After my regular game last night, I spoke with our beloved icemaker who commented on the OCR article looking at changing the playdown process in Ontario.
One part he brought up to me was the fact that it is cheaper for him to keep the lights turned off than to host an event, for which he and his team don't receive any extra compensation but do incur costs. He suggested that the Ontario Curling Association begin to pay clubs to host playdowns. He's made that suggestion to the top dogs at the OCA and of course it was met with some surprise.
But when you look at the facts, it's not an unreasonable request. Of course the OCA has its own financial struggles and trying to find money for such things would be tough. It's not an easy situations for either the association or the clubs.
Essentially, it's a downloading of costs to the club level. It's no surprise that many clubs simply refuse to host events. I'd say about the same 20 per cent of clubs seem to host events year after year.
Our esteemed master of the pebbling can also suggested that perhaps curlers could foot the bill -- it would work out to about a Loonie per draw per curler, he said. Of course the curlers would say they're already paying through their competitor fees and OCA fees. Or, as a last resort, how about at least a tip jar where players could drop some change in as a sign of respect for the icemaker's extra work for which he or she generally isn't being compensated above and beyond the normal salary? I wouldn't be against that.
Somewhere along the line, someone will have to pay.