Golf Nuts take it all in LRCA’s fourth championship tourney

Judy Crosley and Anne Blodget of the Stone Agers shepherd a stone towards the house in an early tournament match.

An undermanned Golf Nuts squad methodically worked its way to the top of the league in the championship tournament for the LRCA’s fourth curling season. With several regular Golf Nuts members absent due to an extended season, regular members Bryan Gallagher and David Lee were joined by Chris Pollock, on loan from the Curlin’ Curlers, to defeat On the Rocks 10-2 in the season finale on March 19. Absent for the victory were Golf Nuts players Paul Arruda, Norm Tache, and Ken Schroeck.

In other matches, the Stone Chuckers took third-place honors with a 7-3 victory over the Stone Agers, who ended up in fourth place. Placing fifth in the tournament were the Irish Stoner Rovers, who defeated the sixth-ranking Curlin’ Curlers, 12-7. And the Late Bloomers took seventh place with a 9-5 victory over Wolf Pack.

 

Final matchups, celebration to mark Winter 2017 season’s end

Chris Pollock and JoJo Belville sweep a Curlin’ Curlers stone towards the house in Sunday’s semi-final matchups. The team will face the Irish Stoner Rovers in the tourney finals on Sunday.

With Winter 2017 tournament finals set for Sunday, March 19, the Lakes Region Curling Association’s fourth season will come to a close. During that time the association has hosted 36 curling nights and a half-dozen learn-to-curl events.

This season saw the LRCA pay off its 64 curling stones, which had been purchased on a lease-to-buy basis. In the next few years, league organizers will need to deal with increasing ice-time costs and decisions about whether to prepare for the possible increase in the number of teams from eight to ten.

Those decisions are likely to be impacted by the exposure that curling will receive during the 2018 Winter Olympics as well as by an evolving fundraising effort to deal with an aging Pop Whalen Ice Arena. The LRCA expects to be in the thick of all those activities.

Semi-finals results

Here are the results of the winter tournament’s semi-final matches:

DIVISION A

Stone Chuckers 4 On the Rocks 6
Irish Stoner Rovers 8 Wolf Pack 7

DIVISION B

Golf Nuts 12 Stone Agers 6
Late Broomers 7 Curlin’ Curlers 8

The final matchups

Based on the results of the first two weeks, the final matchups shape up this way:

Lake Winnipesaukee Division
Golf Nuts vs On the Rocks
Lake Wentworth Division
Stone Chuckers  vs  Stone Agers
Crescent Lake Division
Irish Stoner Rovers vs Curlin’ Curlers
Rust Pond Division
Wolf Pack vs Late Broomers

Rich Masse and Rick Weeks stand watch as Mike Turner and Bill Connors ease a stone into the house in a match between Stone Chuckers and On the Rocks. At right, Andrea Dudley waits to sweep.


End-of-season festivities

The Winter 2017 league, as with its predecessors, ends with a party — this time at Bayside Grill and Tavern in Wolfeboro.

Winter Carnival will spotlight curling on March 4

Zeke Bly of On the Rocks and Paul Arruda of Golf Nuts jockey for position as a stone crosses the house early in their match. In the background, Brian Gately of Curlin’ Curlers awaits the next play.


Visitors to the Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Department’s annual Winter Carnival on Saturday, March 4, will have an opportunity to try their hand at curling, among other activities.

Starting at noon on that day, the Lakes Region Curling Association will open Pop Whalen Ice Arena to area residents who want to learn more about this olympic sport and try their hand at “throwing” a few stones.

There is no charge, and pre-registration is not required. Participants must be 14 years of age or older and will be asked to sign a waiver covering their on-ice activities. Anyone wishing to participate in the curling event is asked to bring a pair of athletic shoes with clean soles in order to avoid bringing grit onto the ice.

For more information about curling as a sport, check out this information on the LRCA web site.

January 8 event mixes learn-to-curl and member practice time

The LRCA will hold a learn-to-curl session for new members and the general public on Sunday, Jan. 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Any lanes left unused by learn-to-curl activities will be available to members for practice.

Pre-registration is not required for the learn-to-curl, and participants need only a pair of athletic shoes with clean soles in order to participate.

Curling is designed for participants all ages, for men and women, and for people of varied abilities. The January 8 event will include a presentation on the objectives of curling, some basic rules, and an explanation of scoring.

There will be opportunity for participants to engage in an informal curling match.

Stone Chuckers slip past Curlin Curlers on season win

The fight to win top honors in the LRCA’s Fall 2016 curling league came down to a third tie-breaker on Sunday, December 18, as the Stone Chuckers and the Curlin Curlers ended the final match in a 7-7 tie on Susan Weeks’s hammer throw in the final end.

With no time for a tie-breaking shot, the teams next looked to total points scored during the tournament itself. The result: each team had scored 17 points!

Finally, organizers turned to the only head-to-head match between the two teams during the regular season. That wasn’t a tie. The score was 6-3 — and the Stone Chuckers had won.

There are no dynasties in the LRCA. The organization has played three seasons, and in each case there was a different champion.

Fall 2016 champs — The Stone Chuckers, from left: Bud Booth, Rick Weeks, Susan Weeks, Bill Connors, and Mike Turner.

Here are the results of the fall league’s tournament play:

Lake Winnipesaukee Division — 1st and 2nd place *
Stone Chuckers 7, Curlin Curlers 7

Lake Wentworth Division — 3rd and 4th place
Golf Nuts 4,  Late Broomers 9

Crescent Lake Division — 5th and 6th place
Irish Stoner Rovers 9, On the Rocks 7

Rust Pond Division — 7th and 8th place
Stone Agers 8, Wolf Pack 6

* Stone Chuckers take first place by virtue of having won the head-to-head match during the regular season.

Registration under way for Winter 2017 curling league

The Lakes Region Curling Association has opened registration for an eight-week curling league that will run from January 15 to March 12 (no matches on Feb. 5, Super Bowl Sunday).

LRCA members will provide will provide a learn-to-curl session for new curlers in early January.2016-10-30-17-57-57

All curling matches are held on Sunday evenings from 5:20 to 7:20 p.m. at Pop Whalen Ice Arena in Wolfeboro. The league is open to the public, and participants can join either as part of an established team — with four to six members — or as individuals and couples who are looking to join other players in a new team. LRCA organizers will help with the creation of new teams.

Curlers joining the LRCA for the first time must pay a $100 membership fee before registering for the winter league. Current LRCA members need only register. Registration fee for the eight-week league is $120 per person, and all registrations are due by Monday, Dec. 12.

Membership and registration forms are available on this site. Visitors to the site can also view informative videos, access information about curling rules and game play, and find the latest information about LRCA events and activities.

The only equipment needed to participate in curling is a pair of clean-soled sneakers. All other equipment is provided.

Annual Meeting elects three directors, hears Fall plans

Lakes Region Curling Association members, gathered for the organization’s Annual Meeting on August 31, elected three directors and then listened to a preview of the Fall 2016 season.

Elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors were Bill Connors, Brian Gately, and Susan Goodwin. Connors and Gately were already serving on the board after being appointed by directors last winter to terms ending at the Annual Meeting. 

Director Mike Turner explained to those in attendance that the Fall league will feature a 20-minute warmup period before each match begins. In addition, he said, teams will have 10 minutes after the final buzzer to complete any unfinished ends. 

The Fall season will run for 10 consecutive Sundays, starting on October 16. There will be no break for Thanksgiving weekend. A learn-to-curl and practice session for members will be held on Friday, Oct. 14, at 5:30 p.m. The event will also serve as a trial run for this year’s setup activities.

Turner also told members that the LRCA is revising its logo, which will be revealed to the organization as the Fall season approaches. 

Members also learned that Mike Spence, who had served the organization as an incorporator and president over the past year, is stepping down from the board. He received a solid round of applause for his contributions to the LRCA’s success.

LRCA Annual Meeting set for Wednesday, Aug. 31

The Lakes Region Curling Association holds its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Wolfeboro Public Library. All members registered for the 2015-2106 membership year, which runs from Sept. 1, 2015, to Aug. 31, 2016, is eligible to attend and participate.

The meeting provides members with an opportunity to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors and to receive updates on the organization’s finances as well as the upcoming Fall curling schedule.

Members are also encouraged to ask questions and offer suggestions for operation of the LRCA’s curling leagues.

LRCA directors are strongly encouraging all current members to attend this year’s meeting and to actively help steer the organization into its second year.

LRCA sets schedule for Fall 2016 season

The Lakes Region Curling Association has set the schedule for its Fall 2016 season. As in the previous year, all curling matches are set for Sunday evening at Pop Whalen Ice Arena in Wolfeboro. Matches are set to begin at 5:15, with a 15-to-20-minute warm-up/practice period preceding. 

One change from last year’s schedule is that matches are scheduled for the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, thereby avoiding the need to play on two evenings in a row — Sunday and Monday — at a later time to make up for the lost date.

Dates for Fall 2016 matches are available here.

LRCA sets curling information session for July 20

If you’ve admired and enjoyed watching the graceful Olympic sport that is curling, you now have a chance to try it out._DSC1808

The sport of curling, rapidly growing in New Hampshire, arrived in the Lakes Region in 2015 with the formation of the Lakes Region Curling Association. After highly successful leagues in Fall 2015 and Winter 2016, the LRCA  is holding an informational session for potential new members on Wednesday, July 20, at the Wolfeboro Public Library in preparation for a 10-week curling league that will start in October at Pop Whalen Arena in Wolfeboro.

LRCA curling experiences are designed for participants all ages, for men and women, and for people of varied abilities.

The July 8 session starts at 7 p.m. and will offer an overview of the game of curling, display some of the equipment used in game play, and present information about how the local fall league will operate.IMG_4392

Members of the public from throughout the Lakes Region are encouraged to attend, hear organizers discuss the upcoming program, and ask questions about the sport.

Participants in the LRCA’s fall league will be free to organize their own teams of four to six members (game play will allow team members to rotate into a game), but organizers will also create teams for individuals who do not have one already formed.

A game of curling consists of two four-member teams, with each team “throwing” (that is, sliding) eight polished granite stones toward a bulls-eye target known as “the house.” A game consists of six to ten “ends” (think of them as innings) during which players on the two teams alternate delivering stones towards the house.

While most of us are familiar with the classic sliding delivery in curling, players may also throw their stones using a special push stick that enables the player to walk towards the delivery point and slide a stone without the need to stoop._DSC1733

This makes the game accessible to people of varied skill levels and physical abilities.

In each end, points are allocated to the team whose stones come to rest closest to the center of the house. A team is allowed to hit the opposing team’s stones in order to move them away from the center of the house. Consequently, curling, which has been described as “chess on ice,” is a game of strategy as well as dexterity.

Started in Scotland in medieval times, curling came to the United States and Canada with Scottish immigrants in the 19th century. While it has been popular in Canada for decades, the game started to explode in popularity in the US after the last winter Olympics.

More information about the sport is available on this site’s learning page.