The Inuvik Curling Club hosted its second annual Mixed Doubles Funspiel on March 17, where nine teams came out to the Midnight Sun Complex and competed for cash prizes.
“We ran it last March also, so this is kind of a year end wrap up,” said Nick Saturnino, president of the Inuvik Curling Club. “It’s a more fun event than regular, traditional curling.”
In mixed doubles curling, teams are comprised of two players – one male and one female – rather than the traditional four-player team. There are eight ends of play instead of 10, and there are six stones versus eight.
The biggest difference between mixed doubles and regular curling is that each team positions a stone on the centre line at the beginning of each end, which can count toward points if their stone ends up in the house.
“Mixed doubles is a new discipline for Curling Canada. It was just in the last Olympics,” Saturnino said. “ It’s an upcoming discipline and it seems that the younger generation has participated in it. It’s a more fast-paced game.”
Players take turn rotating who shoots, calls and sweeps. It’s a common sight to see the shooter sweep their own shot, or have the caller come in and sweep as well.
“The games go by quicker, so you’re not there for two and half hours. You can play this in an hour,” Saturnino said.
A total of 14 games were played, where more than $300 in cash was distributed to winning teams throughout the Funspiel. While most teams were awarded $20 for winning a game, Andrew and Kate Dunbar received $60 for finishing first in the A division, while Adrianna Hendrick and Mark Robertson were awarded $40 for winning the B division.
“We’ve been doing mixed doubles for quite some time in our league. We just decided to have a funspiel,” Saturnino said. “We wanted to get the juniors more involved and playing. Any time they can play is great. They’re playing with adults.”
Hendrick, who is a member of the Team Bain junior curling team, was joined by teammates Tyanna Bain and Mataya Gillis.
“It’s nice to change things up. It’s a fun game,” said Saturnino.
Mel Sittichinli, who finished in second place of the A division with his teammate Alison Lennie, said that the games were more difficult than regular curling events.
“It’s a lot of fun and work. It’s a good way to learn,” said Sittichinli, a 53-year-old curling veteran of more than 20 years. “It gives everyone a chance to do a bit of everything.”
With the curling season coming to an end in two weeks, Saturnino said that the Funspiel will likely be the last event of the year until the new season picks up in October.