Swift Current hosted Legion provincial cribbage tournament

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The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 in Swift Current recently played host to the 2014 Saskatchewan Crib Tournament.

Cribbage players from across the province converged on Swift Current on March 14 to 16 to compete in the 2014 Saskatchewan Legion Crib Tournament.

Unlike a traditional provincial championship, this friendly competitions boasted comradery and conversation, with the atmosphere more like a friendly card game around the kitchen table.

Al Hodgson, District 4 Commander and Sports Representative from Sask Command, admitted that cribbage is a social and fun event despite the fact there was a trip to Dominion playoffs on the line.

"It's quite relaxed. They've come to have fun, visit. They've all met before," he said of the noisy group of card players gathered in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 lounge.

Entries begin at the branch level and individuals and teams have to qualify to provincials through zone and district competitions. As this is one of the larger Legion competitions, it is not always easy to return to provincials.

"If you don't get the cards forget it," he laughed. "Some of the best crib players here today are not going to win."

The three day tournament attracted teams from across the province, spanning from Big River in the Northwest to Prince Albert, to Estevan in the Southeast. There were also a number of small branches represented.

The players also had one very important thing in common, their support of Canada's veterans through their membership in the Legion. The ongoing legacy of the Legion events is important to continue.

"Probably to keep the spirit of Legion up," he said of the reason everyone gathered in Swift Current. "We're all in the Legion for one reason, to support our veterans."

In Saskatchewan, the Legion offers a number of sports activities, and while Cribbage has the largest numbers of participants, and golf also draws a large turnout, they also offer curling, darts, bowling, and eight-ball pool.

The top entries from the Closed competition earned the opportunity to move onto the 2014 Dominion Command Cribbage Championship is set for April 25 to 28 in North Bay, ON.

Results of the 2014 Provincial Legion Cribbage Tournament are as follows:

TEAMS

Open Division

Winners: Esterhazy - Reg Knezaciak, Leroy Anderson, Pat Matyas and John Martin.

Runner Up: Neville - Keith Carlton, Gord Lawrence, Henry Sawatzky and Roz Blake.

Closed Division

Winners: Elrose - Shiral Brown, Harley Brown, Shirley Brown and Larry Ritchie.

Runner Up: Big River - Paul Vandal, Charlene Vandal, Jeremy Morin and Darren Anderson.

DOUBLES

Open Division

Winners: Swift Current - Dalyce Wall and Ardis Wall.

Runner Up: Hudson Bay - David Didychuk and Sam Culp.

Closed Division

Winners: Carrot River - Ken Campbell and James Sisson.

Runner Up: Big River - Paul Vandal and Darren Anderson.

SINGLES

Open Division

Winner: Leask - Patty Ciona.

Runner Up: Paddockwood - Reg Hamlyn.

Closed Division

Winner: Elrose - Larry Ritchie.

Runner Up: Big River - Paul Vandal.

Organizations: Royal Canadian Legion

Geographic location: Swift Current, Big River, Canada Saskatchewan Carrot River Elrose

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