Learn to Curl


Curling Clubs are open to all, and offer instruction to new curlers to learn the game and to more experienced curlers to improve skills and strategy.

Leagues for brand new adult curlers planned for 2014-2015 at the following clubs (other clubs may have LTC leagues that they haven't shared with us - contact your closest club to confirm):

A 12-week program, running on SUNDAY NIGHTS from 7pm to 9pm, starting October 19th.  Curlers will receive coaching from trained instructors.  Cost is $60, which includes use of PCC equipment. 
For more info, contact Rick or Margaret Lomore at 613-732-7168 or visit pembroke.ovca.com
Monday evenings at 7:00pm from October to December.  Cost is $150+tax, registration is September 9th and 11th at the Club.
For more info, contact Alison Summers at 613-774-2747 or visit winchester.ovca.com
The Navy Curling Club, located on the banks of Dows Lake with plenty of parking, is offering a Novice (Beginner) Curling Program twice a week. This year, in addition to our popular Sunday afternoon session, the Navy Club will offer a Daytime Adult curlers session on Thursdays at 1:00 p.m.
Our team of qualified coaches will work with participants throughout the season, teaching them all the aspects of curling. As the new curlers acquire knowledge and experience, they can also play in the club’s regular leagues at no additional charge.
If you are interested in the Sunday sessions, please forward your emails to: novice@navycurlingclub.com.
For more information on the Thursday Daytime Adult curlers session, please e-mail Nancy Morris at nancydmorris949@gmail.com.”

Monday nights – starting this fall!

The RA Curling Club is pleased to announce our new learn-to-curl instructional league “Rookie Rockers”!  This is a whole new focus for curlers who wish to play in the evenings.  The instructional league will run on Monday nights starting early October. The program, built on the learn-to-curl program developed by the CCA, will be a practical learning process providing the novice curlers with direct experience.  You do not require any equipment or previous curling experience in order to participate.    Act soon.... as we only have room to accept 12 more Individuals into this league.

To details on the program, give Mark Fish call at 613-736-6237 or reach him by email at mfish@racentre.com  To register, contact the RA’s Member Services Group at 613-736-6224.   We Look forward to seeing you on the ice! 


This eight week program is aimed at people that have not curled before but would be interested in trying. It will cover all aspects of the game from technique and strategy to the physics of the sport.  The course will include the etiquette and the social side of curling. For $100 it is a great way to experience a quintessentially Canadian sport. At the end, there will be the possibility of rounding off the season by joining the Tue/Thu morning league or the Saturday evening league. A refund is possible, if after the first three weeks you decide curling isn't for you.  $100 for LEarn to curl only, $50 extra if signing up for a league after the Learn to Curl program.  Visit Manotick Registration


THIS LEAGUE IS NOW FULL!  Thank you for your Interest!


RocksRings 75x61If you're interested in promoting curling within your schools, check with Rocks & Rings. This initiative was supported by the OVCA during it's formative period - it now has strong support from Capital One, the CCA, Fuzion (Kobe Sportswear) and the Ontario Trillium Foundation in partnership with provincial curling associations including the Ontario Curling Association.
The Capital One Rocks & Rings program visits participating schools for a full school day. We take over the gym as classes take turns visiting for 40 minutes sessions of fun and instruction. - See more at: http://rocksandrings.com/program-overview/#sthash.zGLt0CmU.dpuf
The Capital One Rocks & Rings program visits participating schools for a full school day. We take over the gym as classes take turns visiting for 40 minutes sessions of fun and instruction. - See more at: http://rocksandrings.com/program-overview/#sthash.zGLt0CmU.dpuf
The Capital One Rocks & Rings program visits participating schools for a full school day. We take over the gym as classes take turns visiting for 40 minutes sessions of fun and instruction. - See more at: http://rocksandrings.com/program-overview/#sthash.zGLt0CmU.dpuf
The Capital One Rocks & Rings program visits participating schools for a full school day and take over the school's gym as classes take turns visiting for 40 minutes sessions of fun and instruction. Various drills, relays and team-building activities are used to introduce students to the sport of curling. It is a highly interactive program with the emphasis on fun! Unique indoor floor curling equipment is used to provide a true curling experience without requiring ice! For more information on the equipment used in the program, please go here.
floorcurl75x69FloorCurl is the equipment of choice for the Capital One Rocks & Rings program which will visits almost 1,000 schools across Canada and the US every year! This equipment is perfect for senior centres as it promotes flexibility, increased range of motion. Pusher sticks allow seniors to easily deliver the FloorCurl stones without bending. And FloorCurl equipment has been specially designed to allow participants of all abilities to compete on a level playing field.
Commencing in the Fall of 2014, the OVCA will provide financial support ($500) for OVCA clubs towards the development of adult Learn- to-Curl programs often referred to as Getting Started Leagues or Rookie Leagues. In addition to the financial support, the OVCA in partnership with the Canadian Curling Association will offer a one-day Instructor Training in early September for clubs hosting Learn-to-Curl programs. Competition of the course is a prerequisite for the funding. Details of the location and date of the course will be published at a later date.
To summarize, the OVCA proposes to engage in a two year plan, commencing June 1, 2014 and ending in May 31, 2016 expending up to $8,000 ( proposed budget per year) to assist OVCA member clubs in developing and promoting of adult learn- to- curl programs. Clubs are eligible for $500 per year for a maximum of $1000 per club ending in 2016. The proposed budget is allocated as follows: $7500 for funding to clubs ($500 per club x 15 clubs) and $500 for promotional material (advertising and miscellaneous materials). The OVCA will endeavor to find a sponsor for the program to help offset the cost of the program.

Should demand exceed the budget, the OVCA Board of Directors will make a decision as to increase the budget or look at other alternatives. Applications will be processed on a first come first served basis. Clubs must reapply at the end of the season for funding for the next season and submitting a written report of the previous year’s activities related to this program. Continued funding shall not be considered automatic.
The following conditions apply:

  • The adult development program must be at least twelve (12) weeks in continuous duration;
  • A plan must exist to incorporate the new curlers into club leagues;
  • The member club must be in good standing with the OVCA;
  • The club participates in the Getting Started in Curling Instructor program offered by the OVCA and CCA;
  • The request must be in writing to the Ottawa Valley Curling Association attention the Director of Development with the application form (at the end of this document)
  • The club will ensure the OVCA visibility; the OVCA logo will be provided by the OVCA;
  • The OVCA has sufficient funds available and
  • The club will provide a written report to the Development Director by May 31 of the funding year, highlighting results and lessons learned.

Instructor training: OVCA will work with the CCA in developing and hosting a training program for club instructors. This will ensure the training is consistent and meets standards established by the CCA. The training will be offered at no cost to the clubs, meals and incidentals will be at the cost of the participants.

The policy, including how to apply can be found here.
One day programs for those interested in officiating.
Details available at the time of the Course.  Cost of the course is $75.

Dates of Courses
Officiating Level 1 - Brockville CC - November 17, 2013
Officiating Level 2 - Brockville CC - November 16, 2013

Information and Registration
Check the OCA website or contact  Angela at 1-877-668-2875 or 1-866-800-7293 toll free. 


A two day program for those interested in growing their skills as ice technicians.
Details available at the time of the Course.  Cost of the course is $270.

Dates of Courses
Gananoque CC - October 26-27, 2013

Information and Registration
Check the OCA website or contact  Angela at 1-877-668-2875 or 1-866-800-7293 toll free. 



Lou Holtz expressed that, - ability is what you're capable of doing, motivation determines what you ultimately do, and attitude determines how well you do it.

Lou's words of wisdom were spoken in the context of coaching high performance athletes. However, I believe that they ring equally true when applied to any challenge that life brings before us.

The challenge of membership recruitment was recently expressed at the O.V.C.A 2012 annual general meeting. This initiated a very pro-active response from our dedicated board in the form of a "Mission Review." While I am confident that this review will reveal productive and innovative measures to help us deal with this challenge, I wish to venture that we also need to address the challenge of membership retention. Clubs are allocating copious amounts of effort and resources to recruit members, but then lack either the programming or coaching skills that can directly contribute to long-term membership retention. Philosophically similar to what I often related to my economics students, "It's not how much you make...its how much you get to keep"!

We now come to the rationale of "Coach's Corner." Although it is not a unique handle, we do have a specific purpose for launching this new service for our membership. We wish to provide a forum whereby accurate and useful information, tools and techniques can be disseminated throughout the clubs for their specific use in hopes of contributing to planning successful programs, leading to the overall longevity and enjoyment of their membership.

Coach's Corner will initially focus on three primary sectors of curling development in upcoming articles.

  • Club Curling
  • Competitive Curling
  • Coach Training

For ultimate diversity and effectiveness, we are hoping to have a dynamic and interactive forum. We therefore wish to solicit questions, views and opinions
from coaches, athletes and administrators for discussion and dissection. For it is the sharing of these informational assets that the whole of the O.V.C.A. will become greater than its individual parts.

I believe that through a collaborative effort with the membership and the O.V.C.A. mission review committee, we will explore and identify the current issues within these sectors, we have the ABILITY.
Low cost, but very effective tools, techniques and information can then be implemented instilling MOTIVATION towards success. This newly empowered ATTITUDE shall then be the driving force behind every member and club in the O.V.C.A, directing our collective future with determination.

Yours in Curling,

Martin Cavanagh NCCP Coach

A copy of this article is available here.

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Let’'s not re-invent the wheel here people, we just need to get it rolling forward! There are tons of resources, ideas and methods to give you traction where the rubber meets the ice in your club.
If you are reading this, you may already be aware of the pro-active programs that are available from the O.V.C.A, and/or our members clubs. The youth and school programs offered through Tom Sinclair and Liz Armstrong are outstanding in exposing and promoting a structured development process to our youngsters in curling.
In addition, there are some great services available from the O.C.A., designed for  O.C.A. Curlers and O.C.A. Coaches.
If you find that you need some focus or direction in getting started, I recommend that every club director and member should read this informative C.C.A. communiqué. Discover Curling Development Program
Danny Lamoureaux, with his C.C.A. team have diligently assembled a wealth of strategic resources for just about anyone who comes in contact with rocks & ice. Yes, his team has done this to enable and empower you! So please use them. Getting Started in Curling (Youth)Getting Started in Curling (Adults)
They’re also a wealth of information that can be tapped to answer your specific club questions.  1-800-550-2875  
Simply “plug-in your needs to the right resource, and let the process begin.
Now, in order to keep things on the rails, as the subject implies, Club Curling” is just that; recreational curling within the club with its emphasis on fun, fitness and fundamentals. Therefore, all our efforts towards building and maintaining a successful club-curling program should be exercised with this in mind. Chances dwindle when we attempt to throw a “one size fits all” program approach at our members and hope for success. (much more to come on this topic in future articles)
In short, if we want a specific result, then take a specific approach.
Here are my top ten tips for successful club curling programs. These are based on real feedback and experiences from athletes I have coached:
  • 1. Certified coaches should conduct all coaching / training. (Members can only show other members what they know, …not what they do not know. It may have taken them 30 years to perfect it. Do you have that much time to learn it?)  
  • 2. Initiate and follow a program. (This is the fastest and safest way from  a to b)
  • 3. Identify and respect the goals of your members. (Not everyone that comes thru the club door has the same views or reasons for being there.) More to come on this subject.
  • 4. All members should know the rules & etiquette for curling. (This seems so obvious, but most often overlooked, and the rules do change!)
  • 5. Team positions. (Please put new curlers in the second position, not lead. A guard is the same shot as a skips draw to the button, less 6 feet.)
  • 6. Communicate effectively with your membership. (Ineffective or lack of communication brings confusion, contempt then abandonment.)
  • 7. Remember, fun, fitness and fundamentals define club curling. Competition curling is a different program. (Encourage your competitive athletes to follow that path)
  • 8. Ensure a safe, warm and friendly environment. (Our general demographic profile is presently comprised of 50+ athletes; we need to respect their needs, while addressing any others.)  
  • 9. Athletes present in all forms of abilities or limitations. (Our programs must be adaptable to them, not the contrary.)
  • 10. Club curlers are the backbone of our clubs. Invest the effort and resources to ensure family membership longevity, the dividends may very well guarantee the future success of your club.  
Good things do not always come to those who wait; so we need to take an active role in the future success of our clubs.
Questions & Comments are always welcome, I am here to help.

Yours in Curling,
Martin Cavanagh NCCP Coach
A copy of this article is available here.


I wish to thank my readers who have sent me their Coach’s Corner questions and comments. I promise to respond to all of your inquiries.
Towards this, I wish to expand on several items in my top ten list from the last article on club curling. I should also restate at this time that my intentions for these short articles are simply to shine light on various subject areas that may stimulate dialogue and pro-activity in the shadow of the current O.V.C.A. review. As such, my top ten lists, as well as any other general information do not pre-dispose your efforts to a guaranteed success. Athletes are people, with individual needs, desires, motivation, reasoning and goals, regardless of club or competitive play. Therefore, we need to fully recognize this, before we implement policy or actions.
Perhaps I could best demonstrate this with the following true story.
Mr. & Mrs. Granite (not their real names) a recently retired 55 year old couple looking for a fun winter activity that they could enjoy together, see an advertisement in their local paper announcing the upcoming registration night at the local curling club. The ad outlines the sport of curling with the traditional lures of "fun, social, stress-free, fitness, safe, great for all ages" thrown in for good measure and maximum effect. This was immediately appealing to Mr. & Mrs. Granite as it seemed to more than fit their criteria and lifestyle.

Mr. Granite had been fairly active in his 55 years, without any remarkable physical limitations. He reflected on his prior youth curling experience for reassurance that he could maintain his fit and active lifestyle thru curling. Mrs. Granite, perhaps burdened with a little excess mass and suffering from the occasional joint pain flare-ups, thought that this new fun social activity could finally deliver the fitness level that she has sought since her 30’s. Long story short… the Granites, cautiously optimistic, convince each other that this is what they should do, and so off they go to the registration.
The next week, they were a little disappointed when they showed up for their first draw to find that they were not on the same team. Mr. Granite shrugged it off, saying that "it's ok; we'll fix it for the next round." Mr. Granite having previous curling experience was catapulted to the second position on skipper's team that had suffered an abrupt retirement of his last years second player. Mrs. Granite, having only ever touched ice she found in her long island ice tea, was put in the lead position on Skippy’s team of players; that have a combined curling experience of 60+ years so she can, “learn the game”.
You may or not be surprised to learn that after the Christmas break, Mrs. Granite did not return to the club. She confessed to me that she could no longer endure the humiliation of not being able to “make the shot” demanded by the skip. The slanted remarks of, “stand over there, don’t stand there, stop talking, wrong turn again, too heavy, too light, you missed the broom again, or we’re losing because of you!” ...did not overwhelm her with confidence that she was “learning the game”. In addition, the pain and bruises from constantly falling during delivery made it just too anguishing to continue.
Mr. Granite, feeling sympathetic to his wife’s experience and conceding that curling did not meet with their expectations, did not return the following year. Does any part of this sound familiar?
Now in different club in anytown Ontario, Mr. & Mrs. Rock, (not their real names) from the same demographic, sign up for their curling experience under similar circumstances. The match committee being sensitive and pro-active in their club policy on new members, enrolled the couple in their progressive development coaching program, and then placed them together on a team with the same goals and similar profiles. The couple received fundamental skill development from a certified coach until they reached their point of satisfactory performance; as determined by their goals they had defined to the match committee. Mr. & Mrs. Rock are now enjoying their seventh year curling this year at the same club. They treasure the new friends they’ve made throughout these years and sometimes when their team is “on-fire” with great play, they even keep score!
Also a true story!
Yours in Curling, 
Martin Cavanagh NCCP Coach
A copy of this article is available here.
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MartinIn light of the recently cancelled competition coach course at the Manotick Curling Centre, I thought it fitting to address the benefits and rewards of competitive leagues and coach training for your club. As I mentioned in a previous article, club curling emphasizes FUNdamentals; competition curling extends this by developing and enhancing skills, planning, tactics and results. It is therefore a different program in search of different goals.
If you bought into my philosophy stating that club curling is the backbone of any curling club, then I’'m now also trying to sell you that competition curling is the “PR & Promotional” part of your club… and also is a heck of allot of fun! Competitive play naturally attracts players and/or teams typically seeking a goal that cannot be shared. This desire to “win” is the driving force behind these athletes. They seek out recognition and awards both from in and outside their club thereby giving their club a public presence. This is a very good thing for the sport of curling. For without these athletes, we would have no Scotties, Brier or beyond! To put an even finer point on the issue, we have just to look at the exposure awarded to the Ottawa Curling Club this season via team Homan!  
If I may now put on my coaching hat, hopefully after having convinced you and your club to pursue competitive curling programs, here are a few elements that should now come into play.
If your goal is winning competitions, then securing a competition coach is strongly suggested. In addition, the higher the competitive levels you reach, the more qualified guidance will be required in order to get to that next level. Your competition coach will be able to give qualified direction and development towards the following;
1. Competitive strategy skills
2. Position-specific skills
3. Technical / tactical skills
4. Physical conditioning.
5. Mental & emotional skills
6. Competition nutrition
7. Communications
8. Ancillary capacities
9. Periodization
10. Team dynamics / management
All of these elements are necessary skill sets to climb up the rungs of the winning ladder. If your team is not prepared to subscribe to the guided development principle, the consequence may be that your competition will… for they may be working on their own “un-sharable goals.”

Questions & Comments are always welcome.
Yours in Curling, 
Martin Cavanagh NCCP Coach
A copy of this article is available here.
             Well… another curling season has set upon us, and as I glance out the window overlooking the parking lot, I see the trickle  of new and returning curlers wrestling their gear bags, brushes and  optimism from their vehicles, then obediently make their way to the  locker room to don their garb and game face for the scheduled draw…“on time”!
Hmmm… as I recline in this comfy chair, I find myself pondering whether these newbies or seasoned athletes have given any consideration to preparing themselves for the “awakening” they are about to experience.
  • Has that gear bag even been opened since last season’s angled raise take-out for the final big win, or does the inside harbour critters or look like your son or daughters science fair project on the kingdom of mold and fungi? Contrary to popular belief, curling shoes do not last a lifetime. If your shoes have more cracks, tears and creases than the face of a well seasoned fishing boat captain…please visit your pro-shop.
  • If your gripper sheds rubber like a dragster out of the hack…please visit your pro-shop! Slip-on grippers should be cleaned before every game with mild soap and water, inside and out. They should also be given an un-ceremonious burial or better still, recycled when they’ve outlived their useful service.
  • Brush heads that are caked in layer upon layer of crud, debris or other nasty’s are of no practical use on the ice. You may as well brush that draw to the button with a pooper-scooper! Brush heads get dirty from debris that curlers bring on the ice. I have yet to meet an ice technician that pebbles with dirt…so please clean your feet and change your heads!
  •   Ok, so now you’ve got all your gear in check, what’s next you ask? Well, a coach would ask, what physical condition are you in? In a few moments you will be on the sheet demonstrating for all to admire, the condition of all your muscles, tendons and ligaments that have not yet been warmed up, much less conditioned during your summer hiatus and 16 backyard BBQ work-outs. Not to mention your systematic un-mastery of last season’s balanced delivery. Remember, injury and/or pain is the principal reason why curlers quit the game. Please take a few minutes to warm up, and then dynamically stretch your muscle groups with this pre-game warm-up routine. Give yourself and your team every possibility for a fun, injury free and successful curling season, with both you and your equipment in shape to curl.
Questions & Comments are always welcome.
Yours in Curling,

Martin Cavanagh NCCP Coach
Go here for a printable copy.