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A bonspiel is a curling tournament, consisting of several games, often held on a weekend. Until the 20th century most bonspiels were held outdoors, on a frozen freshwater loch. Today almost all bonspiels are held indoors on specially prepared artificial ice.

Bonspiels in North America[edit]


Curling Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Curling Association, is the national governing body of the sport in Canada. While bonspiels originated in Scotland, the most notable competitive curling tournament in the world nowadays is the Canadian Men's Curling Championship, The Brier. For many Canadians, this tournament equals or nearly equals the importance of the Olympics and the World Curling Championship.[citation needed] The Canadian Women's Curling Championship is called the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Several Cashspiels are played in Canada every year, with the most important cashspiels being part of the World Curling Tour (WCT). Many local curling clubs and other organizations in Canada also host casual, social bonspiels indoors, and a few are also held outdoors like the Ironman Outdoor Curling Bonspiel in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba.

United States[edit]

2017 Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel Participants

The United States Curling Association (USA Curling) is the national governing body of the sport in the United States. Many bonspiels are listed on the USA Curling website. Most bonspiels in the United States are held indoors in dedicated curling facilities, but a few bonspiels are held outdoors if the weather allows it. One example of an outdoor bonspiel is the Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel held each January in the Sawtooth Mountain Range of Idaho. Bonspiels are popular throughout the United States during curling season, typically October through April. Some special bonspiels are held in the summer as well as some that are hosted by clubs that play on arena ice as there are usually fewer scheduling conflicts with other sports at the area such as hockey and figure skating.

Bonspiels in Europe[edit]


In Scotland, outdoor bonspiels are now very rare; most lochs that formerly hosted bonspiels, such as Loch Earn, rarely freeze over anymore. The Loch of Aboyne was the site of a bonspiel in 1891 and the private railway station, Aboyne Curling Pond was used for the event. The word spiel is sometimes used to refer to an informal curling game, as in parish spiel. The most important Cashspiels in Scotland are part of the Curling Champions Tour (CCT) The Grand Match was last held outdoors in 1979, although it was revived as an indoor tournament in 2000 and has been held every five years since.[1][2] Between 1853 and 1935 twenty-five 'Grand Matches' or bonspiels were held at the Royal Caledonian Curling Club's own pond at Carsebreck Loch in Perth and Kinross served by the society's own private Carsbreck railway station.

Other European countries[edit]

Dozens of bonspiels are held in European countries every year. Switzerland hosts multiple Curling Champions Tour events.

Bonspiels elsewhere[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Curling bonspiels are held when ice conditions permit in the Maniototo, part of Central Otago in the South Island. The region is one of the few in New Zealand to have conditions suitable for outdoor curling, and is also a fitting site for the sport given that Otago's original European settlers were mainly from Scotland. Several artificial and natural lakes around the towns of Oturehua, Naseby and Patearoa provide good conditions, on average every second or third year.

The national bonspiel has been held when conditions permit since 1879, with Oturehua's Idaburn Dam the venue since 1932.[3] The most recent national bonspiel, the 66th, was held on 13-14 July 2015.[4] Most New Zealand curling clubs are located in Otago, Canterbury, and Southland, and owing to the difficulty of getting teams to the relatively inaccessible venue, it is rare for teams to travel from outside the southern South Island to the bonspiel.

Indoor curling rinks exist in Otago's main centre, Dunedin (at the Dunedin Ice Stadium), and in the towns of Naseby, Otago and Gore, Southland, and also further north in the country's largest city, Auckland. Open air ice rinks exist in Naseby and Alexandra.[5]

List of notable bonspiels[edit]


A cashspiel is an variety of a bonspiel. A combination of the two words cash and bonspiel, cashspiel are competitive tournaments played for money. There are different types of cashspiels, some are small, with prizes in the hundreds of dollars, and others are quite sizeable, with the rewards running into the tens of thousands of dollars.


Possibly from Dutch bond "league, association" + spel "game".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Grand Match 2015". Royal Caledonian Curling Club. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Curler, 94, sets Grand Matches record". 23 October 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  3. ^ "The bonspiel Archived 2012-03-24 at the Wayback Machine", New Zealand Curling Association. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  4. ^ "2015 bonspiel results", New Zealand Curling Association. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Curling in New Zealand", New Zealand Curling Association. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  6. ^ Canada (2019-01-25). "'The History Behind Invermere's Bonspiel on the Lake". Independent Sports News. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  7. ^ "Wine Country Curling Club". Wine Country Curling Club. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  8. ^ s. montero (Open Post) (2013-08-29). "'The Crush' Curling Tournament". Patch. Retrieved 2016-02-20.

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