The Cochrane Curling Club’s 2018 edition of the Men’s Bonspiel is scheduled to take place Jan. 26 through Jan. 28 at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.
Cochrane Men’s Bonspiel organizer Ken Weisner said they’ve already sold out this year’s tournament, while also adding a number of teams.
“The maximum number we sent out was 32 teams which is up 12 teams from last year … we’ve reached our full capacity almost a week ago. We’ve had a really good response from the public and half of those teams are from out of town,” Weisner said.
“The other half are from Cochrane, so it gives us a good variety of teams in the tournament. There’s also a junior boys team from China that were here practising and will be competing in our bonspiel. It will be neat to have a team from out of North America competing in our local bonspiel.”
“We were able to add more teams because of moving into our new facility (at Spray Lakes) and the men’s bonspiel has always been one of the more popular tournaments that we do … we thought that with the increased number of teams we have in our normal league, we should be able to handle hosting an additional 12 teams for the bonspiel due to the fact that we have another two sheets of ice.”
“We thought 32 teams was a nice rounded number so it turned out nicely that way. There are drawbacks and good parts to the new facility though. The drawbacks is obviously that they (Spray Lakes) haven’t leased out the lounge area so we kind of have to do some make shift stuff to make that work … but the big plus side is the ice is as good or better than any other ice surface in Calgary or surrounding areas.”
Weisner also commented on how the committee decided to format the bonspiel, saying it made sense to have the two best teams face off in the final game.
“We have events or brackets that get divided into an A event, B event, C event and D event. So the way it works is if you win all your games you stay in the A bracket … the A final is the two teams that haven’t lost any games throughout the tournament,” Weisner said.
“The team’s that are in the B event have lost one game, teams in the C side have won one game in the A side and then lost, and then finally, the one’s in the D event lost their game in the A event as well as their game in the B event so they’d drop down to the final portion of the bonspiel. Teams filter themselves out that way instead of having a competitive and non-competitive side.”
Each team is guaranteed at least three games throughout the tournament and there will be a banquet on Jan. 27.