The following are commonly asked questions about membership at the Oakville Curling Club and the Olympic sport of curling in general.
If you require further assistance please contact the office.
Prospective / New Members
- I have never curled before. How can I try the sport?
- Does curling require a high level of fitness?
- Where can I buy curling equipment?
- What clothes and equipment do I need?
Youth Curling Program
- What can I expect when my child joins the youth program?
- Does my child require a helmet?
Questions About OCC Leagues
- Which league should I join?
- How are teams in ladder leagues rated?
- How do I cancel and reschedule a game?
Instruction and Practice Ice
- Does the club offer clinics?
- Does the club offer lessons from a teaching pro?
- How do I book a sheet for practice?
- Does the club host Bonspiels?
- What external events does the club host?
Prospective / New Members
I have never curled before. How do I try the sport?
The club offers a comprehensive Learn to Curl program which includes single day and multi-week programs designed for all ages and abilities. Various sessions are held throughout the season and are designed to give you an introduction to both the club and the sport.
Please contact the office for more information.
Does curling require a high level of fitness?
Curling requires moderate physical exertion and is suitable for all ages. Different positions require varying degrees of exertion:
- Front end positions (lead and second) require the most sweeping through a game, as in an eight-end game, they are likely to sweep 48 shots (6 per end x 8 ends).
- Vice or third can expect to sweep 32 rocks as the position generally holds the broom for skip stones.
- Skips will sweep only when a rock is behind the t-line or to relieve tired sweepers as they approach the house.
Due to the on/off nature of sweeping, curling provides anaerobic exercise. Muscles energy systems trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently compared to aerobic exercise, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities. Fit to Curl (John Morris and Dean Gemmell) is an excellent treatise on training as it relates to the game of curling.
Where can I buy curling equipment?
The Oakville Curling Club provides a pro-shop stocked with all the equipment necessary to curl. Visit the office to access the pro-shop located near the main entry to the club.
What clothes and equipment do I need?
To get started you will need the following:
- Shoes - for many their first curling experience is with running shoes combined with an external slider or tape. Once you commit to membership, it is recommended you purchase a pair of shoes. They range in price from $50-$300. Also ensure you purchase a gripper for your sliding foot (for safety and to protect your slider.
- Pants - Any loose-fitting pair of pants will suffice for curling (jeans are not recommended).
- Broom - The club offers brooms for member use so purchasing a broom is not required.
Dress warmly; remember that the ice surface is approximately 3-4°C (40°F).
Once you gain experience, you may want to consider the following items:
- Stopwatch - to time the speed of the rocks and the speed of the slider to aid in your judgment of draw weight.
- Gloves - gloves designed for curling increase comfort as well as grip on the broom.
- Performance brush - modern brooms feature light-weight shafts and adjustable broom heads for greater sweeping efficiency.
All the curling equipment cited above is available in the club pro-shop.
Youth Curling Program
What can I expect when my child joins the youth program?
When you sign your child up for curling at the Oakville Curling Club they receive on-ice instruction and game time each Sunday. We make up new teams each week so you don’t have to worry about not attending on any given Sunday. Your child also has the opportunity to compete in fun bonspiels and/or competitive events at all levels if they choose too.
At the Oakville Curling Club we teach technical skills as well as curling etiquette, sportsmanship, respect, strategy and rules of play in a fun and social setting.
Please visit our Youth Curling page for more details.
We provide all of the necessary equipment needed to curl. All your child needs to bring is warm, loose clothing and clean indoor rubber soled shoes. Helmets are mandatory for ages 11 and under and highly recommended for all others.
Our number one concern with new curlers of any age is safety and we will spend a considerable amount of time talking about all of the safety concerns associated with curling when you first arrive at the club.
Our Youth Curling Section is thriving and we look forward to welcoming you and your child into our club to learn what a fantastic sport curling is.
Does my child require a helmet?
Helmets are mandatory for ages 11 and under while optional but highly recommended for all others.
Properly fitted and secured (as per the direction of the manufacturer) curling, skating, hockey, roller blade, skateboard, bike or other CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved helmets are all acceptable options. A wide selection of safety head gear specifically for Curling can be purchased from vendors such as Ice Halo and Goldline. Choices include visors, toques, ball caps and head bands. These items all retain additional padding that can assist with cushioning the impact of an individual’s head striking the ice surface.
Questions about OCC Leagues
What league should I join?
The club offers a variety of leagues for all ages and skill levels in the following categories:
- Mixed & Open (Competitive Ladder and Social)
- Men (Competitive Ladder and Social)
- Ladies (Competitive Ladder and Social)
- Youth (Junior, Little Rock)
Leagues are chosen upon start-of-year registration and are subject to availability. The club accommodates individual and team entries. Contact the office if you wish to join a league after scheduled play has begun.
How are teams in a ladder league rated?
Most leagues in Oakville operate on the ladder system. Leagues are divided into divisions of eight teams. Points are awarded for win/loss/tie. The higher the flight, the more points are awarded.
- For example, the Tuesday night mens league contains five divisions (A,B,C,D,E).
- A win in A earns 12 points, a loss 7 and a tie 9.5. A win in B earns 11 points, a loss 6 and a tie 8.5.
- Teams move up and down the overall league ladder over the course of three sessions prior to playoffs.
How do I cancel and reschedule a game?
If you cannot make a league game:
- Alert the skip of the other team.
- Alert the office that the sheet of ice you were assigned will not be used by contacting the club office.
It is the responsibility of the team that cancels to book an alternate ice time for a makeup game.
Instruction and Practice Ice
Does the club offer clinics?
The club offers a series of free technical clinics throughout the year for existing members. Sign-up sheets will be available in the club lobby two-weeks prior to the event. Theses clinics are intended for new- to-intermediate level players looking for instruction on delivery, sweeping, rules and team dynamics. The instructors are club members.
Does the club offer lessons from a teaching pro?
If you wish to receive personalized instruction, please visit our Instruction page
How do I book a sheet of ice for practice?
Ice for practice is available to members at no additional cost. Practice ice needs to be booked in advance as ice availability changes.
Members can book ice on-line.
Does the club host bonspiels?
The Oakville Curling Club hosts a variety of bonspiels throughout the year for club members, as well as hosting competitive events for the OCA and OCT. The club is also available for corporate, community or philanthropic functions.
Please visit our Bonspiels page for more details.
What external events does the club host?
The Oakville Curling Club hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Please visit our Bonspiels page for a full listing. Some of our popular events:
- Ontario Curling Association (OCA) - In support of the OCA, the club commits to host a variety of zones, regional and provincials events from year to year. The scheduling of these events is designed as-to not distrupt standard league play.
- Ontario Curling Tour (OCT) - The Oakville Curling Club hosts the second event of the OCT schedule - the OCT Championships for men and ladies - on an annual basis in early September.
- Sportsman's Bonspiel - Hosted in late January, The Annual Sportsman's Bonspiel is now the fourth event in the Asham Cup series. Members are encouraged to participate in this venerable event.
- World's Lefthanders Championship - Every April, Oakville is home to the World's Lefthanders Curling Championship. First played in 1974 (men) and 1980 (women) this popular annual event plays host to southpaw curlers from around the world