Volunteering at the Dominion Curling Club Championship

For an A#1 curling nerd like me, today was a fun day!

I spent the day at my home curling club (Sherwood Park Curling Club) volunteering for the Dominion Curling Club Championship Playdowns (NACA division).

Huh?

In it's second year, the Dominion Curling Club Championship is a national competition for club curlers. It gives club curlers a chance at representing their province at the national level. Check out the promo video from last year:


The championship is open to non-elite curlers - that means that teams who compete on the slam/world tour circuit are not eligible. However, an elite curler may play in the Dominion, but there can only be one elite curler per team. For example, Jamie King and James Pahl were playing today and they've competed at provincials and on the tour a couple times (heck, Jamie King is the alternative for team Koe and they just won the Brier and are off to Italy to compete in the World Championships!) but the rest of their team were recreational club curlers only. (Also of note, Jackie-Rae Greening, the self professed Lord of the Rings and radio show host was playing with her team, so technically I saw 3 semi-famous curlers curl. Very exciting.) I actually think no elite curlers should be allowed at all, but what do I know.

Anyways. So, there's 100 clubs that belong to the Northern Alberta Curling Association (NACA) and each club is eligible to send 1 team to the Dominion playdowns. This year I think they said there were 42 mens and womens teams, all from either Edmonton or small towns in the north/central area of Alberta. From this playdown, 3 teams will join 3 teams from the Southern Alberta Curling Association (SACA) and 2 teams from the Peace Curling Association - and the winner of that final playdown will represent Alberta at the Dominion Curling Club Championship later this year out east. I actually think it would be way less complicating if Alberta only had one curling association, but what do I know.

Most of the teams at the playdown today were club champions, but some had won a particular competition at their home club to get here. And now that you know the background, I'll tell you about my fun day.

I've sold 50/50s for a club even a couple years ago, so I was expecting much of the same. However, when I got there, the club manager introduced me to the NACA lady who was doing the scoring and I ended up helping her all day. I helped her score the games, input the data onto the website, update the draw schedules upstairs and downstairs, and sort out the signage for the next draw. Sounds boring but I only meant to stay for 3hrs, and ended up staying for 7hrs. I really enjoyed myself! And I learned a lot. Of course in between all of this I got to watch some good curling, and that's kinda my thing. The club even donated me a hamburger. What more can you ask for! I can't wait to retire, then I'm going to do this sort of thing all curling season.

I don't know who won yet, because the final draws are tomorrow, but I certainly hope the curlers have a great time at the banquet tonight, and on the ice tomorrow. They were a really great group of people (as all curlers are!). The Dominion is a great opportunity for recreational teams to play at the top level, and I hope they are successful and keep it up, because I know the curlers today sure appreciated the chance to play for the prize!

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