Managing a Bonspiel Checklist

    Bonspiel Committee: Select at least 4 people to take responsibility for the following parts of your spiel: Entries, Registration, Food, Draw Schedule, Calcutta, Raffles, Prizes and Donations, and Hospitality.

    Budget: Create a budget for your spiel. Things to consider in your budget: meals, liquor and set ups, ice time, ice crew, ice rental at $10/game plus $40/team, staff and tips, any entertainment, prizes, printing materials, advertising, and a small profit back to the club.

    Teams: Target number of teams you would like to host. Teams should be divisible by 8 (sheets of ice). 8, 16, 32, are even brackets. Odd size events will have a short bracket. See Setting Draws below for more information on how to set up draws. Events of 49 or more teams must be approved by club management and ice committee prior to registration with SPCC.

    Entry Fee: Determine an entry fee per team. Divide the number of teams by your proposed budget. *Entry fees must now account for and include a 7.875% Minnesota sales tax.

    Advertising: Connect with neighborhood businesses about sponsoring your event. Neighborhood businesses can provide raffles prizes, coupons for curlers to use at their business, etc. Guarantee any business that sponsors some mention in your program. Develop a flyer with pertinent information about your spiel and distribute it to past participants and all clubs within reasonable proximity. Send digitally as able.

    Accommodations: Reserve a block of rooms for out-of-town curlers. Try to utilize businesses that support our club through advertising. The Holiday Inn Downtown St Paul has a SPCC room rate and free shuttle service available. Bonspiel committee must schedule shuttle service in advance if needed. The contact info for The Holiday Inn Downtown is 651-225-1515. Ask for the St Paul Curling Club rate. If booking online, you may enter the Corporate ID 787069518 under Rate Preference in the drop down. Include room block information in registration info.

    Registration: Open website. Include entry fee, online registration, and payment instructions, draw times (if available), schedule of meals, hotel information, and if you are doing any special raffles or a Calcutta. Keep good records of online registrations and payments. Good idea to number them in order received. It is up to the committee to determine what mode to use to receive online payments. Paypal, venmo, etc. Have some method of what determines who prevails as the spiel gets to the final entries. If possible, get a few teams on a waiting list after the spiel is full in case a team drops. Keep list of entries as contacts for the next year’s spiel. It has been customary at SPCC that the Canadian and US dollars are at the same value for entry fees.

    Setting Draws: Donn Satrom has draws already made for team numbers of 8, 16, 32, 24, 40, and 48. Using Donn’s set draw schedule you can usually tell teams what time their first three draw times will be. Also, you will minimize the number of times a team would play on the same sheet. If you have a different number of teams, you may be able to find information online on how to set up odd numbered draw times. Draw times should be personally conveyed to the team skip or person sending in the entry. Try to cater to out-of-town curlers and meet their requests if given. Be considerate when scheduling teams from out of town. Teams may find it difficult to arrive on time for the first draw and may request a later time. If this is possible, out-of-town teams will appreciate it and are more likely to return to your bonspiel. Time must be allocated between draws for extra ends, slow games, and ice cleaning. Preferably 2 hours 30 minutes for 8-end games. Allow time (approximately 90 minutes) for a full shave after every 2-3 games. Draw times are not finalized until reviewed by Club Manager and Ice Crew.

    Food and Beverage: Don’t start planning food/beverage until the number of teams is determined. Keep in mind that the spiel pays for the number of meals you tell the kitchen, regardless of the number served. Decide if you want to provide the option for spectators to purchase a meal ticket and what the cost will be. The estimated number of extra meals needs to be included in your total given to the kitchen. Determine a meal schedule and a menu by coordinating with the kitchen manager. First and second draw times are very important in determining food expense and kitchen help. Try to avoid serving meals late in the evening. It is hard to get help and usually tables are taken up by curlers staying after draws to enjoy the evening fellowship. A ticket or wristband is highly recommended to participate in meals or any free beverages. This will help the kitchen staff determine who is a curler and who is a spectator. Liquor and how it is to be served will need to be addressed with the club management. For example, the SPCC Men’s International provides all of its own booze and uses none of the clubs but hires a bartender. The club will provide and pay for bartenders for your spiel at no charge.

    Staff and Ice Crew: Get help for ice cleaning. Home team or winners could clean the ice. If you use Juniors, a donation is expected to the SPCC Junior Program. Have adequate bartenders and servers. Be prepared to tip those that work. A meeting must be scheduled with the Ice Crew prior to your event. Check with Club Manager to verify if there are any cleaning items that your spiel’s committee may be responsible for. IE: bathroom, cleaning up after curlers and spectators, kitchen items, removal of garbage and recycling.

    Draw Board/ Sheet Assignments: Draw boards can be printed at Rapit Printing. Rapit needs at least one week lead time for printing. Contact Rapit Print at 651-633-4600 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. DrawMaster.com is an excellent way to keep draw boards updated and team name on the sheets for each draw. Have someone in charge of changing out team names on sheets between draws that should be the same as the draw board and any other material.

    Calcutta/Raffles: Calcutta boards are an additional source of revenue for your spiel. It is best to make a $20 board and a $10 board. A 50% payout should be the minimum. The Calcutta sheets should be available at the registration/check in desk as well as having designated people push sales after the first and second draws. It is suggested that you use the cash from entry fees and the Calcutta sales to make up payout envelopes as soon as possible. You may not have time to get cash if you wait until the end of your spiel to prepare the payout prize. Raffles or silent auctions are another source of revenue. Donations from local businesses or other curlers make great choices. Anything that is donated equals free money back to your expenses or the club. Make your raffles or silent auctions exciting for curlers to participate in. Consider opening your raffle or silent auction up to spectators.

    Team Packets: Create a team packet that includes a welcome letter, menu and meal schedule, the required ticket or wristband for a meal, and specific rules (free-guard zone, extra ends, ice cleaning instructions). You may want to include a program which could list team information, local businesses that have donated, taxi information for safe driving after the evening is over, schedule, etc. Mark each packet with the team name and how much a team still owes for registration. It is helpful to separate team packets by draw time and alphabetically.

    Prizes: Determine what you will be giving prizes to winners at your spiel. There is always a cash prize, but will you be doing anything on top of that. Connect with a company that provides trophies or plaques. Give yourself plenty of time to have those made.

    Results/Wrap Up Instructions: Send results, event winners, runners-up, and any photos of your spiel to SPCC Table Talk. Email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. If a SPCC trophy needs to be updated, email names/team and what trophy to the Games and Event Chair on the board of directors. Send picture of the winners and Bonspiel results to Curling News. This is great publicity for our club. Email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Make good notes about what worked and what didn’t for next year. If your committee isn’t carrying on – be sure to pass your notes on to the succeeding committee.


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