If you’ve admired and enjoyed watching the graceful Olympic sport that is curling, you’ll soon have a chance to try it out.
The sport of curling is rapidly growing in New Hampshire. And now the newly formed Lakes Region Curling Association is holding an informational session on Wednesday, July 8, at the Wolfeboro Public Library in preparation for a 10-week 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 July 8 session starts at 7 p.m. and 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 for 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 ten “ends,” during which players on the two teams alternate throwing two stones apiece.
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.
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 last winter Olympics.
For more information about the LRCA and the coming fall league, check out the organization’s web site at lakescurlingnh.org.