So, a few things…first, the folks @Long Island Curling are truly incredible. SO nice, SO kind, SO responsive. Like, we mentioned that we added their organization to our website and they were like, that’s super cool. Then we asked if we could talk to some families and they put us in touch with a few, no problem! Well, those families couldn’t be nicer…we spoke with parents who were happy to put their kids on the phone with us to talk about their experience.
That means that what we’ve got here is real information about curling on Long Island based on responses from parents and kids about what it’s really like to be on a curling team.
So what’s the best part?
Both families said that the best part about curling is that you can be on the same team. Meaning parents and kids can be on the same team. How awesome is that? We don’t know about you but we can’t play on my daughter’s soccer, lacrosse or swim team with her…so this sounds awesome!
Apparently, ice is “a great equalizer.” There’s a lot of strategy to the game and the club is very welcoming as a family.
First timers – be prepared! It looks super easy on TV but most people end up on their butt when they’re trying to throw their first stone. And sweeping is actually very strenuous and aerobic. So, you’ll find muscles that you didn’t know you had….but there are certified instructors there to help, so you’re in great hands.
The Long Island Curling Club lets most kids try and, providing your kid can “throw” the stone, they may be permitted to play. The parents that I spoke with said that they think age 11-13 is about right to begin. Ultimately, kids practice with their team and if that includes adults (men and women), then so be it. So you’ll see 11-80 year olds all competing on the same ice at the same time. Pretty cool.
If you’ve got a much younger kid that wants to play, Ardsbury has a program specifically geared toward younger kids. Think smaller rocks (meaning lighter weight) so they can throw them…
WOW, what a deal!
Talk about inexpensive. A beginner bundle is less than $100! For a season, the cost is about $250 per player and the season runs October through March. That’s a long season of weekly two-hour practices and weekly games, plus the opportunity to “sub” in….
Also, curling doesn’t require any special equipment. You can literally just show up in your regular sneakers and jeans and be ready to play. That said, many people do end up investing in their own gear after they’ve committed to the sport.
Curling stresses good sportsmanship.
You know us….we believe in sportsmanship in games and in life. So, it’s great to hear that curling starts with a handshake AND ends with a handshake. And, if you make a mistake (cuz, it happens), then it is customary to admit your mistake as soon as you realize it. Now that’s something we would love to see integrated in many other youth sports.
Practices & Games
Practices start at around 7:40/8pm and go for about 2 hours. Not ideal for the youngest but manageable once a week.
League games are played every week and subs are encouraged. Leagues usually include 9 matches with each person throwing 16 rocks while playoff matches consist of 8 ends.
Once you’ve caught the curling bug, you’ll probably end up going to a Bonspiel, which is basically a tournament. Your team can sign up for as many as you like, usually at most once a month. At a Bonspiel, teams usually play three times a day and the cost is about $100 per person ($400 per team). Naturally, there is always the cost of travel, hotel and meals. Anticipate anywhere from an additional $300 to skies the limit if you’re into luxury accommodations. Most Bonspiels are age 21 and up, and there are Junior Bonspiels for younger kids. That means that unfortunately you’ll have to find your own team of adults or kids in order to compete.
We’re heading over to the Long Island Curling Club’s fundraiser on February 10th to throw some stones and benefit Island Harvest and the Book Fairies (PSA Island Harvest provides food and services for people who are hungry, and a voice for people who are in need and The Book Fairies collects reading materials for people in need throughout metropolitan New York).
Wanna go too? All you need to do to throw a stone is bring 6 cans of food or 2 kids’ or teens’ books in new or like-new condition, or donate $10. Reminder cans can’t be expired and must be healthy. Check the Island Harvest website for guidelines.
LONG ISLAND CURLING CLUB UPCOMING EVENTS
Friday, February 10: THROW A STONE FOR CHARITY
Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4: OPEN HOUSE $20
Saturday, April 7 & 14, 7:40pm – 10:10pm: LEARN TO CURL $50 SOLD OUT
Saturday, April 28: LEAGUE PLAY BEGINS
Want to learn more about curling? Check out this post with everything you need to know about the sport.
Oh, and two more things:
1st – be sure to check back here on Saturday for our review of the curling experience…or at least what we thought of throwing a stone! Our
11 year old assistant will be taking to the ice to see if she can do it and we’ll be reporting back.
2nd – don’t forget to tune in to the Olympics coverage of curling competitions. If you too go to the fundraiser then you can be the know-it-all in your circle!
PS Have to give a huge THANK YOU to Long Island Curling and Long Island Curling parents and kids Colin, Ilya, Zach and Tom. All of them patiently answered the questions that parents want to know and gave a great picture of what it’s like to curl on Long Island. We can’t wait to meet you on the 10th!