So you’re almost halfway through the season, you can absolutely call yourself a curler! Now curling needs a little help from you. Our sport is always requires more exposure. Please chat about your games around the water cooler, and at Christmas parties. Speaking of Christmas parties… while it may be too late for this season; why not chat with your office social coordinator about going curling for your annual Christmas party next year?
Curling is lots of fun for team building and office parties. Many curling clubs even offer equipment rental, instruction, and food & beverage packages.
No matter which club you end up at make sure everyone in your group brings a pair of squeaky clean indoor running shoes to change into at the club. This will ensure the ice stays nice and clean for league curlers like you.
As for safety; while I sometimes wish I could pad newbie curlers with bubble wrap and tie pillows to the back of their heads, I realize you can only do so much. I always stress that sliders are extremely slippery and if someone feels even slightly uncomfortable I encourage them to take it off. When you’re out with your office you just want to have fun not be terrified of falling. Those people who wish to use the sliders are told never to wear them while sweeping as it’s simply too dangerous.
I also mention a rock should never be picked up off the ice because if it were to be dropped it would cause a whole lot of damage either to the ice or to toes. I ask that when rocks are being moved around they be moved slowly and carefully, the last thing we want happening is a rock sliding into the back of someone’s heels. I also ask everyone to try and make sure the rocks don’t run into the hacks and that hands, knees and bums never rest on the ice surface for too long.
If you plan an office curling party be sure to ask the club manager or event coordinator for assistance creating a draw. I generally recommend curling no more than 2 hours unless you have a huge number of people and they’ll be coming on and off the ice in rotations. Two hours is perfect for most groups. You can have a half hour of instruction to start and then play a series of three two-end games.
Divide your people into teams of four (three or five only if you have to) prior to the spiel. Trying to organize teams on the day of the event just wastes time. If you have anyone in your group who has curling experience try to spread them out amongst the teams and make them skips or thirds. Tell everyone which team they’re on beforehand but also bring a team list to the event in case anyone forgets who they’re supposed to play with.
If you want to have a winner at the end of your event get teams to record the number of points they score in every game and whether they won, tied, or lost (give three points for a win, two for a tie, and one for a loss), add all the points up for each team and the team with the highest number wins. Ties can be broken by a random draw of the tied team’s score sheets or a draw to the button on the ice if time allows.
Some groups just want to play and socialize and not worry about winning and losing. That’s a lot of fun too. Whatever you decide to do will be wonderful! Be sure to encourage everyone to join a curling club if they like the event and you’ll have helped out our beloved sport and had a great time doing it!
Watch next week for more beginner tips.