. Always shoot to a target. If you don’t have a buddy with you then place a pylon, tissue box or other visible item on the tee-line at the opposing end of the ice.

  2. The number of rocks you throw does not outweigh the quality. Take your time and throw each rock with a specific intent and as you would in a game.

  3. Set a specific practice goal. You cannot fix everything at once and will be better served by narrowing your attention to one theme at a time.

  4. Find or design a drill that is measurable. An activity that has the ability to produce a score can be repeated over time and show whether you are progressing or not, plus it’s fun to attempt to beat previous scores.

  5. Challenge yourself appropriately. If the activities you choose are either too easy or too difficult, you will gain nothing from doing them.

Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club

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