The B.C. Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship will slide into the Rossland Curling Arena this weekend.
Eight teams from across B.C. including New Westminster, Peace Arch, Nichola-Thompson, and South Vancouver Island will join two Rossland rinks and a Trail foursome in the three-day event with the winner taking the provincial title and advancing to the Canadian Legion curling championship in Birch Hills, Sask. March 14-19.
Organizer Tom Hall will skip the winning team of the Kootenay zone qualifier that includes third Joanne Drystek, second, Shane Preedy, and lead Doug Halladay.
In the 2014 provincials, Drystek beat the eventual Canadian champions from Salmon Arm, but faltered in the playoffs, as Salmon Arm moved on to capture the 2014 Canadian Legion’s Dominion curling title in Dauphin, Man.
The competition will be similarly fierce this year, but Hall is confident that his Rossland team will be competitive.
“If we play anything like we did in the zone playdowns, we have a good shot at it,” said Hall, whose foursome defeated the Jim Albo rink, also from Rossland, in the Kootenay zone final at the end of November.
The Albo rink, along with Trail’s Clare Coleman foursome will also compete, in what should be an entertaining and competitive weekend of curling. Playing on home ice should also be an advantage for the local teams, as the four Rossland sheets pose certain challenges for teams unfamiliar with its nuances.
“It will be slightly slower and it will curl less than Trail ice, but the people from the coast and Vancouver Island might be use to that,” said Hall. “They tend to get straighter ice.”
The teams will be split into two pools consisting of four teams that will be drawn tonight at the meet-and-greet.
The action starts Friday with all teams playing in the first draw at 9 a.m. and the second draw at 1:30 p.m. Round robin action concludes on Saturday with the third and final draw at 9 a.m. followed by the semifinals at 1 p.m. The final goes Sunday at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Curling was first introduced in the Legion in 1957 to encourage comradeship, sportsmanship, and physical fitness amongst its members. Overseen by the Dominion Command Sports Committee, competitions take place at all levels from local bonspiels, to Provincial championships, and finally culminating in the national Dominion Championship which is hosted by a selected branch every year.