There’s a new kind of league at Peace Arch Curling Club.
Sturling has made its way to White Rock.
The club’s sturling league, still relatively new, is already popular on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, with the two-person team form of curling offering multiple advantages, including reduced physical requirement, which makes it more inclusive for curlers with mobility issues.
In sturling, each player can choose to deliver their rocks using either the slide delivery or a delivery stick, and games last just one hour, with six rocks thrown from each end of the ice instead of the usual eight.
Because there is less sweeping in sturling – sweeping and brushing is not allowed between the hog lines painted on the ice – it allows players to focus more on their shot accuracy. It’s also ideal for players with physical limitations, such as knee or leg issues, which makes it a great game for people who use wheelchairs.
Longtime curler and Peace Arch Curling Club volunteer Don Moe, who started the league at the facility, has been curling for more than 60 years.
“I was getting to the stage where I wasn’t able to drive out of the hack (the foot-holds at each end of the ice from which the stones are delivered) anymore,” he said.
He was ready to quit curling, as he likes to be a more competitive player, he admitted.
But then he tried a stick-curling clinic and researched both stick curling and sturling, even speaking with Carson Schultz, who started stick curling in Canada in the late 1990s.
“I thought, why don’t we try to start a stick curling league at Peace Arch Curling Club… it’s huge in Canada, in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, among other areas.”
There is a stick curling league as well as a sturling league now at the White Rock facility.
“The reason we decided on sturling is so we can do bonspiels – sturling is stick or slide delivery, and they’re both two-person teams,” Moe explained, added the club hosted its first sturling bonspiel last year, with 16 teams participating.
“It’s easy to learn, it’s all the same gear, and it only takes one hour… the strategy is very similar to regular curling.”
With no gender or age restrictions, sturling helps promote harmony between slide and stick curlers, and also allows partners who prefer a slide delivery to enter games or bonspiels with their partners who prefer using a stick for delivery of the rock, Moe said.
“Curling is all about fellowship… it used to be more about winning,” he said with a grin.
Peace Arch Curling Club manager Ross Scott said sturling has become popular since being introduced.
“I think a lot of players are embracing sturling… a lot of players play using a stick,” so it can be a natural segue, he noted.
He recalled one accomplished curler who started to have knee problems in 2018.
“Today was her first (sturling) game and she talked about how much she missed it and said it is an absolute joy to be back,” Scott said.
“Now she’s back and learning (sturling) and that’s what we want.”
Other benefits of sturling include growing curling club membership, the opportunity for one-day bonspiels, and that it’s easier to learn for beginners.
Visit the club’s website at peacearchcurling.com for information.