Curling is a game of many skills, including sweeping to guide a stone to its intended target.
Do you love the Winter Olympics but find that you can’t make it to PyeongChang for the coming Olympiad? Then do the next best thing: play an Olympic sport right here in the Lakes Region.
Curling, the sport that originated in medieval Scotland, will be getting big-time television coverage come February. When everyone else is talking about it, you can be playing as part of the Lakes Region Curling Association.
LRCA leagues are for men and women of all ages and experience levels. Participants can join individually, as couples, or as entire teams.
The upcoming Fall season runs for eight Sunday evenings from mid-October to mid-December at Pop Whalen Ice Arena in Wolfeboro. There’s no equipment to buy, and new members get an introduction to the basics of the game at a learn-to-curl session before the season begins.
Registration for the Fall season begins now. For access to downloadable registration forms, check here.
Visitors to this site can view informative videos, access information about curling rules and game play, and find the latest information about LRCA events and activities.
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.
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.
Here are the results of the winter tournament’s semi-final matches:
||On the Rocks
|Irish Stoner Rovers
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.
The Winter 2017 league, as with its predecessors, ends with a party — this time at Bayside Grill and Tavern in Wolfeboro.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.