CORNWALL - A unique game that fuses two popular winter pastimes has arrived in P.E.I.
Crokicurl has been attracting a bit of curiosity from would-be players at its location beside the outdoor skating rink at Cornwall's town hall.
"I thought it was for little kids," first-time crokicurler Bella Grant said.
"So, they could like, practise holding onto the bars," her brother Eli added. "I don't think (they'd) know that it was a game."
The Cornwall siblings decided to check it out with some friends after skating there this weekend, discovering a stack of curling-style rocks and what is essentially a giant, outdoor crokinole board.
"It's the two games combined," Cornwall recreation manager Kim Meunier said.
Crokinole, a table-top game said to have originated in Canada, sees players flicking checker-sized discs as close to the board's centre as possible, nicking the opponent's discs out along the way. If you scale that board up into a rink and toss curling rocks instead, you get crokicurl, which originated in Winnipeg and has spread to several other Canadian provinces.
Meunier was researching ideas for outdoor winter games when she came across crokicurl last year. While her staff wasn't able to set up a rink until nearly the end of the season, the game was enough of a hit for them to make sure it was ready earlier this year.
"To really build on what we started," she said, "(and) to try and get people outdoors and more active."
For curling rocks, Cornwall staff attached handles to pieces of wood from trees that fell along the town's trails. The game can be played with two to eight people, and Meunier believes it's accessible for all age groups.
Crokicurler Matthew Dunn said despite having no idea how to play at first, he and his friends had a fun time in the end – the most satisfying part being when he'd hit his friends rocks out of the circle.
"That's like the best part of curling," he said. "And when you get it in the middle, too."
To find out when the rink is open for public use, which is dependent on weather conditions, visit the Town of Cornwall's Facebook page.
Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian