With Olympics in the offing, curling’s profile is riding high

Norm Tache and Dave Allesandroni
Norm Tache and Dave Allesandroni

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.

At Super Bowl break, Curlers and Rocks remain undefeated

Bill Connors prepares to sweep as Mike Turner delivers a stone for the Stone Chuckers.
Bill Connors prepares to sweep as Mike Turner delivers a stone for the Stone Chuckers.

Three weeks into the Winter 2018 season only two teams remain undefeated: the Curlin’ Curlers and On the Rocks.

Here are the results of the January 28 matches:

Stone Chuckers 7 On the Rocks 11
Golf Nuts 6 Curlin’s Curlers 7
Wolf pack 7 Team Nine 13
Stone Agers 5 Late Broomers 9
Bye week = Laffingoogans

Here are the standings to date:

On the Rocks 3 0 6  34
Curlin’ Curlers 2 0 4 14
Stone Agers 2 1 0 4 22
Team Nine 1 1 0 17
Golf Nuts 2 0 18
Laffingoogans 1 0 2 12
Stone Chuckers 1 2 0 2 19
Late Broomers 1 2 0 2 17
Wolf Pack 0 3 0 0 14

Here are the upcoming matchups and sheet assignments for Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018:

Match Sheet
Team Nine vs Late Broomers A
Curlin’ Curlers vs Stone Chuckers B
On the Rocks vs Golf Nuts C
Laffingoogans vs Stone Agers D
Bye week for Wolf Pack


2018 Winter league, week 2 results

Bobbi Boudman, Maida Kreis, and Cate Poole of the Late Broomers usher a stone towards the house during an early match of the 2018 Winter season. Check out the full gallery of Mike Spence’s photos for the early Winter 2018 season.

Here are the results of the January 21 matches:

Stone Agers 9 Golf Nuts 5
Team Nine 4 On the Rocks 13
Laffingoogans 6 Wolf Pack 5
Late Bloomers 4 Stone Chuckers 6
Bye week = Curlin’ Curlers

Here are the standings to date:

On the Rocks 0  23
Stone Agers 0  4  17
Curlin’ Curlers 0
Golf Nuts 1 1 0 12
Laffingoogans 0 12
Stone Chuckers 1 0 2 12
Late Broomers 0 2 0 0
Wolf Pack 0 2 0 0  7
Team Nine 0 1 0 0

Here are the upcoming matchups and sheet assignments for Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018:

Match Sheet
Stone Chuckers vs On The Rocks A
Golf Nuts vs Curlin’ Curlers B
Wolf Pack vs Team Nine C
Stone Agers vs Late Broomers D
Bye week for Laffingoogans


Winter fails to chill opening round of 2018 curling

Upsets and fast starts marked the beginning of Lakes Region Curling Association’s Winter league on Sunday, January 14. As the winter season itself dragged the mercury down to single digits, 40-plus LRCA members resumed the drive for the championship — won in the Fall by a determined Stone Chuckers team.

Hugh Crawford sends a stone towards the house with backup from Andrea Dudley.

At the Winter inaugural matches, the Chuckers came up against a persistent Stone Agers squad that refused to quit and eventually prevailed 8-6.

The Fall’s runner-up team, Laffingoogans, went down to a narrow defeat at the hands of the a remixed Golf Nuts rink. The score was 7-6.

On the Rocks, which had battled the Stone Chuckers to the last rock for a chance at all the marbles in the Fall league, came roaring back with a 10-2 victory over Wolf Pack. The Rocks had fallen to third place in the Fall league.

Finally, the Curlin’ Curlers took down a depleted Late Bloomers squad 7-4. 

All teams played under newly announced rules regarding the free guard zone. Under the new regulations, adopted from the World Curling Federation and USA Curling, opponents’ stones lying in the free guard zone may not be taken out play until the sixth stone of the end. 

Stone Chuckers repeat as league champs

The Stone Chuckers are the Fall 2017 champs. From left, Bill Connors, Mike turner, Sue Weeks, and Rick Weeks. Absent from the photo is team member Bud Booth.

The LRCA’s Fall 2017 league saw two firsts — the introduction of a ninth team (the aptly named Team Nine) and a repeat league champion — the Stone Agers. 

The creation of the ninth team was compelled by the addition of six new curlers — more than the existing eight teams could comfortably absorb. That addition led organizers to introduce byes, with each team taking one over the course of the nine-match season. The arrangement allowed each team to play every other team in the league once.

The season saw the usual streaks, and competition was stiff to the very end. The Laffingoogans (formerly the Irish Stoner Rovers and, before that, the Dirty Polar Bears) remained unbeaten until their last game. As a result, the championship hung on the outcome of the last week’s contest between the Stone Chuckers and a resurgent On the Rocks squad that had survived a rocky (pun-intended) start.

In the end, the game ended in a tie, allowing the Chuckers to edge out the ‘Googans for first and leaving the Rocks in third.

As usual, the season concluded with a casual get-together at Bayside Grill and Tavern in Wolfeboro. 

Here are the final standings:

Stone Chuckers 6 1 1 13 60
Laffingoogans 6 2 0 12 53
On the Rocks 5 2 1 11 52
Golf Nuts 5 3 0 10 61
Stone Agers 4 3 1 9 53
Wolf Pack 4 4 0 8 49
Curlin’ Curlers 2 6 0 49
Late Bloomers 1 6 1 27
Team Nine 1 7 0 30

No teams remain undefeated after week seven of Fall season

After seven weeks of the LRCA’s Fall 2017 curling season, there are no longer any undefeated teams. The Laffingoofans was the last rink to go down, bowing to the Stone Chuckers. The ‘Googans remain in first place, however, with the Chuckers two points behind in the standings.

Here are the results of the December 3 matches:

Stone Chuckers 12 Laffingoogans 4
Stone Agers 2 On the Rocks 7
Curlin’ Curlers 10 Team Nine 2
Wolf Pack 7 Late Broomers 4
Bye week = Golf Nuts

Here are the standings to date:

Laffingoogans 6 1 0 12 50
Stone Chuckers 5 1 0 10 47
On The Rocks 4 2 0 8 36
Stone Agers 4 3 0 8 48
Golf Nuts 3 3 0 6 45
Curlin’ Curlers 2 4 0 39
Wolf Pack 2 4 0 31
Team Nine 1 5 0 25
Late Bloomers 1 5 0 17

Here are the upcoming matchups and sheet assignments for Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017

Match Sheet
Wolf Pack vs Curlin’ Curlers A
Late Broomers vs Golf Nuts  B
Team Nine vs Stone Chuckers C
On the Rocks vs Laffingoogans D
Bye week for Stone Agers

Registration under way for 2018 Winter league

With the Fall curling season largely in the rearview mirror, the Lakes Region Curling Association is now registering players for the its Winter league.

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 Winter season runs for eight Sunday evenings from January to early March 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 Winter season begins now. For more information and for registration forms, check out this page.

Week four results, standings, and upcoming matches

Here are the results of November 5 matches for the LRCA’s Fall 2017 curling season:

Stone Agers 12 Golf Nuts 2
Late Broomers 0 Stone Chuckers 10
On the Rocks 7 Team Nine 5
Laffingoogans 9 Wolf Pack 6
Bye week = Curlin’ Curlers 

Here are the standings to date:

Stone Agers 4 0 0 8 38
Laffingoogans 4 0 0 8 33
Golf Nuts 3 1 0 6 35
On The Rocks 2 1 0 4 20
Stone Chuckers 2 1 0 4 19
Late Broomers 1 2 0 2 8
Team Nine 0 4 0 0 15
Wolf Pack 0 4 0 0 14
Curlin’ Curlers 0 3 0 0 10

Here are the upcoming matchups and sheet assignments for Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017

Match Sheet
Wolf Pack vs On The Rocks A
Golf Nuts vs Laffingoogans B
Stone Chuckers vs Stone Agers C
Late Broomers vs Curlin’ Curlers D
Bye week for Team Nine

It was a dark and foggy night … on the curling sheet

Susan McBride and Heather Gilzean encourage a stone along the sheet on a warm and foggy first night of the Fall 2017 season. Warm and humid conditions inside the arena created a foggy landscape for curlers and made the ice extremely slow. Cooler conditions are expected for the second week.

The Fall 2017 curling season got off to a warm and foggy start at Pop Whalen Ice Arena on Sunday, October 15. With the addition of a ninth time to the roster, the schedule necessitated a bye week for the first time in the young organization’s history.

Match results and standings are available here.

The opening night followed a highly successful learn-to-curl session on Friday, Oct. 13. The event saw more than a dozen and a half prospective curlers take to the ice and try their hand at sending stones down the ice.

Eileen Neal, Shirley Alessandroni, and Joan MaGrauth follow a stone down the sheet.

Fall 2017 schedule is now out; learn-to-curl on Oct. 13

The Fall curling season is almost on us — and LRCA organizers have been working hard to get ready.

This year we have nine teams rather than eight. New on our roster is the aptly named Team Nine, led by Dan Barnard and Denise Gallagher and joined by three new LRCA members.

In order to have every team in the league play every other, we’ve had to add an extra week to the schedule. Our season will run from October 15 to December 17, with a week off for Thanksgiving.

This arrangement also means that every team has a one bye week. You can find the full schedule here.

Don’t forget our season-opening learn-to-curl at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 13. Setup begins at 5 o’clock, and we can use any help we can get. The session is open to members who want a pre-season warmup, and we’re hoping to try out some competitive games. LRCA members are encouraged to come out and test your skills.