Town of Clarenville changes rules on curl­ing with a hel­met

CARA curlers can now sign a waiver to play

The Packet (Clarenville) - - SPORTS - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS THE PACKET CLARENVILLE, N.L. jonathan.par­sons@thep­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

The Town of Clarenville has changed its pol­icy on its Clarenville Area Recre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion (CARA) curl­ing pro­gram — no longer re­quir­ing curlers to wear a hel­met.

At last week’s coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil de­cided—due to the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Recre­ation and Arts Com­mit­tee—to still en­cour­age curlers to wear a hel­met, but to present them with the op­tion of sign­ing a waiver form in­stead.

The CARA curl­ing pro­gram rep­re­sen­ta­tives say other curl­ing rinks don’t re­quire curlers to wear a hel­met, and they be­lieve it keeps their turnout low, as hav­ing to wear a hel­met dis­cour­ages some po­ten­tial play­ers.

The Eastlink Events Cen­tre hel­met pol­icy will be re­vised, how­ever, all skaters must still wear a hel­met while us­ing the ice at the rink.

At first some of the coun­cil­lors, in­clud­ing the mayor, failed to see the con­nec­tion be­tween the en­rol­ment for curl­ing and wear­ing a hel­met.

“Nor­mally I would agree — if the pol­icy is in place, the pol­icy is in place,” said Coun. Paul Til­ley at the meet­ing. “How­ever, it is un­usual in the curl­ing en­vi­ron­ment, con­sid­er­ing the na­ture of the sport, to have a hel­met pol­icy in place.”

Chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer David Har­ris added it’s not an in­sur­ance re­quire­ment to have curlers wear a hel­met, how­ever, there is still a li­a­bil­ity to be sued if there is a de­fect in the ice caus­ing a fall, which the hel­met pol­icy wouldn’t prevent any­way.

“Like every­thing, it is a bal­ance,” said Til­ley. “Do we want to en­cour­age peo­ple to be ac­tive? And in this case the an­swer is yes … but in the mean­time, if we put a pol­icy in place that im­pedes them from get­ting ac­tive we’re kind of work­ing against our­selves.”

Til­ley added, while safety is paramount, the risk of in­jury is not prob­a­ble and since other clubs don’t have sim­i­lar re­quire­ments it would be bet­ter to en­cour­age more peo­ple to play.

“We think the ben­e­fits out­weigh the cost.”

Coun. Pick­ett says a hel­met has never been a part of the curl­ing equip­ment and per­haps many find it re­strict­ing or un­com­fort­able to do so with one on.

“Un­til it be­comes part of the game, then it’s a dif­fer­ent thing,” said Pick­ett.

PACKET FILE PHOTO

Curlers in Clarenville, some with hel­mets and some with­out, in this file photo from 2016.

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