If you’ve admired and enjoyed watching the graceful Olympic sport that is curling, you now have a chance to try it out.
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 Fall and Winter leagues from 2015 through last March, the LRCA is holding an informational session for potential new members on Wednesday, August 8, at the Wolfeboro Public Library. The 7 p.m. event will pave the way for a 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 August 8 session 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.
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 eight “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.
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 2014 winter Olympics. This past winter’s Olympic curling rekindled that interest, and New Hampshire leagues are experiencing an unprecedented response to learn-to-curl events and organized leagues.
More information about the sport is available on this site’s learning page.