Lakes Region Curling will sport 11 teams as it heads into its fourth year with the Fall 2018 season. The number, which represents 54 registered curlers, is the largest since the organization began playing in 2015.
With so many teams vying for playing time, LRCA organizers have arranged for the creation of a fifth sheet on the Pop Whalen Arena ice. The increase in demand also necessitate the purchase of another set of curling stones — 16 at a price of $335 each — as well as additional brooms, hacks, and other equipment used in the setup and play of curling matches.
Rich Masse, president of the LRCA, said “We consider these purchases an investment in the future of curling in the Lakes Region. We’re confident that interest in curling is strong and growing, and we intend to serve it.”
The increase in membership is consistent with the experience of curling clubs around the country, a likely outcome of the intense interest generated by the 2018 Winter Olympics in February of this year.
The LRCA saw 12 new members sign on, necessitating the creation of two new teams. Of the new curlers, ten have never played the sport. Those players will take to the ice for the first time on Oct. 14 with a mandatory learn-to-curl session at Pop Whalen.
The Fall 2018 season will kick off on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m.