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.
The Lakes Region Curling Association holds its Annual Meeting for members on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Wolfeboro Public Library.
The brief session is an opportunity for members to learn about the organization’s finances, to ask questions and make comments about LRCA policies, and to elect a slate of directors for the coming year.
Registration is now open for Lakes Region Curling Association’s Fall 2018 league. The league runs on Sunday evenings, 5:15 to 7:15 p.m., from early October to mid-December.
Participants can join the LRCA as members of an established team — with four to six members — or as individuals and couples looking to join other players in a new team. No previous experience is needed, and the LRCA provides all necessary equipment. Organizers will help with the formation of teams.
Registration for the Fall league continues until all team slots are filled. Registration and waiver forms are available for download here.
For area residents who want to know more about the Olympic sport of curling before committing, the LRCA will hold a Curling Information Night on Wednesday, August 8, at the Wolfeboro Public Library. The session starts at 6:30 p.m., and attendees will view presentations on the basics of curling, curling equipment, and the planned Fall league.
For men and women of all ages and fitness levels, curling is a sport that combines skill, teamwork, and strategy. LRCA matches put a premium on friendly competition, sportsmanship, and fun.
For more information about curling in general check out these helpful videos and information sheets.
As we enter our fourth year, the LRCA has established a record for both the quality and the scope of its programs. We’re working hard to sustain that record, and we invite you to be a part of our future.
Lakes Region curlers stepped out this year with other members of the community in Wolfeboro’s annual Fourth of July parade.
Built around a truck loaned by Dave and Shirley Allesandroni’s Carroll County Landscape, the curling entry featured posters, banners, and a curling scoreboard, along with brooms, curling stones, and, of course, a corps of hardy marchers who braved the day’s scorching heat and humidity to hand out informational materials about the LRCA.
In addition to Shirley and Dave — who drove the vehicle — marchers included Eileen Neal, Bill Connors, Susan Goodwin, Carl Crosley, Chris Pollock, and Rich Masse.
The LRCA presence elicited an enthusiastic response from the crowd — especially Eileen’s brisk sweeping drills — and the parade is expected to boost what should be an enthusiastic response to the organization’s Fall league, which will begin registration on July 23.
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.
With the 2018 Winter Olympics barely in the rearview mirror, and the glow from Team USA’s gold medal triumph still fresh, more than 40 residents from the Lakes Region and beyond descended on Wolfeboro’s Pop Whalen Ice Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 27, for a learn-to-curl event.
The capacity crowd filled all four of the arena’s curling sheets as instructors from the Lakes Region Curling Association took collected participants into small groups and provided an overview of the sport’s history and rules of play. The prospective curlers then took turns trying stone delivery via the classic sliding throw as well as the use of delivery sticks.
There were also exercises intended to teach the purpose of and technique for sweeping, which helps control a stone’s distance and path.
With the basics under their belts, the new curlers then engaged in an hour-long scrimmage, putting to practice all the elements that they had learned. The scores weren’t high, but the fun level was, and a number of participants promised to be back when the LRCA kicks off its fourth year at the beginning of the Fall 2018 season.
Not that curling needs any explanation, but for those who might wonder what the benefits could be (apart from the fun), here’s an article from Forbes on the matter.
And while we’re checking out Forbes, how about this piece on why curling is just the Olympic sport for Everyman (and woman)!
While LRCA members couldn’t find their way to the Olympics, they were well represented there anyway. Josh Spaulding, sports editor for Salmon Press, publisher of the Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Alton Baysider, Gilford Steamer, and other newspapers in the Lakes Region, doffed an LRCA baseball cap in a visit to the Gangneung Curling Centre, site of the sports matches. Josh says it was the first venue he visited in his stay at the Olympics.
LRCA curlers also got a bit more exposure on Feb. 13 when the Concord Monitor published a front-page article highlighting the local organization and giving voice to the enthusiasm of its members for their sport. The article is well illustrated by local curlers doing their best imitation of Olympic competition.
New Hampshire residents have been treated from time to time with a newspaper article here and a TV piece there about the sport of curling. Especially in a year when the Winter Olympics are taking place, this ancient Scottish sport comes out of the shadows and gets another 15 minutes of fame before withdrawing into obscurity until the next olympiad.
But things may be changing. With several curling clubs now operating in New Hampshire, and interest already awakening, the sport just got another shove into the spotlight by none other than The New York Times Magazine.
While the locus is Tampa, Florida, the Times article, which revolves around a newly minted curling club, offers a lot that should be recognizable to the local curling community: the learning curve for enthusiastic recruits who have a “near-total ignorance of how to play”; the limitations, in terms of ice time and dicey surface conditions, that can occur when sharing an arena with skating programs; and the near-crazed enthusiasm of those who fall under the sport’s spell.
The coming Olympics will be broadcast on NBC, NBCSN and across the networks of NBC Universal. In addition, every Olympic event will be available to stream live and on-demand on NBCOlympics.com.
For those bitten by the bug, the Lakes Region Curling Association will hold a free learn-to-curl session on Tuesday, Feb. 27, as part of the Wolfeboro Winter Carnival. The session will run from about 2:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., with required sign-in at 2 p.m.
The current Winter 2018 season concludes on Sunday, March 18, and LRCA organizers will spend the summer planning for the beginning of the organization’s fourth year in the Fall. Watch this web site for further announcements, and use the sign-up form at the right of this page to sign up for our newsletter.