The Potomac Curling Club of the National Capital Curling Center provides curling instruction and competition for youth from elementary school age, through middle school and high school, up to age 21 (must be under 21 by June 30, 2014 per USCA Junior guidelines). The Youth Program is divided into two separate age-group sessions that meet most Sunday afternoons from late October through late March.
Our Middle Rocker Program offers curling for youngsters who are more comfortable with our lighter-weight, half-size “middle rocks”, and is primarily designed for youth of elementary school age (typically through the end of 5th grade). The weekly Middle Rocker curling sessions start with review and instruction of basic curling skills. The curlers run through some fun drills that introduce delivery, throwing stones, and sweeping. After a snack break, they return to the ice for some fun games that teach curling skills and strategies at the appropriate level.
Our Junior Program is primarily designed for youth in middle school and high school, but does include some college-age curlers (must be under 21 by June 30, 2014). Several of our older Juniors have competed regionally and nationally, and provide both inspiration and role models for our younger curlers. Only full-size rocks are used in this program. The weekly Junior curling session starts with warm ups, practice of delivery, basic skills and running of drills. Each week, the curlers work on different aspects of their game or on USCA Junior Merit Program objectives. After a snack break, the group is divided into teams of varying skill level for some coached game play. The Club hosts occasional non-Junior bonspiels throughout the season. Junior curlers are encouraged to attend some of these events, both to watch curling and to actively participate in the running of the club as volunteers. Other curling opportunities for Juniors include League Play (especially Juniors Team in Pizza League), participation in the annual Potomac Junior Bonspiel and in “away bonspiels” at other curling clubs, and individualized coaching for dedicated competitive Juniors who wish to take their curling to the regional and national competitive level.
Promotion from the Middle Rocker program to the Junior program typically happens during the season a curler begins middle school.Promotion is made on an individual basis, requires express approval of the on-ice program coordinator, and takes many important factors into consideration, such as a curler’s physical size, experience, ability, maturity, and family logistics.
Registration and Membership
Please bring a signed Youth Liability Release form to your first session. It must be signed by a Parent or Guardian if you are under 18, and is required before you can step onto the ice. These forms are available on the Potomac Curling Club website (http://curldc.org) under “Our Club”. If you decide to join as a Junior Curler, please fill out a Membership form (also available online) and pay the applicable fee. The membership fee for Middle Rockers/Junior Program Only for the full season (October-March) is $65.00 per curler.
Apparel and Equipment
Suggested clothing for curling includes clean and dry rubber-soled shoes (such as sneakers), layers of warm, flexible clothing (such as light jackets and sweaters, warm-up pants or sweat pants – jeans are NOT recommended), and thin, warm gloves. Youth Curlers can use club-provided sliders (which fit over shoes) and club brooms, so there is no need to purchase any special equipment at the outset. Personal sliders, shoes, brooms, timers and other equipment may be purchased, if desired, in a curler’s junior years, after experience is gained and a child’s growth has somewhat stabilized.
The Potomac Curling Club is a volunteer organization, and the Youth Program is no exception. Our coordinators are all volunteers, as are our instructors and coaches. We will be looking for extra hands to take on tasks throughout the curling season and for specific events like the Potomac Junior Bonspiel, Olympics Open House and other events. Please volunteer your time and expertise where needed. If you are a parent curler, help with on-ice instruction would be greatly appreciated. Each week of the season, a different family in each program covers “Snack Rotation”. Finally, ice-making and work parties are the foundation of our club; without a building and ice there would be no curling! Please step up to volunteer whenever asked.
Download the latest version of the Youth Curling Program Information Sheet.