FAQs about the PCC and curling
There’s curling in Pittsburgh?
Yep – since 2002. We’re curling most Saturday nights on leased ice at RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island, from October thru mid March.
Is it a league?
Yes. Because we have limited ice time we’re running 2 leagues for the 2013-2014 season. The Can-Am League gets ice at 9:00P Sat night and the Vampire League plays immediately afterwards. The Can Am League is split into A and B divisions. These divisions play on alternating weeks. Vampire League is one group only and plays weekly. At the end of the season, everybody makes the playoffs. Can Am teams play single elimination matches until it comes down to A finalist vs B finalist for overall League Champion.
How many people are on a team?
Four people typically make up a team: the Lead, Second, Vice Skip and Skip. But this isn’t super strict. Teams can easily play with 3 if someone can’t make it.
Is it men and women? What about wheelchair curlers?
It’s EVERYBODY – we all curl together. So that means, men, women, families, wheelchair curlers, stick curlers and slide curlers.
Oh – so my kids can play too?
Your kids are welcome to play! But because it takes a certain amount of strength to slide the 42 pound granite stones down the ice, we usually recommend kids be about 9 years and up. We definitely want everyone to have fun.
How long are the games?
Can Am League games are limited to 8 ends or 2 hours, whichever comes first. Typically, a team with modest experience can play a full 8 ends in the allotted time. The Vampire League runs on a less rigid format with ice cleanup at about 1:30A. There is generally enough time to play 5 – 6 ends in Vampire.
Do I need experience?
Absolutely not. About half of our club membership started curling with no formal training. Generally, if you’ve never curled before we’ll put you on a team with more experienced players to help you more quickly learn proper delivery, rules and sweeping.
Can I come with my own team?
You can! If you’re new curlers we’ll do our best to have someone “shadow” you for a few weeks to help everyone get the hang of things.
Do I have to buy gear?
Nope. All new members receive a slider as part of their membership. Club brooms and of course the curling stones are all provided. We will hopefully have a pro on site once during the season if you are interested in buying your own broom, shoes or other items. And of course we’ll try to sell you stuff – tshirts, hats, etc. Hey – we have to make money to help keep membership fees low. We also sponsor a number of fundraisers throughout the year. Every little bit helps! (And if you happen to have a lot – we’d really like that too.)
What about tournaments?
Lots of our club members travel to tournaments hosted by other curling clubs. We’ve done everything from going down in flames to winning the whole enchilada! The PCC has either won or been in the finals every year in the GNCC’s arena club championships since it’s inception, and this year we participated in the inaugural Arena Curling Nationals with both men’s and women’s teams. We’ve curled in the US, Canada and Europe, beaten Olympians (seriously!!) and participated in regular friendlies with the Rochester and Cleveland curling clubs. And because of the whole occasional going down in flames thing, we’ve also gone to training camps in the US and Canada and have all been improving steadily!
What other stuff do you do?
Our club hosts TropiCurl – the largest Open tournament in the US. In 2014 it will be held over the July 4th weekend at RMUISC and will accommodate 48 teams. It’s an amazing competition and we fill every year months before the event. Also, as mentioned above we do an annual bus trip up to the Rochester Curling club for a Friendly tournament. Rochester has generously donated their ice for the last 7 years to help Pittsburgh introduce dedicated curling ice to it’s new members. In total honesty, we haven’t won too many of these friendlies, BUT . . . JUST YOU WAIT . . . It’s gonna happen again soon!!! Then there’s the Steelers vs Browns event at the Cleveland Curling Club. Again – our results have not been stellar (but to quote one of our club members: ”We were jobbed!”) In all cases, everyone’s so much fun to curl with we KEEP GOING BACK.
What’s this about building your own dedicated ice facility?
Plans are in the final stages of approval to build a facility on Myoma Road in Adams Township for the 2014 -2015 season. It will be a 4 sheet club with a warm room – plenty of room for expanded leagues and several tournaments per season.
So – is curling actually fun to do?
Oh yeah. There’s a LOT of laughing, definitely some muttering and occasional grunting going on. People curl for a lot of reasons: the social aspect, the competitive aspect and definitely to stay active in the winter months. It’s an addictive sport that can be played on many levels – but no matter what level you’re playing on – new or experienced, serious or casual – it’s always fun – especially when a great shot is made. It’s also a sport that can be played wearing non-traditional athletic wear – for example – “the bathing suit competition”, or perhaps a Flintstone car – if you can curl in it – do it! One caveat: You’ll be bent over a LOT – your shirts should be LONG in the back – REALLY really long.
It seems like YOU guys are fun too!
Totally. We’re as much fun as you can have while wearing a flouncy dress made from surgical instrument drapes and yelling “Hurry Hard!!”.
Go to our website for all sorts of info: Click here – right here – anywhere here – Pittsburgh Curling Club Website
Some of it might actually be helpful!