Interested in watching a curling game played by youth? Earlier this month I streamed some of the games of the Nashua Juniors Curling Bonspiel (ages 12+) coming out of the Nashua Curling Club in nearby Nashua, NH, and this is one you might enjoy as it was a well-played game with a nail-biting finish! My 12-year-old daughter Chloe was one of the players and I tried throughout the game to provide some commentary about what was going on.
One of the great aspects about youth curling is that when the kids go out on the ice to play they are all alone. There are no coaches or adults. When they go through the door onto the ice, it is entirely up to them. All the great moments are theirs… as are all the mistakes. They have to do everything to keep the game going. They have to do it all. All we can do as parents is be on the other side of the glass watching…. 🙂
This video gives a good example of youth curling – the game starts at about 7:20 into the video. Enjoy! (And please sign up if you’d like to bring this kind of youth sports activity to the Monadnock region!)
Great post this week in the New York Times about a new curling club starting up in Brooklyn: “In the Borough of Beards, Lay Down Some Ice, and Out Come the Brooms“.
It reports that they had over 100 people turn out for their November Open House and now are setting up more leagues. Two sites to learn more:
Congratulations to the folks there on the launch of their new club!
If you’d like to help us bring curling to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, please fill out our form and let us know! Thanks!
If you have children from age 5 all the way up to 21 and are curious if the sport of curling might be something for them to consider, you can check it out at a Youth Curling Open House happening tomorrow, Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the Petersham Curling Club about 45 minutes south of Keene in Petersham, MA. You can come by any time between 9:00am and 12noon and actually get on the ice to try it out. Learn about “throwing” the rocks (we actually slide them), using the brooms and about some of the strategy that many of us find so fascinating… you should even get a chance to play a bit of a game!
Plus you’ll get to meet some of the great youth already playing in the Petersham CC youth curling program and to learn about the benefits of the program. It should be a great time! Please see the flyer below for more info (click/tap on it for a larger version).
Getting to the Petersham Curling Club is pretty straightforward. From Keene, NH, just take Route 32 past the Keene airport and follow it all the way down through Athol, MA, and on over to Petersham, MA. The PCC is right on Route 32. (See the PCC directions page for more info.)
If you can’t make it tomorrow but are interested in learning more, the Petersham youth curling program takes place on Saturdays from now through March. For a local NH contact, you can email me as I help coaching the “Little Rocks” (ages 7-12) program at the PCC. You can also connect with the Petersham youth curling program on Facebook. Youth curling is a great experience – the kids learn a great amount about the sport and have a lot of fun along the way!
Want to get started curling now? While we continue the work of building the Monadnock Curling Club, you can get started right now at the Petersham Curling Club (PCC) about 45 minutes south of Keene, NH, in Petersham, MA.
The season has begun there and curling leagues are running all nights of the week and on the weekends. There are leagues for men, women, mixed teams, competitive teams, beginners and youth. You can contact the Petersham CC to find out how to get more involved. If you have never tried curling before, they do offer “Learn To Curl” clinics from time to time.
Several of us involved with this Monadnock Curling Club effort curl down at Petersham CC because it is the closest curling club to Keene. It’s a great place and an awesome group of people!
As far as getting there, it’s a straightforward (although winding and twisting) drive down Route 32 (the road by the Keene airport) that goes down through Richmond, NH, then over into Royalston, MA, and then Athol and finally Petersham. The PCC is right on Route 32 so as long as you stay on the road you’ll get there.
Please do check it out and consider getting started with curling today!
Are you interested in bringing the sport of curling to Keene, NH, and the greater Monadnock region? We are planning to have an organizational meeting in early August 2014 to bring together as many of the people who have already expressed interest – and hopefully more – to talk about the next steps we need to take to move forward with our vision and our plans.
We are finalizing a date and location – if you would like to be included please contact us so that we can be sure to let you know!
Want to try out the sport of curling TODAY? As we mentioned earlier, the Petersham Curling Club is having an Open House free to anyone TONIGHT, Thursday, February 20, from 6-9 pm.
Over 280 people attended last Sunday’s Open House and the PCC has posted some great photos online.
The Petersham Curling Club (PCC) is about 45 minutes south of Keene. Just head south on Route 32 (going down past the Keene airport) and stay on Route 32 all the way down through Richmond, NH, Royalston, MA, Athol and on into Petersham. The club is located right off of Route 32. More information can be found on the PCC directions page. In good weather it takes about 45 minutes to get from Keene down to the Petersham club.
At tonight’s Open House, you’ll learn how to deliver a stone, the role of sweeping and more. This will be a great opportunity to get on the ice and experience the sport yourself. All you need to bring is a pair of clean, rubber-soled shoes and your enthusiasm!
The Petersham Curling Club is a great place to curl and is where several of us involved with starting up the Monadnock Curling Club all curl. We strongly encourage you to head down to Petersham, MA, and check out the Open Houses. And if the curling bug bites you as it has us, please do join the PCC and start playing the awesome sport of curling!
This is where you can get started today and enjoy curling!
And then… please let us know you are interested in seeing curling come to Keene!
What makes curling ice so different than other ice? What extra preparation has to be done to the ice? And how does sweeping really work?
The Smithsonian Magazine has a great article out this month that dives into detail about what goes into making curling ice – and how it is different from, say, ice used for figure skating or hockey. The key part about the ice is:
If curling ice was flat, the stone would move barely halfway across the “sheet,” or curling lane. And that’s assuming the curler is hurling it as hard as possible. Friction would halt the rock within seconds. So, to make the ice more amenable to the sport, devoted ice makers employ a technique called “pebbling.” More or less what it sounds like, pebbling involves freezing small droplets of water across the playing surface between each match.
Curling stones weigh 44 pounds. They are concave, on bottom, which limits the contact they have with the ice. The curling stone’s concave bottom, which limits how much it comes into contact with the ice, and the pebbles reduce friction. Essentially, the pebbles melt a bit when the heavy stone runs across them, creating a micro-layer of water upon which the stone can glide.
The pebbles create the “spin” (or curl, hence the sport’s name) of the stone after it’s released, at least in part; physicists contend that something called “wet friction” also accounts for the curl. Sweepers—those furious ice brushers who’ve become fodder for Olympic memes and GIFS—use a broom to brush the pebbles, thereby changing how the stone spins. Specific techniques melt the pebbles, reducing friction and helping the stone travel even farther and straighter. Naturally, the game changes as the pebbles erode, and sweepers have to constantly compensate.
The article goes on to talk about the efforts made by professional ice-makers (and yes, there are those people) to prepare the ice for events such as the Sochi Olympics. It’s well worth a read to understand why curling ice is different!
(And if you found that interesting, please sign up to help us bring curling to Keene!)