Should We Change Winter League? We Need Your Input

Should We Change Winter League? We Need Your Input

We are always listening and trying to refine the Missoula Curling Club experience. If we hear a complaint, we try and address it. One of the things we heard quite a bit during winter league last year was that it dragged on for too many months and that teams would go sometimes 3 or 4 weeks without curling due to schedules, hockey tournaments or holidays.

To try and address this, the board’s league committee sat down this summer to come up with an alternative idea.

Here is what they have come up with and we want your feedback on both the current structure and this new one.

We propose that our 18 week Winter League season is broken into two separate Winter League Sessions of 9 weeks each. Each session will have up to 18 teams participate. There will still be two divisions, competitive and Recreation. Each team will still be guaranteed 8 games and pay the same amount ($420) as last year to participate.

The good news is that every team will play each and every week of their session. Week 9 will be held for a playoff week in which the top 4 teams in the standings for Recreation and Competitive will play for the Championship. The first session will start on Nov 3 and finish on Jan 26. The second session will start on Feb 2 and end on March 30.

Now the not so good news. Each team will only be guaranteed a spot in one of the sessions. Those teams that want to play in both will be on a waiting list for the second session of their choice should it not fill up. The goal is to increase league participation from 29 teams a year ago to 36 this year. We also feel that those teams not playing in the current session will be able to travel to bonspiels, be on a sub list for the teams in the current session, help on instructional league, or enjoy the time off and avoid burnout.

All sign ups will be done at once. The entry form will be the same for both leagues and is being worked on now should we move forward with this idea.

There is a lot more detail, including, our proposal on an instructional league to be done each week throughout the winter league season. However, it probably makes more sense for you all to just read the attached proposal as it is very detailed and easy to follow.

As of now, here are our dates for each session:

Session 1 – 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 1/5, 1/12, 1/26 (Playoff week)

Session 2 – 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, 3/30 (Playoff week)

More details can be found in this full report from the league committee.

I’ve Learned to Curl. Now What Do I Do?

I’ve Learned to Curl. Now What Do I Do?

IMG_0803We’ve had scores of folks come out this year to learn to curl and it looked like a lot of you were having fun. So, if you were one of those have a blast on the ice and want to keep playing but aren’t sure what to do next, we wanted to give you a rundown of your options.

Recreational League

The most formal step is to put together a Rec League team. This team — which can be from 4 to a lot more than 4 (we have one team of 11) — will play 8 games over the winter league and will play in our rec league playoffs. These games are either from 9-10:30 pm or occasionally 10:30-midnight on Saturday nights. We will put together the schedule once we have a total number of teams. Generally teams play every other weekend, although if you know you have a conflict, we can probably work around it.

Fees for the rec league include $420 for the full team (no matter the number of players). This primarily pays our ice rental fees and leaves us a little room for replacing broken equipment. If you can land a sponsor, the fee can be tax deductible. Also, any player must be a club member for insurance purposes (although there is a discount if you are planning on playing in fewer games).

Instructional/Intro League

This year we are offering a special intro league for folks who want more, but are unsure if there are ready to make the leap to a formal league. This league will play for three times over six weeks and you do not need to have a formal team. You can sign up as an individual and then if you know who you want to play with, you can let us know in the registration. The fee here is $70 per person. This includes a social membership in the club and covers your ice time and insurance.

The Intro league will also provide coaches if you want to help learn the game and is a great way to get involved. These games will be played during our normal league play (9 p.m.-midnight) and so you will also get a chance to meet other curlers.

Open Curling

For those who cannot make it to Saturday night games, we have worked with Glacier Ice Rink to help them offer pick-up curling on Friday mornings. Starting Nov. 4, open curling runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the outdoor rink. Fees are $10 a person and can be paid at the skate rental desk. Be sure to check out their schedule to make sure the open curling is happening.

Thanks again for coming out and we hope to see you curling this winter.