As of November 1st 2018, CurlON will be incorporating the 5-rock free guard zone rule for all sanctioned competitions.
The previous 4-rock version of the free guard zone had been in place in Canada since 2002 and was overwhelmingly voted down by the World Curling Federation in favour of the 5-rock free guard zone in September 2017. Curling Canada, as a member of the World Curling Federation, announced in June 2018 that they too would adopt this rule for its competitions beginning this coming season.
In the interest of fielding the best possible representatives for Ontario on the national/world stage and maintaining a consistent format among all governing bodies in curling, CurlON will follow both Curling Canada and the World Curling Federation’s lead on this rule change.
This rule change has implications for events that boast a yearly qualification overlap; most notably the Travelers Curling Club Championships. CurlON’s 2018 Travelers Curling Club Championships qualifiers and provincial championship will operate under the 4-rock free guard zone to remain in accordance with Curling Canada’s national playdown in Miramichi, NB November 19-24th, 2018. This event will be transitioning to the 5-rock rule for the 2019 championship.
These rule changes solely affect CurlON sanctioned events. All CurlON member facilities remain free to structure their leagues and bonspiels as they see fit. CurlON encourages facilities that host elite or highly competitive leagues and bonspiels to adopt the 5-rock free guard zone to better acclimate competitors to the new universally accepted free guard zone structure.