Curling clubs are wrapping up their seasons with closing banquets, Annual General Meetings and the crowning of new champions – in some clubs, followed by a skate on the ice before the compressor is turned off for the summer.
Too soon, the curling season will morph into golfing season. So where can a regular curler go to find a curling fix during the off-season?
Well, not on the ice. But there are lots of places online that provide great reading – and watching – when there’s no on-ice action to be found. Here are a few sites and sources that you might want to explore until the ice-making equipment revs up again in the Fall.
It’s astonishing how many crazy curling videos you can find on this popular internet site: amazing shots, funny moments, replays from TV coverage over the past season. Some are just hilarious home-made footage of random curling moments, and some are pretty darn professional. (Some are about hair products such as curling irons, but just ignore those.) There’s a huge international flavour too. If you’re looking for a good laugh, check out “Curling Prank”, and see Glenn Howard being a not-so-nice uncle to his nephew, Steve.
Canadian Curling Association (curling.ca)
Do you realize that there were at least five different blog posts uploaded weekly to the Canadian Curling Association site all season long? Did you read them? Well, you should. There are great insights and stories from bloggers with expertise in all aspects of curling, and a few Big Kid posts as well (do the names John Morris and Cheryl Bernard ring a bell?) Not only are there the season’s blogs to read, but the CCA keeps curlers up to date on policies, rule changes, development ideas, plans for next season – you get the picture. Browse the directory of clubs and do a virtual tour of any (via website) that catch your interest (do you know how many “Granite” clubs there are in this country?). For the sport’s national association, the season doesn’t end when the season ends.
You don’t have to be a Tweeter to stay current on the latest developments, news and generally strange comments flying around the curlingsphere. You can “follow” any number of curling personalities, bloggers and fans. For instance, @curling (The Curling News) has its finger on the pulse. So does @CCACurling. Want an American spin? Try following wacky North Hollywood Curling (@NoHoCurling). Or do you want to see what the Big Kids are doing over the summer? Teams dish on their on- and off-ice activities at @TeamJJonesCurl, @TeamHoman, @TeamBradJacobs, among others (How’s your Swedish? Try it out with @TeamEdin). You get the picture. Join the big Twitter curling conversation.
Curl with Math (curlwithmath.blogpost.com)
Here’s one of my favourite blogs: Curl with Math: Strategic Analysis of Curling Using Statistics. No, I’m not kidding. Kevin Palmer, a sometimes-host on CurlTV and the blogger behind this site, really knows curling, and numbers, and how they go together. He doesn’t post frequently, but his entries make for fascinating reading – and it’s not material you can read quickly, trust me. Go back over his analysis of big games and bigger shots. This is great stuff! And there’s enough here to keep you reading, slowly, all summer long.
Provincial/Territorial Curling Associations
Every province and territory in Canada has one, and their websites are loaded with news, photos, announcements, statistics, results and anything else you could possibly want to know about curling anywhere in the country.
Every day I receive an email from this Google search tool, alerting me to articles, news items, websites, blogs or other online material relating to my search terms of choice: “curling clubs” and “recreational curlers.” Random, disconnected and sometimes riveting stuff comes right to my inbox. Sometimes I see myself listed there (thanks to this blog). It’s like a crazy curling magazine. Just search “Google alerts” and follow the instructions for setting up and following your own search criteria. Hours of entertainment!
Grassroots Curling (grassrootscurling.blogspot.com)
Of course I’m going to mention my own blog! I post all summer long – whenever the urge to write about curling creeps up on me (maybe not frequently, but certainly regularly). And I almost always include links and resources that will lead readers merrily down the off-season curling path. Photos too. And I love to hear from readers, so please, stay in touch…
The season on the ice has ended, but with the internet, every season is curling season. Get surfing!