Utica Curling Club hosts historic Gordon International Bonspiel

The Gordon Internation Bonspiel kicked off at the Utica Curling Club Thursday evening.

Posted: Mar 15, 2018 11:16 PM

The Gordon Internation Bonspiel kicked off at the Utica Curling Club Thursday evening.

There's a lot of history behind the 134 year old event.

"Well this is the oldest International Bonspiel in the world," said Kirk Robinson. "Only two years it hasn't been played. Once because of the plague and once because of World War II.

"It's really a treat to have it here in Utica on home ice, we don't have to travel," said Utica Curling Club President Roger Rowlett. "Although we really enjoy going to Montreal but there's a lot of history for this event. The camaraderie, a lot of teams are repeat teams that come back year after year, it's great to see old friends and renew competition and curly acquaintances."

Since 1890, the bonspiel has alternated between the United States and Canada and this will be the 26th time Utica has hosted the competition.

Each country enters 20 teams and play four matches, two friendlies and two competitive matches.

"The medal round consist of total rocks event," added Rowlett. "So every game will have the total scores totaled up for the U.S. side and the Canadian side and whichever side scores the most stones will win the event overall. The score is usually something like 400 to 350."

So whats on the line this weekend?

"Country pride, country pride," said Robinson jokingly.

"The winning side will get a little pin that says 'Gordon International Bonspiel,' it's very coveted. The U.S. side has won a few recently but the Xanadians hold long term edge so every time the Americans can win this, it's really good for us."

The bonspiel started Thursday and continues through Saturday.

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