Curling is a very popular Canadian sport. Teams of four players alternately deliver two rocks each to the “house” at the other end of a sheet of ice. When all the rocks have been delivered, an “end” has been completed and the team whose rock is closest to the centre of the house scores. One point is awarded for each rock that is closer to the centre than any of the opposition rocks. One can normally play eight ends in a two-hour time period and the team with the highest score wins.
Curling for the Blind and Visually Impaired is essentially the same as the game played by sighted people. The difference is that each team has a sighted guide to assist the players in their delivery. The guide first describes the location of the rocks in the house and the type of shot that the skip has requested e.g. guard, draw or takeout. The guide then assists each player in delivering his/her rock along the line that is necessary to make the shot. Depending on the degree of visual impairment of the player, the guide may hold the broom at a short distance in front of the player, set a flashlight on the line of delivery or communicate with the player to ensure that he/she is lined up correctly in the hack.
Vancouver Blind Curling Club
The Vancouver Blind Curling Club has been in operation since 1974. The group curls every Wednesday at the Vancouver Curling Club from noon to 2 p.m. The Curling Club is located in the Hillcrest Centre at 4575 Clancy Loranger Way (beside Nat Bailey Stadium). The season runs from late September until late March each year. The players are arranged into teams at the beginning of the season and each team includes a volunteer guide. New teams are arranged for the second half and prizes are awarded to the winning teams. In addition to the curling, players enjoy the social aspects of this organization.
Each year a select team may compete in Provincial, Western or Canadian Blind Curling competitions.
West Coast Blind Curling Association (WCBCA)
Fraser Hiltz, email@example.com, 604-379-0035
Blind Curling Coordinator Jim Hall
Follow the Western Blind Curling Association (WBCA) on Facebook.
Blind or visually impaired people of all ages are encouraged to join. For more information, contact Carol Kent (604-266-9656; firstname.lastname@example.org) or BC Blind Sports at 604-325-8638 or Curl BC at 604-333-3619; email@example.com.