THUNDER BAY – The Tbaytel Major League of Curling season has met an early end.
With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, the District of Thunder Bay entrenched in yet another lock-down, and two of the area’s three curling clubs announcing premature closures because of the pandemic, the league executive was left with little choice.
“With the recent announcement of both Port Arthur Curling Club and Kakabeka Falls Curling Club closing their doors for the season due to the lock-down, there was an option of maybe trying to finish the season at Fort William Curling Club,” said Bryan Burgess, a member of the league executive, in an email to curlers sent on Wednesday night.
“That would mean waiting to see if their club would be able to open prior to mid-April. As we all know, the COVID cases continue to rise in our region , and the chance of returning to an Orange zone by the end of this month is unlikely. This is a time to do the smart thing, stay at home, stay safe.”
Fellow executive Mike McCarville said the league was already trying to adapt to challenging times when play was allowed in the fall.
“We already had teams playing with spares before Christmas because some players in the league were uncomfortable committing to play,” McCarville said.
Prize money was paid out based on standings. Dylan Johnston’s rink, the defending champions, finished in top spot at 7-2 and took home $1,200, while Burgess, who finished 6-2 earned $1,150.
Team Krista McCarville and Team Trevor Bonot were tied for third and each earned $1,100, while Frank Morissette rounded out the top five at 5-3 and took home $1,050.