ROCHESTER, Minn. - SocialICE goers will have the chance to try a sport generally only seen on television – curling. While the ice may not have been ready for Thursday, the Curling Club of Rochester announced on Facebook Thursday night they are ready to go for Friday.
“We’re fresh off the heels of hosting an outdoor bonspiel last weekend and then we had to turn around on Sunday and build the structure,” club president, Stephen Russell said. “Then, we poured 3,000 gallons of water into it and it’s just taking it’s time to freeze. We just want to make it safe for everyone.”
With above-average temperatures so far in 2020, the just isn’t setting up as fast as the Curling Club of Rochester had hoped, but remains hopeful for Friday and Saturday. Russell says the construction of the ice is fairly simple.
“Wood and plastic really. Some lumber and made the frame, and then just a big piece of plastic liner that we try to staple in place before it blows away. Then, we just start pumping water into it.”
The sole purpose of having this option available is to introduce people to the sport of curling, one in which we generally only see during the Olympics. If you can’t make it with the next two days, there are other options available.
“We have ice times and we run leagues on Sunday nights,” Russell said. “We have over 100 members now but we can only accommodate 64 people at a time in a league. So, we try and have short leagues every eight weeks and turn it over to allow other people to try it.”
While it is a fun sport for anyone to try, he says it does present some challenges.
“It can be as complex as a grandmaster chess player. You’re playing over 100 feet of ice and sometimes the shots are the matter of a quarter of an inch so it’s like trying to sink a pool ball 100 feet away.”
SocialICE resumes at Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester on Friday at 4 PM.