06 Feb

Curl Berkshires Guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics

Olympic curling begins in a less than a week. With this year’s games in Asia, we are all looking forward to a couple of weeks of staying up late and/or breakfast and curling. To help everyone out, we put together a quick guide on when to watch USA curling and how 2018 looks for the US (make sure to check out our guide to curling).  If you want to try curling, there are still spots available at our Olympic Open House on February 17th for both the 6:30 pm session and the 7:30 pm session.

Since Pete Fenson and the US men’s bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, things have not gone well for USA curling at the Olympics. In 2010, both the men’s team and the women’s team finished last during the preliminary round. In 2014, the United States won only three of their eighteen combined games with the men finishing ninth and the women tenth after the round-robin tournament. The United States should be moving up in 2018, but how much better and do any US teams stand a chance to medal?

The 2018 Winter Olympics will begin with the new Olympic event of mixed doubles curling (for a guide to Mixed Doubles Curling, see the World Curling Federation guide here). Matt Hamilton and Rebecca Hamilton will represent the United States. This brother-sister duo went 9-2 during last year’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, losing their two matches (to Russia and the Czech Republic) by a combined 3 points. Mixed doubles curling is a relatively new sport and looks to have the most parity of any of the curling competitions. Hamilton-Hamilton will face Olympic athletes from Russia, Switzerland, and Canada (all expected to finish near the top of the competition) at the start the round-robin, a tough test for any team, but if they can navigate through that, they could end up advancing to the playoffs and have a chance at a medal.

Nina Roth (skip), Tabitha Peterson (vice), Aileen Gerving (second), Rebecca Hamilton (lead), and Cory Christensen (alternate) represent the United States in the women’s curling competition. Last year, steals by Scotland (Muirhead) in the 10th and 11th ends of a round-robin match cost the Americans a spot in the playoffs and a top four finish at the World Championships. Three of the four teams who finished ahead of the Americans will be in South Korea. Similar to mixed-doubles, scheduling has not been kind to the Americans as the United States faces three tough opponents right out of the gate. Fujisawa (Japan) defeated Roth twice at the Continental Cup last month while Muirhead (Great Britain) and Tirinzoni (Switzerland) are games where Roth needs positive results to have a playoff chance.

John Shuster skips the US men for the third consecutive Winter Olympics. Shuster is joined by Tyler George (vice), Matt Hamilton (second), John Landsteiner (lead), and Joe Polo (alternate). The American men should be able to put the demons of 2010 and 2014 behind them. In 2017, Shuster’s team finished fourth at the World Championships after a third place finish in 2016. Last month, at the Continental Cup of Curling, Shuster led his team to an impressive 3-0-1 record with victories over Edin (Sweden), Ulsrud (Norway), and De Cruz (Switzerland)–all expected to finish near the top of the standings in Pyeongchang. A week later, at the Meridian Canadian Open, Shuster defeated Edin again, as well as Kim (Korea). After two strong weeks of curling (and a 5-0-1 record against other Olympic teams), the American men should have a lot of confidence going into the Olympics. It would not be a surprise if Shuster guided his team into the playoffs.

The American curling teams heading to South Korea have won some big games in the past year and look poised to improve on their 2006 result. However, all three US teams head to Pyeongchang in a crowded group of playoff contenders. If the US teams are entering their last round-robin games with a chance to advance to the playoffs, or a shot at a tiebreaker, this will be a successful Olympics. Things are looking up for US curling this year, and the future looks very promising.

When Does the US Play?

Times EST, all games live on NBCSports app, television schedule in italics.

Mixed Doubles
February 7 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Olympic Athletes from Russia – Feb. 8, 12:00 am NBCSN
February 8 – 6:05 am – USA vs Canada – Live NBCSN
February 8 – 6:35 pm – USA vs Switzerland – Feb. 8, 8:00 pm NBCSN
February 8 – 11:35 pm – USA vs Korea – Live NBCSN
February 9 – 7:05 pm – USA vs China – Feb. 10, 3:05 am NBCSN
February 10 – 6:05 am- USA vs Norway – Feb. 10, 3:00 pm NBCSN
February 10 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Finland – Feb. 10, 9:45 pm NBCSN
February 11-12 – Tiebreaker/Semifinals
February 12 – 7:05 pm – Bronze Medal Game – Feb. 13, 12:05 am & 2:30 pm NBCSN
February 13 – 6:05 am – Gold Medal Game – Feb. 13, 5:00 pm CNBC

Men’s Curling
February 13 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Korea – Feb. 14, 12:30 am NBCSN
February 15 – 12:05 am – USA vs Italy – Feb. 15, 2:00 pm NBCSN
February 15 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Sweden – Feb. 15, 11:00 pm NBCSN
February 16 – 6:05 am – USA vs Denmark – Feb. 16, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 17 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Japan – Feb. 18, 12:30 am NBCSN
February 18 – 6:05 am – USA vs Norway – Feb. 18, 4:00 pm CNBC
February 19 – 12:05 am – USA vs Canada – Feb. 19, 4:30 am & 12:30 pm NBCSN
February 20 – 6:05 am – USA vs Switzerland – Feb. 20, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 21 – 12:05 am – USA vs Great Britain – Feb. 21, 5:00 am & 2:00 pm NBCSN
February 21-22 – Tiebreaker/Semifinals
February 23 – 1:35 am – Bronze Medal Game – Feb. 23, 9:30 am NBCSN
February 24 – 1:35 am – Gold Medal Game – Feb. 24, 3:00 am & 4:00 pm NBCSN

Women’s Curling
February 14 – 12:05 am – USA vs Japan – Feb. 14, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 14 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Great Britain – Feb. 15, 12:30 am NBCSN
February 15 – 6:05 am – USA vs Switzerland – Feb. 15, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 16 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Olympic Athletes from Russia – Feb. 17, 12:30 am NBCSN
February 17 – 6:05 am – USA vs Canada – Feb. 17, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 18 – 7:05 pm – USA vs Denmark – Feb. 19, 1:30 am NBCSN
February 19 – 6:05 am – USA vs China – Feb. 19, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 20 – 12:05 am – USA vs Korea – Feb. 20, 5:00 am NBCSN
February 21 – 6:05 am – USA vs Sweden – Feb. 21, 5:00 pm CNBC
February 21 & 23 – Tiebreaker/Semifinals
February 24 – 6:05 am – Bronze Medal Game – Feb. 24, 11:00 am NBCSN
February 24 – 7:05 pm – Gold Medal Game – Live NBCSN

Current Rankings

Mixed Doubles (World Curling Tour Rankings)
1. Anastasia Bryzgalova/Alexander Krushelnitskiy (Russia)
2. Kristin Skaslien/Magnus Nedregotten (Norway)
3. Jenny Perret/Martin Rios (Switzerland)
4. Rui Wang/Dexin Ba (China)
7. Hye-ji Jang/Ki-jeong Lee (Korea)
10. Rebecca Hamilton/Matt Hamilton (United States)
25. Oona Kauste/Tomi Rantamaki (Finland)
NR. Kaitlyn Lawes/John Morris (Canada) * Morris ranked 20 with partner Rachel Homan, but Homan was replaced by Kaitlyn Lawes for Canadian qualifiers

Men’s Curling  (World Curling Tour Rankings)
1. Niklas Edin (Sweden)
3. Kevin Koe (Canada)
7. Peter De Cruz (Switzerland)
9. Kyle Smith (Great Britain)
10. Thomas Ulsrud (Norway)
21. John Shuster (United States)
23. Chang-Min Kim (Korea)
29. Yosuke Morozumi (Japan)
30. Rasmus Stjerne (Denmark)
69. Joel Retornaz (Italy)

Women’s Curling (World Curling Tour Rankings)
2. Rachel Homan (Canada)
3. Anna Hasselborg (Sweden)
4. Silvana Tirinzoni (Switzerland)
5. Eve Muirhead (Great Britain)
13. Bingyu Wang (China)
14. Nina Roth (United States)
21. Eun-jung Kim (Korea)
24. Satsuki Fujisawa (Japan)
27. Victoria Moiseeva (Russia)
98. Madeleine Dupont (Denmark)

10 Nov

After Great Open House, Curl Berkshires Heads to Schenectady this Saturday

Curling season has started!  After two events at the Boys and Girls Club in Pittsfield, the Curling Club of the Berkshires hits the road, heading to New York for events in Schenectady and Albany.

This Saturday from 2-5 pm, the club will be curling at the Schenectady Curling Club for both club members and non-members. Members and other experienced curlers will have a chance to play while new curlers can participate in a learn to curl before a short game.  This will be a great opportunity for people to curl at a dedicated curling facility. The cost for this event is $40 for Curl Berkshire members and $50 for non-members.  For more information, or to sign up for the event, please visit the November 11th Curling at Schenectady event page.

On December 9th, the club will hold another event at the Albany Curling from 6-9 pm.  This is a members-only event to curl at another dedicated curling facility.  We have filled all spots for this event, but if you are interested in the event, please contact us at info@curlberkshires.org to be place on a waiting list.  We are also considering a second session if enough interest exists.

We are also working on finalizing more curling opportunities at the Boys and Girls Club in Pittsfield.   We had a lot of fun at our inaugural curling night and open house and wanted to share some photos from the open house.





Please let us know if you are interested in joining the club or looking for an opportunity to curl in the Berkshires.

03 Nov

Curling Open House, details for Saturday

We’re looking forward to our first Open House at the Boys & Girls Club. Please note the important details listed below.

We have four (yes, four!) sheets of ice—plenty of space for everyone. We will have our club members there to help you learn the basics and to play a game. We’re pretty psyched; we just need you. If you want to get a head start, check out the short videos below: Top 10 curling shots, a fun flick on how the game is played, and a nice demonstration of the basic techniques.

See you there!

Event Information

Saturday, Nov. 4, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Boys & Girls Club, 16 Melville St (a one-way, from North St.)

Parking lot .. directly across the street. Entrance .. use left doors at main entrance, walk up stairs to third floor.

Registration .. please stop at the table to sign in and also sign a waiver. Fee .. $20 per person; please bring cash or check. You can also join as a full-time member if you like. Facilities .. there is a warm room to hang out in, and bathrooms, but no locker rooms. Shoes .. please carry in clean, rubber-soled shoes for the ice. Any dirt will interfere with the stones. Do bring rubber soles; slick or hard-black bottoms will be slippery.

Clothing .. it’s pretty cool on the ice, so dress in layers that still allow you to throw and sweep stones!

Refreshments .. we will have bottled water and snacks available for $1.

T-shirts .. we’ll have CurlBerkshires t-shirts on sale. 

 

21 Oct

One Week Away

Just a few months ago, curling in the Berkshires seemed like an opportunity still years down the road. A lot has happened since then.  Ice time became available. Numerous people–both club members and fellow curlers–have pitched in and helped get this project off the ground. There have been a few unexpected bumps in the road, but the pieces have come together. On October 28, the Curling Club of the Berkshires will start curling in Pittsfield.

For people in the Berkshires interested in curling, please look at our club calendar for curling opportunities, join our mailing list, or contact us.  Our open house will be November 4th.  We will also have a number of other opportunities to curl throughout the year.

02 Oct

October 2017 Update

Recently, the Curling Club of the Berkshires attended the Lenox Apple Squeeze. It was great to see so many folks and to talk about our passion for curling. Being able to spread the word about our new organization and activities was tremendous.

This coming year there will be lots of opportunities to curl with our club, regardless of experience level. We will send out emails about specific events as they draw closer, with instructions on how to sign up, and how to become an official member of the club. If you are not on our emailing list, signing up for this is a great way to stay informed about club activities and events.

Our first open house is coming up soon, Nov. 4 at the Boys & Girls Club in Pittsfield—a chance to try curling and see what it’s like. If you are interested, please register. Space is limited at events so that everyone who attends can have plenty of time to learn to curl and participate in a game.

Just to give a quick update on our club, things are moving fast as final preparations begin for curling in Pittsfield. Last week, reference points were installed at the Boys and Girls Club to assist with curling ice preparation. This weekend, we picked up our curling stones. Over the next few weeks, we will be pulling together everything else we need for the November open house.  Please let us know if you are interested in assisting us in October as we pull everything together.

We are excited for another great year of curling.  Good curling!

28 Sep

Throwback Thursday – Pittsfield Curling Club (1897-1903?)

As the Curling Club of the Berkshires prepares for our first Berkshire County curling event, we wanted to find out about earlier Berkshire curlers.

At the Lenox Apple Squeeze, one visitor to our table told us about the Pittsfield Curling Club and shared a picture of the club.

Pittsfield Curling Club in the early 1900s

We found a little information about the club.  The Pittsfield Curling Club was organized on August 3, 1897, and received their charter twenty days later.  The club likely built their curling rink shortly after this in the Morningside area of Pittsfield.  The rink lasted only a few years before General Electric purchased the building around 1903.

If you have any Berkshire curling stories, please share them with us.

28 Sep

Curling in the Berkshires

In recent years, interest in curling has grown across New England. With this increased interest, a number of ice rinks have worked with curling clubs to offer arena curling programs. Instead of constructing a dedicated curling facility, arena curling clubs rent ice from rinks and curl on the rink’s ice. In that past eight years, arena clubs have formed in all five New England states. The arena curling model makes a lot of sense for the Curling Club of the Berkshires. We only needed to find the right ice rink, and we believe that we have done this.

This fall, the Curling Club of the Berkshires will begin curling at the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires in Pittsfield. Being able to curl in Pittsfield is an important step for our club and our primary goal of helping people in the Berkshire to learn more about the sport of curling and have an opportunity to curl.

Our first curling open house at the Boys and Girls Club is scheduled for November 4th. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at info@curlberkshires.org .

In the coming weeks, we will provide information about additional opportunities to curl with Curl Berkshires in Pittsfield, as well as at some neighboring clubs. Additionally, if you are interested in curling, we would also like to discuss what your needs might be so that we can see what opportunities might be possible at the Boys and Girls Club.

09 Sep

Curling is Just Around the Corner

The Curling Club of the Berkshires is getting ready for another season of curling.  We already have confirmed opportunities to curl again at the Albany Curling Club and the Schenectady Curling Club.  Additionally, this year we will begin curling in Berkshire County at the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires in Pittsfield.  There will be plenty of opportunities to curl during the 2017/2018 season.

Mark your calendars, our Berkshire County Curling Open House will be November 4!

Additionally, we will have a tent at the 2017 Lenox Apple Squeeze.  Be sure to visit us at the Apple Squeeze on September 23-24, 10am-5pm.

 

13 Oct

Founding of Curling Club of the Berkshires

Dear Fellow Curlers,

Hope you had a great summer! number of us have been thinking about the upcoming curling season, as well as some long-term goals. Many people like yourself have told us how much they like curling, so we have decided to start a curling club, and we’re looking for your support. That’s right…we intend to turn our talk into action.

After speaking with experts who have started other clubs, we have filed the documents to begin as a “paper club” (one without permanent ice). And we intend to work toward developing an actual ice facility. Our name? The “Curling Club of the Berkshires” , Informally known as CurlBerkshires.

To start a club, we had to join the U.S. Curling Association (a national organization) and the Grand National Curling Club (a Northeast administration). We also needed a board of directors, who are working on our projects and who funded the association fees. Our initial seven-member board is:

Tim Egan – President 

Gerrit Blauvelt – VP 

Rick Nasman – Treasurer 

Gordon Prescott – Secretary 

Mike Zinchuk – Membership Director

Mark Fischetti – Public Relations

Chris Begley – Research & Development

We have submitted the required applications and bylaws. Once our charter is approved, we will revisit the officers list at a general club meeting. We will also file as a non-profit organization. 

To make this work, we’re hoping people like yourself who have gone curling, or are interested in curling, will support CurlBerkshires by joining as a member. The cost for a year will be $120 per couple, or $70 for an individual. (Family plans are also available).

For your dues, you’ll receive a CurlBerkshires shirt for each person (we have a cool logo – see above.). You’ll be a member of the U.S. Curling Association (USCA) and Grand National Curling Club (GNCC) organizations.  And you will get two week’s advanced notice to events CurlBerkshires will set up, before we open participation to the general public.  Benefits from the USCA/GNCC include instructional information and curling news.  They publish a calendar of curling events throughout the land and as a member, you can participate in these events.  The club also receives benefits on the club level including financial guidance.

We plan to sponsor several curling outings from October to March. As a member you can also enter these and any tournaments (known as bonspeils) sponsored by the USCA and GNCC at any club. And you’ll be a founding member of this fun CurlBerkshires group.  Please let us know if you’d like to join, or if you have questions. And feel free to distribute this to anyone you think might be interested. We hope you will join us in this new adventure.

Good curling!”

Sincerely,

Tim Egan

President, Curing Club of the Berkshires