Riverdale Pre-Season Information 2021-22

Hi Riverdale!

Welcome officially to the 2021-22 Riverdale curling season! We’re very excited to get back on the ice!

A few housekeeping items in this email – a note to new members, our beginner’s clinics, our official start date, spare rules, COVID rules and how to play clean…

Official Start Date

Our official start date will be November 21, 2021. The season will be extended into May due to the delay. Here’s a season calendar: https://toronto.gaycurl.ca/members/Riverdale_Calendar.pdf 

Note: We will not be curling January 2, but we will have regular curling on the Family Day weekend (February 20) to make up for the missed Sundays in October. Riverdale bonspiel is still scheduled for March 4-6 (so no regular curling is scheduled for that weekend), but this will depend on whether large events are allowed. A determination will be made closer to the date.

Here’s the first round schedule:

This is a much later start than normal, but based on the current closing date of the Club in mid-May, we should have the same number of games as in years past.

As we’ve learned, things can change quickly, so watch the website, Facebook group and your email for updates.

Welcome to our new members!

This season, we have a huge number of new members compared to most years, with various levels of experience. Somewhere around 25% of our members have not officially been in the league before. If you’re in this category, welcome! We want to make joining the league as fun and seamless as possible.

You can find all the information you need on our website – toronto.gaycurl.ca. To access Riverdale information, click on the “Riverdale” link on the left-hand column. You’ll be prompted to enter our password – it is: 8ender

You can check out our orientation document and our team list

If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to the members of your team or a member of the executive. As a reminder (and so you have a visual on who the executives are), here are the current members of the executive (scroll down).

To longer-term members – please make the effort to help welcome newer members and be patient. Remember what it was like to join the league – at once, a lot of fun, but also sometimes intimidating and with unwritten and unspoken ways of doing things. Make sure to help people find their place here! 

Beginners Clinic

We are planning to host a free beginners clinic for Saturday, November 20, the day before the start of the season. This will take place in the afternoon (time TBD, either 3PM or 5PM).

This clinic is meant for people that have not been on the ice before, or have not been on the ice for a long time. Because space is limited, please only sign up if you fall into those categories. We may host other clinics throughout the year depending on ice availability and interest.

To register, please complete the form: https://toronto.gaycurl.ca/clinic/

If you have more experience and you’re interested in getting on this ice, consider volunteering to help new curlers; please email riverdale@gaycurl.ca.  

Practice Ice

Riverdale members will have access to practice ice at the club this year. Once practice ice availability is provided by the club, we will communicate time slots and how to sign up. We expect practice ice to be mostly available on Saturday afternoons.

COVID Protocols

Dealing with COVID-19 has required constant vigilance and flexibility to respond to changing information and government rules and restrictions. This season will require continued flexibility. 

We take our cue from the Royals on COVID restrictions, as ultimately they are responsible for following government regulations. Based on conversations with the Club, here is what things might look like for the start of the season.

VACCINATIONS: Are mandatory for everyone coming to the club this season. This is required by the Ontario government and is crucial, as the vaccines have resulted in lower transmission rates and reduced severity of illness if vaccinated people do catch COVID. Every member must come to the club in person on or before November 5th with proof of vaccination and a piece of government-issued ID. Drop-in hours are posted on the Royals website: https://royalcanadiancurling.com/. If you are unable to make it to the club in person you may email your receipt to manager@royalcanadiancurling.com. The club is not keeping these on file and the receipt will be deleted once verified.

MASKS: Will be required when moving around the club, as well as moving to and from the lounge to your assigned sheet, in the same way they are required in restaurants. They will not be required once on your assigned sheet of ice during game play, in the same way they are not required in a gym or during other sports. You are free to wear a mask if you want to. When seated in the lounge, you can also take your mask off.

LOUNGE: After games, you will have an assigned table, much like in a restaurant or bar. The bar will be operating normally, but note that this may change with government restrictions. Seating has been spread out in the lounge to allow for distance between seating areas, so use the table assigned for your sheet after your game.

LOCKER ROOMS: Will be open for changing and access to lockers. You are not required to show up fully-dressed as was suggested last season, but you can do that if you feel more comfortable. Please keep your mask on while accessing the locker room.

GAME PLAY: It is up to your team to decide how to approach positions during games, how many sweepers you use at a time. No one will be enforcing the CurlON positioning suggestions from last season. Draws will start at the same time (no staggering to start times) and games will be a full two hours, with the Bell at an hour and thirty five minutes.

IF YOU ARE SICK GENERALLY: Do not attend the club if you’re sick with COVID symptoms. Find a spare or ask your fifth to fill in.

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID: You must isolate until cleared as non-contagious by public health authorities. Please do not come to the club, and if you were potentially contagious during your time at the club, inform the executive

For further questions, please review the terms of the COVID Compliance Agreement all members have signed, or reach out to a member of the executive. 

Generally, be considerate of everyone else at the club and follow the rules of the club. And please also recognize that as the COVID situation changes, restrictions and precautions may change as well in response.

Spare Rules and List

This season, due to the requirements that all people who enter the club are fully vaccinated, spares must be drawn from the spare list, from teams registered in the Riverdale or Rotators leagues, or from members of the Royals who play on other nights of the week. 

Spares can be added to the list throughout the year, but will be required to prove their vaccination status and sign the COVID waivers that all members signed before coming to the club (so please ensure you’re thinking ahead if people will be missing and find a spare early). 

You can find the spare list here:


Keep it clean – shoes, grippers, brooms, even your curling sweater

Curling requires a nice ice surface to play on, and that means everyone must be very careful to keep the ice clean and free of debris.

This means:

  • Absolutely no outside shoes! Get a clean pair that you wear only for curling.
  • Keep your hands and knees off the ice to avoid melting spots! If you put your hand down to balance after releasing a rock, please get up as quickly as possible to crouching on your feet or to a standing position. 
  • Keep your broom head clean! If you need to clean debris off the broom head, then do it over the garbage.
  • No food or drink on the ice surface! If you bring a drink out, make sure you drink it while standing on the backboard and not while on the ice surface.
  • Maintain your gripper. Little bits of rubber that come off a gripper can cause rocks to pick and leave the ice looking dirty. Purchase a new gripper every season and give it a good wash with soap and water a couple times a year. 
  • Keep your clothes free of loose fibers, pet hair, etc so your clothes (especially fuzzy sweaters) are not leaving debris on the ice. 

That’s all for now – we’re looking forward to finally being back on the ice this November, and seeing everyone!