The Missoula Curling Club, with its more than 150 members, has joined the Dakota Territories Curling Association.
The move means that the club will now work more closely with clubs in North and South Dakota and any regional playoffs or official USA Curling events will be with those groups.
According to club president Barry Bollenbacher, the move is to help continue the rapid growth of the sport in Missoula and throughout Montana.
Bollenbacher said the Dakotas have many clubs that support dedicated curling facilities with fairly small or spread out populations.
The Missoula club continues to work to build a curling facility in partnership with existing ice facilities and local government groups. The hope is the Dakota experience will help inform the Montana discussions.
“We have a lot in common with the Dakotas,” Bollenbacher said, “and this move will give us more opportunity to learn from them and grow the sport in both places.”
It’s possible as the club expands that the move to the Dakotas may also lead to reduced club fees for members.
The club also plans to expand their connections with Canadian clubs in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The move also means Missoula will no longer be a member in MoPac, the Mountain Pacific Curling Association. MoPac includes major clubs in Phoenix, Portland and Los Angeles.