Inaugural Kal-Haven Curling Cup

Kal-Haven Curling Cup

A Friendly Bonspiel in Two Parts

Please grab some friends, and join us for the inaugural Kal-Haven Curling Cup on February 19 in South Haven, and on April 13 in Kalamazoo. The idea behind it is pure fun, with the hopes that it generates enthusiasm for the sport in each city, and perhaps gives people in each city a feel for the fun that might be had at a bonspiel. South Haven has an outdoor skating rink, where they have installed some curling sheets. They’ve shortened the regulation curling sheets to fit on their rink, but it’s certainly helping to expand the sport in southwest Michigan.

We’re looking for 4 teams from each city for each event. Here’s the details:
South Haven – Sunday, February 19
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
$5 per player / $20 per team
Kalamazoo – Friday, April 13
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$25 per player / $80 per team

Yes, you read that correctly. $5 for the curling in South Haven. It’s their rink. They get to decide the prices. Don’t argue with them. There are still more details to come, but the likely scenario is the chance to play one game in South Haven (they only have stones for two sheets), and play two 5-end matches in Kalamazoo.

If you’re interested, download the registration form. We need people to sign up ASAP for the South Haven portion… and spaces will likely fill up quickly for the Kalamazoo portion. If you have questions, contact Jason Hall: jason@curlthezoo.org

Super Curling Commercial!

The Super Bowl™ exposes millions of people to the sport of American football each year, inspiring many people to play this brutal game. It provides an opportunity for people who have never heard of this quirky sport to learn a little more about it. I know, I don’t understand it either. The rules are so weird, and there’s this whole new language to learn. Quarterback? Free safety? Tebowing? What do these things mean?

You can imagine how I felt when a curling commercial was aired; it was a refreshing break from the madness that is football. This particular commercial was trying to coerce viewers into purchasing some type of alcoholic beverage. I didn’t pay much attention to that… because I was starstruck. There, in high definition, was Sean “Puffy” Combs, delivering what was surely the deciding stone in a championship match. My “Puff Daddy” was playing for Team USA, and it was up to him to finish off the beatdown of Team Canada with a draw to the button.

Now, if you’re at all familiar with Mr. Combs, you may recollect that he changes vocations and nicknames like nobody’s business. One minute he’s a hip hop star, the next he’s selling clothes and perfume. One minute he’s “Puffy,” and then next he’s “P-Diddy.” Well, we can now add one more facet to the gem that is Sean Combs — This man can curl in a way that NO ONE else in the history of the game has ever been able to curl. Obviously, somewhere along the way, “Curl Daddy” realized that in order for his shot to get to the button, the stone would need to change course dramatically. Sweeping alone would not get this job done. Watch this commercial closely, and you’ll notice that Sean “Puffy Curly Daddy” Combs begins his delivery with an in-turn, but the shot finishes with an out-turn. We seem to hear him yell “MOVE!” This command tells his sweepers (or the stone itself!) to change turns half way down the ice! Amazing! This chameleon of a man has done it again! From rapper to producer, from in-turn thrower to out-turn thrower!

Also worth noting in this commercial is that, apparently, simultaneously on the adjacent sheet, Team Diddy (DDY) is facing team China (CHN), and he’s winning there, too!

I can’t wait to see what he does next, but I certainly don’t look forward to facing this skip on the ice! He’s devastating!

New Newsletter


The Winter 2012 edition of our newsletter, The Extra End, is available for download now. You won’t find it on newsstands, so you’d better just click the picture.

2012 Continental Cup

Continental Cup 2012

Over the weekend, be sure to check out some of the rare opportunities for us Stateside folks to view some live curling. The Continental Cup is underway — it’s kind of like the Davis Cup in golf — in Langley, British Columbia, and the World Curling Federation is helping to bring TSN’s coverage of the event to an audience outside of Canada. Teams from North America are squaring off against teams comprised of players from the rest of the world.

One event that you may want to keep an eye on is the Mixed Doubles curling. In this event teams of two square off against one another in an event that is quite interesting — once you get past the oddities. Two stones are placed in play prior to the start of each end. The teams then throw 5 stones, with one player throwing the first and last stone of an end, and the other player throwing stones 2, 3 and 4. Each player then sweeps their own stones… it’s something to behold.

The World team is making some news off the ice as well. They have banned their players from indulging in alcohol until the last stone of the cup has been thrown. One reporter from Winnipeg has let it be known that the event in the past has been the “most beer-soaked and philandering curling event” that he’s covered. The Godfather of Kalamazoo curling, and host of The Curling Show, Dean Gemmell, Tweeted about the controversy: “I’m not saying an in-comp booze ban is wrong. But a weird event for it. And I don’t like the inference that curlers always overdo it.” He goes on: “I mean, hockey players?Basketball players? Or skiers? I’m pretty sure those men and women leave a mark on some scenic Alpine villages.”

What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Learn to Curl & Winter League

Join us from 7 to 9 p.m. on January 20th for on-ice instruction in the wonderful sport of curling. All you need is $10 per person, clean athletic shoes, warm & comfortable clothing (avoid jeans), and the willingness to try something new! It won’t hurt you to bring a friend to share the experience with! Show up by 6:30 for some informal, off-ice instruction and background information. That extra time will help to get you familiar with some of the concepts and terminology BEFORE you get on the ice. If the demand is high enough, the time may be split into two one hour sessions.

If you know for sure that you’d like to join a league, NOW is the time. Our Friday night Winter league will get underway on January 27, but the deadline for signing up is January 13. There is still time for newcomers to SIGN UP this week, get some instruction next week, and enjoy 8 weeks of league play into March. To sign up, click here.

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