Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Triangle Curling Club Championship

I haven't been talking curling much lately, because I haven't been doing much curling! The Triangle Curling Club is only having one league this fall, its final league on rented arena ice. And since Amber had been on the sidelines pregnant all year, I let her curl in that league, with me just playing a couple of times in her place.

(By the way, my predictions regarding the opening dates for the Triangle Curling Club's new building, versus the Cary Publix, were a bit off. Not because the curling club is behind, but because Publix is opening much earlier than I expected: next week!)

One thing that's nice about having your own curling building is that you can have as many leagues as you want, whenever you want! It's limited by how many people are available to curl in them, of course, but we're currently planning on something in the neighborhood of 5-6 leagues. We've got all of that outlined here: two "open" social leagues, a men's league, a women's league, and a "competitive" league. (Plus another league geared towards instruction.)

I've been the League Coordinator for the club for several years now, but with so many leagues, I'm not going to coordinate all of them, of course. Each league will likely have a different coordinator, and with that in mind, I specifically requested that I coordinate the "competitive" league. I'm really excited about it. Have been for years.

What's so different about the competitive league?
- MAKE YOUR OWN TEAMS. We've never allowed club members to form their own teams for league play before. Want to form a stacked team that can compete at bonspiels? Now you can! Want to form your own team with your friends, regardless of how much experience (to a point - see next item) you have? Now you can!
- Minimum one year curling experience, since this is the "competitive league", after all. (All other league offerings are open to everyone regardless of experience, provided they've at least done the "Learn to Curl" session.)
- The winner of this league will be declared CLUB CHAMPION for the year, and will get their names engraved on some kind of permanent plaque/trophy/something that will go on display at the club to commemmorate all of the club champions in the history of the Triangle Curling Club. (At least, that's what I'd like to see. I don't know how far my authority reaches with this.)

Speaking of which, calling this league the "competitive" league...well, it's descriptive, but I think the league needs a more glamorous name. Something simple: how about "The Club Championship"? Or even just "The Championship"? Some folks in the club may want the league to be named in honor of one of the club's founders, and/or someone who has made large contributions (financial or otherwise) towards the building of our club. We'll think on that, For now, it'll just be the "open competitive" league. ("Open" means that teams can be made up of any combination of men and women.)

Another thing that's nice about our own building: we're not necessarily limited to 8 teams per league. We can expand to two draw times in any given night and have up to 16 teams! We won't have that many teams in any one league from the start, certainly, but eventually we will, just like the Potomac Curling Club's leagues. (Speaking of Potomac, they call their competitive league the "Capital League". That's kind of what I'm talking about with the name. Something that sounds serious and prestigious and gets people talking, but at the same time is simple and elegant. Something that would sound fantastic if the late Pat Summerall were to narrate it, similar to how he always used to say CBS Sports...presents...THE MASTERS.")

We won't really be able to do this until we go well beyond 8 teams (perhaps well beyond 12 teams, actually), but eventually I'd like to institute a "tiered" system within the competitive league. Not unlike European soccer leagues, the bottom team(s) in the top tier will be "relegated", and the top team(s) in the next tier down will be "promoted", something like that. This is probably 2-3 years down the road, though, at least; probably need to have at least one full 16-team season without tiers under our belt before we can institute tiers. The benefit to tiers is that you get more games against similar competition, and it also increases the prestige of the league in general, I think. Plus, it's fun! The Utica Curling Club's men's league has promotion/relegation between four tiers, with 12 teams in each tier! If we can ever get something that deep in our club, that would be so, so unbelievably awesome.

So, yeah, this competitive league is sort of my baby. I've been thinking about it since the day we started planning our own curling facility. Can't wait! And, the other leagues will be fun, too.

===

Since I insist on documenting every single game of curling I ever play, here's the one game I've played so far this Fall season, a loss. I didn't play all that great, but this was also my first game in over three months, so...

Career game #253*: 2014 Fall League - October 5, 2014
(my team: M. Jackson)

End............ 12345678 |TTL
----------------------------
Jaun........... 02111010 | 06
M. Jackson..... 10000201 | 04

(* - The last game I recapped was labeled as game "251", but it was actually "252", and this game makes "253". There was a pick-up game on May 18 of this year that I never put in the blog. That game was a 7-2 win.)

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