A bonspiel is a scheduled tournament lasting three or four days, consisting of as many teams as can be accommodated. Some are meant for club members only. The larger ones are generally open to any team that cares to make the journey. Bonspiels are designated as Men’s, Women’s, Mixed (two men and two women per team), or Open (teams made up of any combination of players). They are a wonderful opportunity to meet lots of curlers. A yearly schedule is made available and members can participate in these events throughout the year, both at home and away.
The Plainfield Curling Club usually receives invitations to ‘away’ bonspiels. These invitations will be posted at the club. There are established teams that go to certain events every year, but the PCC does not select or sponsor them. Any team with four willing travelers is free to go off and join the fun. Sometimes a last-minute replacement is needed, so let others know if you are interested in going to a particular bonspiel.
A tradition associated with bonspiels is the exchanging of club pins. After playing against another club, it is customary to trade one of your club pins for one of theirs. It is a good idea to order a number of pins before going off to a bonspiel.
The Plainfield Curling Club hosts several annual bonspiels.
- The Pursuit Of Happiness Bonspiel (in-house only, 2 new + 2 experienced curlers, October 10-11, 2014)
- The Founders’ Bonspiel (open format, October 30 – November 2, 2014)
- Robert Burns Thrifty Bonspiel (open format, January 22-25, 2015)
- Juniors Bonspiel (for teenage curlers, February 13-15, 2015)
- PCC Stone Bonspiel (men only, March 5-8, 2015)
- The Bonsqueal (open format, April 8-12, 2015)
The PCC Stone and The Bonsqueal are open to curlers from other clubs. The Founders and Thrifty Bonspiels are first opened to PCC teams before remaining spots are offered to outside curlers.
An in-house annual round-robin sponsored by the U.S. Women’s Curling Association held in early February. Women from within the PCC draw teams and play against each other. The members of the winning team are awarded with the USWCA All-American pin.
In the 2004/05 season Maggie McMahon (Philadelphia CC) identified a need for a
Women’s Bonspiel to be held closer to the clubs in the Mid-Atlantic. In 2005, the four Mid-Atlantic Curling Clubs agreed to host this bonspiel rotating among the 4 clubs (Potomac, Chesapeake, Philadelphia and Plainfield). This even is held in October during years that Plainfield or Philadelphia host, or in December when Chesapeake or Potomac host.
Traditionally, curling clubs that are in close proximity to each other try to foster mutually supportive associations. Thus, a “Friendly” is an opportunity for such clubs to get better acquainted.
This is usually a one-day event, where the members of two or more clubs get together to eat, drink, curl, kibitz, and make new friends. The Mid Atlantic Curling Association (MACA) schedules one or more friendlies at each of the clubs throughout the year. These friendlies are open to all curlers; the more the better.
Bring Back The Bucket
After a nearly twenty-year hiatus, this event was resurrected in 2001. Similar in format to a MACA friendly, Bring Back the Bucket is held annually in early December, alternating between Plainfield and the Ardsley Curling Club. New and experienced curlers reputations are put on the line as they compete for the ultimate prize: the Plainfield/Ardsley Friendly ice bucket.
This friendly, one-day bonspiel with the Nutmeg Curling Club in Bridgeport, CT, is held in late January, alternating between Plainfield and the Nutmeg Curling Club.