A day in the life of a Southern California Curler

There is a fair amount of work to change a Hockey arena (the Granite Curling Club in Seattle may have the closest "dedicated" ice) into a Curling venue, so if you get an early draw, the league asks for everyone to show a half hour early and help.

Westminster Ice has a single ice rink.  Middle of the side across from the bleachers there is a big gate and a garage for the Zamboni.

The hockey goals are removed, and the Zamboni is driven onto the ice to smooth it out after the (just concluded) hockey match.

The stones are on the floor in the "Zamboni Garage," packed in ice to cool, and curlers step up to pick up the stones and set them on the ice.

One set goes in a "rock box" that is about 8 stones across.  They're in two rows.

A couple of people grab brooms as soon as the Zamboni has finished a lane -- they start sweeping the ice.

Others bring out a barrel with the "club" brooms, and sliders are also distributed -- for those who have yet to invest in their own brooms and shoes.

The hacks are on a sheet of metal, and they're positioned on the ice, with a little warm water to "glue" them to the surface.  The hack is held in a bucket of hot water to warm it, then set on the ice, another person stands on the hack for a few minutes.  It's wet, so that helps glue it down.

While that's being done, someone else has a backpack-type tank with hot water and a "sprinkler" and walks up and down each lane to put the pebbled surface on the ice.  Curling Stones don't slide well on smooth ice, they stick.

The rock box I mentioned earlier has two handles, just like a really big, really heavy broom, and the rack is slid over the freshly pebbled surface to knock it down a little.

In the meantime, the rest of the stones are moved to the rinks.  A couple of stones go on top of each hack while the warm water continues to freeze, the rest are arranged behind the hack, in rows of two.

Stones are numbered, so #1 and #2 will always be thrown by the lead, #3 and #4 by the second, #5 and #6 by the vice-skip, and #7 and #8 by the skip.

The numbers are matched-pairs, so #1 and #2 behave the same when thrown.

The scoreboards are hung at one end of each lane, and everyone begins to find their lane, meet their (first night, for many of us, new) rink-mates, and prepare to play.

After each match, the winners record the scoreboard for the league standings and arrange the stones for those with a late draw.  Losers sweep.

Posted May 17, 2010, Updated July 25, 2010