Palmetto Curling Club – Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Curling?
Curling is an ancient Scottish team sport played on ice where each member of a four-person team “shoots” 42 pound granite stones across the ice toward a target. The team’s objective is to position as many of its stones closer to the target than its opponent’s nearest stone during each end (an end is like an inning in baseball) to earn points. The winner is the team that has the most points at the completion of the game which is normally 8-10 ends. Curling is a sport of honor, tradition, and integrity that requires both physical dexterity and complex, strategic decision-making. Curling has been a Winter Olympic sport since 1998.
- Why Curling in the Upstate?
The Upstate of South Carolina is a dynamic community that has attracted residents from all over the world for the quality of life the area has to offer. With increasing cultural opportunities and an innovative, knowledge-based economy, the Upstate is truly a distinctive community that will continue to prosper and grow. Curling very much fits within the vision that is making the Upstate such a unique place. A unique sport itself, it can be played by people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures; yet the traditions of the sport promote camaraderie, sportsmanship, and “friendship-building.” With the rise in popularity of Curling in the United States after the Winter Olympics, the interest level for Curling in the Upstate is at an all-time high. The opportunity exists to make Greenville and the Upstate community the “Curling Capital of the South” and show others how this “thinking person’s sport” is part of the distinctive culture that is Greenville. With broad-based community support, this initiative can grow, one day facilitating a state-of-the-art curling facility in the Upstate that engages the entire region and be a model for those in the curling community internationally.
- What is the Palmetto Curling Club?
The Palmetto Curling Club is a South Carolina non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization established in 2010 by a few Upstate enthusiasts who envision the distinctive cultural and innovation contribution curling can make to Greenville and the Upstate. In addition, the Palmetto Curling Club is a member of the Grand National Curling Club (“GNCC”), the regional organization overseeing curling on the East coast, and, through the GNCC, members of the Palmetto Curling Club will be members of the United States Curling Association.
- What types of Leagues or playing opportunities are available?
The Club offers two seasons of curling: Fall and Spring. Before and after these season we will offer both “learn to curl” and other instructional events.
- I see that currently a full membership is $125? Why do I pay extra to curl in the league?
The club must pay for equipment and other operating costs by passing on a club membership fee to you. In addition, the Greenville Recreation Pavilion charges the club for ice time on an hour to hour basis. So, in order to actually Curl, additional fees must be paid to the Rec. The cost to us for ice time has jumped from $200.00 per hour to just over $350.00 per hour since the club started, our goal is to just break even in charging for each session.
- How do I join the club?
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Leagues page to sign up for the current league.
- What materials and other things will I need to buy?
The club will supply all on ice supplies. The club will also maintain a selection of brooms for member use during events. Historically, however, curlers tend to buy their own broom based on personal preferences after a period of time. This typically leaves the curling shoe / slider as the main purchase you will need to consider. Temporary or strap on sliders can be used like you see at our on ice events. Many times the club will receive offers for discounts from curling suppliers and can pass along these promotions to you.
- I paid my $125 membership fee. How long does that last?
Our membership year runs from June – May. Your paid membership fee gives you access to all club events through the end of May
- I want to join, but I want my friends to come Curl with me. How do they try it if they are not a member?
Palmetto Curling Club holds open houses periodically throughout the year. These open houses are free to the public. If your friends like it, they can join as a Full Member.
- Are there family memberships?
Families are very welcome at the Palmetto Curling Club and we envision families being the lifeblood for the future. At this time, given ice-time constraints, we do not have the ability to offer a Family Membership. All players wishing to play in League Play will need to be a Full Season Member.
- Are there age restrictions for Curling or being a member?
One of the great things about curling is that it can be enjoyed by those of all age groups, male or female. The club is in the process of looking at a junior program that will target youth, as that will be our future. The junior program uses half sized rocks that are more easily manipulated by youth. However, as the club is just starting out, these rocks are not yet available. As such, this requires the physical ability to handle 42 lb stones for a successful outcome. Generally speaking, that is around age 12-13. Stay tuned for more information about our junior program.
Do you have any safety suggestions while on the ice?
- Try to keep your center of gravity slightly forward like you would in skiing or skating.
- Long, slow strides are better than short fast ones when sweeping.
- Try to keep on the balls of your feet, not on the heel. Putting the edge of the heel of your foot down can cause it to go out from under you and make you fall backwards… potentially whacking your head.
- Yes, it’s true: curling shoes are the best. However, they are not cheap and are perhaps not worth it when only playing once a week (although a pair of good ones only worn once a week will last a decade or more).
- So what should you wear? Flat, grippy soles like Keds are better than knobby soles like hiking boots and most running shoes have. The more surface area your shoe has gripping the ice the better. This is why race cars use fairly smooth treaded tires.
- Another thing to consider is getting a pair of grippers like the ones described as “Regular Slip-on Gripper” on this site: www.dakotacurlingsupplies.com/sliders.htm. This will give you a very good textured rubber surface on the ice. Just make sure they fit your shoes well.
- Pebbled ice and flat-bottomed shoes make for good walking, but always remember that it is ice and be careful.