Covid - FAQs
5 October 2020

CURLING & COVID - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1 SOCIAL DISTANCING

This is the most difficult requirement and probably the most frequently breached. At the beginning and end of games, there is inevitably a bunch of players, and it is difficult to keep 2 metres apart. Trying to change shoes at the end of the sheet is adding to this congestion. How can I reduce any risk of spreading the virus?

We completely understand how difficult this is.

  • If another player seems to have drifted within your personal space, please gently remind them.
  • If you can, do consider changing your shoes in the changing rooms but store shoes at the sheet.
  • It is best to keep your mask on until you actually start playing. Murrayfield 'ice men" have been encouraging people to step on to the ice as soon as they are ready to reduce congestion. You can step onto the ice pad as soon as the ice machine preparations are complete. The game will start on the bell as usual.

2 SWEEPING

Where should I stand on the ice?

  • Sweepers should always stand on the 4 dots down the one side of the sheet - to begin with, the 2 Seconds would be on dots 1 & 2, and Thirds on dots 3 & 4
  • After sweeping one stone, that sweeper should rotate to the last dot (the one nearest the house), the other sweepers having moved up.
  • Lead's second stone would be swept by the Third, who would then rotate to the last dot.
  • That rotation is kept going throughout the game.

The benefits of this are:

  • Social distancing is easier.
  • There is smooth movement around the ice - it is easier to get used to.
  • Players are in a convenient position when it is their turn to play.
  • There is the potential benefit of having 2 different sweepers for each of your stones.

3 WHERE SHOULD I STAND AFTER DELIVERING MY STONE?

The following video is quite helpful but you do need to watch it a couple of times to absorb it all. https://youtu.be/mLdfu3vYgcI.

The positioning as shown on the video tends to break down, as, when a player has finished delivering, she is not sure where to go. The answer is the back of the sweeping queue. The main thing is to spend the bulk of your time on the side of the sheet with the dots. Alternating sweeping fits into the queue conveyor belt quite nicely, so you're not crossing people to get into position.

4 WHAT SWEEPING CAN THE SKIP DO?

The receiving Skip can take over from the designated sweeper at the hog line as long as the social distance is adhered to but only to the t-line. This is described in the Curl Edinburgh document. The opposing Skip must remain behind the hack.

5 STONES

How are stones to be moved back into position after each end?

ECC guidance suggests that during play, the Skips should use their broom or foot to move any 'dead' stones into the designated stone zone. After all stones have been played and the score decided, CLCC Committee has decided that Thirds should clear the stones in the same way (using their broom or foot) before moving to their appropriate dot. ECC has said that as long as social distancing is adhered to, it is up to your club who clears the stones away.

(Those who have been curling already have found that Leads doing this is slowing the game down, as they also have to prepare themselves eg getting on sliders etc.)

6 USING ARROWS

How can I get my arrow to the other end especially if I'm sweeping last and will therefore be at the different end from my arrow? Pre-Covid I would have asked someone else to bring it. Can we share arrows provided we both sanitise in between use?

The guidance is that you use your own equipment and disinfect all your personal equipment after the session is complete, so sharing is not a good idea. Getting your arrow from one end to the other seems to depend on where you come in the order of one-person sweeping. If you are last to sweep you will have to go back to collect it yourself. Scottish curling acknowledges that during a game there is closer than 2 m contact from time to time, but this is brief and unless someone is coughing, sneezing or you stop to chat, the risk is small. The risk of contracting the virus from a contaminated surface is probably marginally greater than a brief passing by. The virus can survive up to 2-3 days on plastic, although thorough disinfection is effective within 2-3 minutes. Incidentally, the "Protect Scotland" app defines "close contact" as people who have been within 2 m of someone who has tested positive, for 15 minutes.

7 CLEANING STONES

I'm finding it very difficult to remember not to clean the stones with my hand. Any suggestions?

Yes - it is hard to break habits. The guidance urges you to use your broom instead.

8 SCOREBOARDS AND SCORECARDS

Scorecard - one designated Second should keep the scorecard. All names of players should be printed before play starts.

Should Skips sign the scorecard at the end of the game?

Yes, but they should use their own pen.

Can we use the scoreboard?

Yes - It can be used, and Murrayfield staff will sanitise it after each game - but again by one designated person - this should be the Second who is not completing the scorecard.