The 7th Annual Panhandle Bonspiel is coming right up at the end of April, so we thought some newer curlers might want to know what the heck a bonspiel is!
A bonspiel is a curling tournament and is sometimes shortened to spiel. The Panhandle, like many other bonspiels, is held over a weekend with games on Friday, Saturday (and maybe Sunday, depending on registration).
Bonspiels typically guarantee a minimum number of games that you’ll get to play over the weekend (although it may be more depending on which games you win and lose). This is typically achieved by having multiple brackets (teams with no losses stay in the A bracket, with B and C (and sometimes D) brackets for teams with losses). The Panhandle has a three game guarantee.
Bonspiels are often themed and may or may not be restricted to certain subsets of curlers. For example, there are men’s bonspiels like the Butterfly Bonspiel up in Creston BC (to which our club sent four teams, see the photo below), women’s bonspiels (like the Valentine’s Bonspiel in Creston, to which we sent a couple of teams), Under 5 (years of curling experience), juniors, seniors, etc. The Panhandle is an open bonspiel, meaning that teams with any composition can play in it.
Bonspiel registration fees often include some food in addition to the opportunity to curl. The Panhandle’s includes dinner Friday and Saturday and lunch on Saturday. Beverages (and gear) are available to purchase.
If you’re looking for a team for the Panhandle or any other bonspiel, the Inland NW Curlers group on Facebook would be a great way to find one!