Opening Night

Thanks to everyone, new and seasoned, for a great opening night. Fun was had by all. New this year, we rolled out a section in the website to track standings and schedule. It’s here: Fall 2018 Schedule and Standings.

Next week, we look forward to seeing the Curling Curlers make their season debut. On bye: JCVD, Wolf Pack, and the Stone Agers.

New equipment floods in as LRCA preps for Fall 2018 season

Mike Turner, Carl Crosley and Bill Connors attach handles to a newly arrived set of stones.

LRCA organizers have been busy in the past few months preparing for the upcoming Fall 2018 league. With 11 teams and 55 curlers, the league has required some additions to LRCA equipment and facilities.

The first change that returning curlers will notice is the addition of a fifth sheet in the middle of the arena ice. In previous years, this space was empty.

To avoid any difficulty with getting off the three middle sheets when an opposing team member is throwing, the middle sheet is separated from its neighbor on either side by an 18-inch gap, allowing sweepers to step out of the way until they need to return to the match.

To allow use of that fifth sheet, the LRCA has purchased another set of 16 stones. Shipped from North Dakota, they arrived on September 28 and are now housed in a new cabinet built against the arena boards to keep them cold and ready for use. (Warm stones would literally melt into the ice.)

At the same time, new brooms and hacks had to be ordered, and, to keep up with the wearing effects of game play, five new brooms were ordered, and 16 others have received new brush heads.

Painting of the curling sheets, hockey markings, and the Back Bay logo takes place in the first week of October.

Watch the LRCA’s Facebook page for photos.

LRCA curlers place in Mount Washington bonspiel

LRCA curlers took their skills and experience to Mount Washington Valley Curling Club’s bonspiel on September 15, coming away with the championship of the Mount Monroe division of the event. Shown wearing their winners’ medals are, from left, Brian Gately, Andrea Dudley, Rich Masse, and Bill Connors. The quartet defeated an experienced Plymouth Rocks team from Plymouth State University, in part by scoring seven points in the third end of the match.

Eleven teams will head into Fall 2018 season

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.

LRCA Annual Meeting set for August 22

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 opens for Fall league; Info Night set for August 8

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.

Join us!

Parade primes registrations for Fall 2018 league

The Lakes Region Curling Association presence in Wolfeboro’s Fourth of July parade

Lakes Region curlers stepped out this year with other members of the community in Wolfeboro’s annual Fourth of July parade.

From left: Susan Goodwin, Shirley Allesandroni, Carl Crosley, Bill Connors, and Eileen Neal

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. 

A side view of the LRCA parade entry, with, from left: Rich Masse, Shirley Allesandroni, Eileen Neal, Chris Pollock, Susan Goodwin, Dave Allesandroni (kneeling), Carl Crosley, and Bill Connors

LRCA curlers compete at PSU tournament

Curlers from several LRCA teams competed in the 2018 Grand National Curling Club’s Arena Championship held at Plymouth State University from June 22-24. The tournament brings together curlers from clubs that play at arenas that share the ice among curlers, hockey teams, and other skaters. From left to right are Shirley Allesandroni, Denise Cogswell, Sue Bennet, and Eileen Neal, all of the Wolf Pack, Rich Masse and Andrea Dudley of On the Rocks, and Mike Turner and Bill Connors of the Stone Chuckers.



LRCA sets curling information session for August 8

A classic sliding delivery

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.

Delivering with a pushstick

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.

The all-important skill of sweeping

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.

LRCA event draws more than 40 aspiring curlers

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)!