By Frederick Melo – Pioneer Press

The St. Paul Curling Club’s auxiliary site, the Biff Adams Arena in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, has a new tenant that looks much like its previous tenant, but isn’t.

Ramsey County Parks and Recreation is entering into a five-year lease agreement with TC3 Inc., otherwise known as the new “Biff Adams Curling Club,” to oversee the arena’s operation.

The Biff Adams curlers are former members of the St. Paul Curling Club who incorporated to establish their own identity and help the sport grow.

“They’re on their own this year,” said curler Scott Jerylo of White Bear Lake, a 20-year veteran of the sport. “They used to be an offshoot of us.”

Given waning interest in hockey and ice skating in urban, multicultural areas such as Frogtown, municipal leaders have spent long hours pondering how to save ice arenas such as Biff Adams from closing for good.

As suburban hockey fans sought facilities closer to home, the 1970s-era county hockey arena lost about $70,000 in 2010.

Then along came curling, an old sport generating renewed interest. The past few Winter Olympics have spawned a resurgence in curling, a 500-year-old Scottish tradition that lands somewhere between shuffleboard and chess on ice, with touches of broomball.

“I’m thrilled. I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Ramsey County commissioner Janice Rettman, who had struggled to get hockey groups and tennis clubs to show interest in the Biff Adams arena.

“I didn’t want to lose the facility. I didn’t want it to be mothballed and become this relic, when it’s got great ice,” Rettman said.

In curling, players push large, round puck-like objects, or “stones,” across the ice toward target areas and win points for positioning stones closest to the heart of their targets.

Sweepers use brooms to alter the ice in front of the stones as they glide, affecting their trajectory.

“It may look like, ‘What are they doing?’ But it’s work! It’s real work,” Rettman said. “You’re going to be sweating, working out there.”

The lease at 743 N. Western Ave., which begins New Year’s Day, is set at a monthly rate of $1,250 for the first two years, $1,400 for the third year and $1,500 for years four and five.

The rental fees will be placed into a capital improvement fund to pay for updates to the building and grounds. The Biff Adams club will be responsible for the curling program, ice operations, routine building maintenance, snowplowing of the parking lot, mowing and general grounds maintenance as well as utilities and other operating expenses.

The county first entered into a use agreement at Biff Adams with the St. Paul Curling Club in 2010, then updated the lease through Dec. 31, 2011.

With more than 1,100 members, the St. Paul Curling Club is believed to be the largest in the country. The club was established in 1888 and is based at 470 Selby Ave., which has been “busting at the seams” with people on the waiting list, Rettman said.

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.

Jeremy Freeborn – Olympics Examiner

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones are the first two skips to qualify for the 2013 Canadian Curling Trials in Winnipeg.

The winner of the trials represents Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Martin, the 2010 Olympic Champion, defeated Glenn Howard 7-4 on Sunday at the Canada Cup of Curling in Cranbrook, British Columbia. While, Jones defeated Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg 9-4.

For Jones, she will have home ice advantage at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre. Martin, meanwhile went a perfect 7-0 in the event.

The 2011 Canada Cup is one of three events that are used exclusively to determine who will qualify for the Canadian Curling Trials. The other two events are the 2012 Canada Cup in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and the 2013 Pre-Olympic Trials event at a location still to be determined.

The other five teams are decided based on a ranking system from 2011-2013.

 

What is the game of Curling any way?

Well, despite the perception that Curling is a slow-paced game, we promise you this is just a perception. The game of Curling contains elements of great skill, strategy, finesse, exertion and endeavour. Curling is an extremely complex sport based around a very simple idea. Slide a stone down a sheet of ice and have it stop as near the centre of the house (a set of rings) as possible. The challenge being that your opposition will do everything tactically possible to stop you from achieving this goal.

We invite you to play the game of curling and see for yourself how much fun and exercise that you can get out of this great sport. To start curling you can contact your local curling club, provincial or territorial organization, or national organization through our Related Sites page, or check your yellow pages under “Curling Clubs”.

To further explore this great game check out the following pages:
What is Curling
History of Curling
The Curling Stone
How Curling is Played
How Curling is Played
(Animated Version)

Glossary of Curling Terms
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Official Canadian Curling Association (CCA) English Rules PDF
Official Canadian Curling Association (CCA) French Rules PDF
(NOTE: the current Rule Book is in effect from 2008 to 2010)

Official World Curling Federation (WCF) English Rules PDF
(NOTE: the current Rule Book is in effect from June 2008)

Practice Curling Rock Timing right on your PC, This is a great tool for off ice curling game practice that curling coaches and implement for dry land training.