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Detroit Lakes to host first Skins Bonspiel

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The Lakes Curling Club will host the first ever Zorbaz Pizza Skinz Bonspiel Jan. 22-24 in Detroit Lakes.

Compared to normal curling, a skins competition is high-stakes affair. Bonspiel co-chairman Dale Westley said this event is the first-ever Skins event to be in the state.

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"It's real popular in Canada," Westley said.

On Saturday, Jan. 23, Westley said that the curlers would head over to Zorbaz, a longtime supporter of the Lakes Curling Club

Curling itself has grown in the lakes area with some leagues doubling in size, Westley said.

"There really isn't a night open," he said.

The game itself offers some physical play with throwing the stone and sweeping.

Mostly it's mental.

"That's what I like about the sport," Westley said.

Detroit Lakes High School is involved in the curling club with students coming over for phy ed.

Wesley said some get hooked on the sport and will join up with older curlers that help mentor the younger ones.

There are still spots available for the Bonspiel and it is an open event, for both male and female curlers, of any age.

"We're trying to snag some more and getting locals included," Westley said.

Teams are guaranteed three matches; with cash prizes awarded in the Championship, first, second and third events.

Besides cash prizes, Westley said that several businesses, especially casinos, have stepped up and offered prizes. Those prizes will be given for various tasks, such as getting off of the ice first or the first team that loses.

Instead of normal scoring where teams accumulate points based on their performance in each end, a "skins" game involves points increasing for ends as the match progresses. "It gets competitive and it can be an offensive-style game," Westley said.

Another added incentive is that points accumulate if they aren't claimed in end, so if the first and second ends are blanks, a team that wins the third end gets the points from the first and second ends.

The first and second ends are worth one skin each, the third and fourth are two skins each, the fifth and sixth ends are three skins each, the seventh end is five skins and the eighth end is worth eight skins.

There has to a winner of the last skin, so if no one wins the final end, it goes to a playoff where each team member throws a stone.

A stone touching the button is worth four points, inside the 4-foot circle is worth three points, inside the 8-foot circle is worth two points and one point for a stone inside the 12-foot circle.

The team that wins the tie-breaker gets the eighth and all accumulating skins if there are any.

The club is also hosting the Vern Turner Memorial Bonspiel Feb. 12-14.

For more information on the Lakes Curling Club/Zorbaz Pizza Skinz Bonspiel, visit www.lakescurling.com.

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