Curling is a winter sport, played on ice. Ice is slippery, hard, cold, and wet. At Haliburton curling club, we strive to take the proper measures to ensure the safety of all our members. Every curler who steps foot on our ice should have a pair of grippers over their curling shoes to protect them from slipping on the ice. These grippers should not have any smooth surfaces on them or bits of rubber falling off. Always check the condition of your grippers and if needed, purchase a new pair from our supply at the bar. For a low cost of $ 12.00/gripper, you can ensure your safety. Be sure that your slider and gripper or shoes are clean and dry before stepping on the ice.
As well, we have all seen or heard of someone falling on the ice and unfortunately hitting their head. If you are concerned and wish protection, we sell protective head gear called "ice halos" that are light weight and comfortable. Most importantly they provide curlers with some confidence they need to stay on the ice. Ice halos do not make your head hot and the Velcro closures make it adjustable and secure.
The following are some other measures that each participant should practice for good ice safety:
- warm up before the game - stretching and warming muscles before going out on the ice can help prevent injury
- step onto the ice gripper-foot first - never use your slider foot to step onto the ice
- always be careful when stepping off the ice - always use your slider foot first
- the rule of thumb for your slider foot is LAST ON, FIRST OFF
- step off the platform onto a clear piece of ice. Avoid stepping over a rock
- avoid lifting a rock – you might lose your balance
- never stop a rock with your hand - your fingers can be crushed, especially if the rock hits another rock while you're trying to stop it
- never use your foot to stop a fast moving rock - you could lose your balance and fall. Use your broom to stop a rock
- watch for stray rocks
- keep your feet on the ice - avoid running or hopping. Walk or slide
- if you can't keep up with a fast moving rock while sweeping, just let it go. It's not worth the risk of falling.
- if you feel unwell and your balance is impaired, never go on the ice surface
Another important safety feature is to get yourself trained. At Haliburton curling club we offer training clinics before the curling season and throughout the year by our club coaches.
Let’s face it: curling ice is slippery and the possibility of falling is real, so protecting ourselves from injury is very important. Be aware! Go out and enjoy the sport, have a great game and stay safe!