Little Rockers Information 2017-18

Coordinator: Denis Le Heiget
Little Rockers Coordinator: Denis Le Heiget

The following is some information about the Little Rocker program for this curling
season.

What to Wear:

Curling shoes are preferred but running shoes that are of a skateboard like shoe
(flat sole as opposed to training shoe style) are acceptable. A full foot slip on
slider is required for the left shoe for right handed curlers and for the right shoe
for left handed curlers.

NOTE: The running shoes must be new, never worn outside, OR if used, the
bottom must be cleaned to remove ALL particles including tiny pebbles of rock
and so on. This material will make the ice dirty which causes problems with the
rock’s behaviour when delivered.

NOTE: In addition, as some running shoes offer little grip on curling ice, it is also
recommended that the curlers have, and wear it at all times, a slip on gripper for
the opposite foot (non-slider foot) to reduce the risk of slips and falls.

NOTE: In order to assist on the ice, all coaches and parent volunteers also need
curling shoes or new or clean shoes.

Each curler will require a curling broom, preferably one with a synthetic brushing
surface. Brushes with hair are acceptable if they are relatively new. Old brush
hair brooms will leave broken bits of hair on the ice that causes problems for the
rocks.

Curlers should have some form of gloves or mitts that keep their hands warm but
are not made of a material that will cause them to lose their grip on the broom
(e.g. woven wool mitts). Curlers should also have available a hat or toque for
colder winter days.

Pants that allow for stretching such as curling pants or sweat pants are required.
NO blue jeans.

Curlers should wear several layers of clothes that keeps them warm but does not
restrict arm movement. Three layers of clothes are preferable (e.g. shirt, sweater
and a jacket).

Curling Season

The season is split into four units (exact duration of each unit will depend on the
groups’ skill development):

Week 1, A 80 minute clinic with both on & off ice instruction
Weeks 2 – 6, 80 minutes of warm-up / instruction and at least 2-3 ends of curling
played on only the half sheet of ice. The intent is to concentrate on the
mechanics of the delivery without worrying about throwing the rock a great
distance.
Weeks 7 – 11, 80 minutes of warm-up / instruction and at least 2 ends of curling
played on a 3⁄4 length sheet of ice. The idea continues a stepping stone approach
of moving to the full sheet of ice.
Weeks 12 – 18, Curlers “graduate” moving to full sheet. 80 minutes of warm-up /
instruction and at least 2-3 ends of curling played on only the full length sheet of
ice.

The exact number of weeks associated with each of the latter 3 units may be
adjusted throughout the season depending on the development of the curlers. In
addition, more advanced teams may be moved up to 3⁄4 sheet or full sheet sooner
than less experienced teams.

Each year features 1 or 2 “Fun Days” throughout the year. Fun Days allow kids to
participate in events that challenge them through the use of curling drills.
The season is wrapped up with a banquet for the curlers and parents and
siblings of the curlers. Information about the banquet will be provided as we
move closer to the end of the season.

League Play:

Games will be played on Saturdays (when the club is available, see dates
below) from 9:00 am-10:20 am. Curlers should be ready to start at 9:00 sharp.
The schedule can be found on-line on the Pembina Curling Club website.

As noted above, approximately 17-20 ice times are provided to this program with
the first ice time used as a curling clinic for all the curlers.

Note: The Curling Clinic to be held on Week 1 will commence at 9:00 am.
Curlers should be ready to start at 9:00 sharp.

Instruction time for the balance of the curling year will consist of about 10-20
minutes of drills every curling date before starting the game. Instruction will
focus on stages of delivery and release as well as sweeping.
Instruction –two instructors (parent volunteers – see below) will be present and
assist on each sheet of ice during the instruction time and during the game.

[We require the parent volunteer to act primarily as Safety Officers.
Secondary to ensuring the safety of all of the Little Rockers, parent
volunteer can assist with completion of the drills and game play.
Instructors that help on ice are encouraged, but are not required, to take
the Curling Instructor Training so that instruction is consistent. However,
please note that curling experience is not strictly required as parent
volunteer will learn how to help as the season progresses.]

Game time following the instruction time will consist of about 50-70 minutes
which normally provides at least two ends of curling.

(Please note that the bantam curlers have games scheduled at 10:45 am on
Saturdays and the ice makers need 20 minutes to prep all six sheets of ice for
those games. As a result, we need to be off of the ice on or before 10:20 am.
Therefore, we need to be mindful of the time as we proceed each week. In this
regard, I would ask the parent volunteers to check the clock when starting the
2nd end of curling (and definitely before starting a third end). If time will not allow
another full end (i.e. only 10 minutes or less left of out ice time), you can consider
a couple of options. We can run more drills with the children to continue their
skill development or we can modify the game so that each team only throws one
rock per player for a total of four rocks per team.)

Wins and losses are not recorded as we stress the element of fun and to learn
the basics of the game of curling at this level.

Teams are set up on a co-ed basis for the most part.

For the first three to four weeks, we will have each child play in their designated
position so that those with little or no experience can focus on learning the basics
of curling. However, children will rotate through each position by the end of the
curling season to allow for all to enjoy and participate in every curling position.

The Little Rockers will use regular size rocks.

Curling Dates:

To view the up to date draw for the 2017-18 curling season, click here.

Team Coordination

Each team member (parents/guardians of each team member) are asked to
exchange contact information with the rest of their team members. Each team is
asked to ensure that one parent volunteer is available each week to assist with
their team instruction and drills and to assist during the games (two volunteers
per sheet of ice). Curling experience is not a prerequisite.

Each team will designate one team member to be their contact person for the
team. For example, the “skip” of the team could be appointed to that role.
If a team member is unable to make it to any game, they should advise their
contact person at soon as possible. A team can play its regularly scheduled
game with at least three players. However, the contact person for that team
should contact the Little Rockers Coordinator to advise of the absences and how
many of its players can still attend. Every effort will be made for the players who
can still attend to either play a modified game (mix and match players from their
scheduled opponent or from a bye team, if any, to form two teams) or improve
their curling skills by participating in drills with the remaining players.

Inappropriate Behaviour

Finally and most importantly, all curlers should be aware that

  1. They need to be careful with their brooms (e.g. no throwing or swinging it in
    any manner),
  2. They do not throw themselves on the ice and/or lay on the ice without good
    reason (i.e. an injury) and
  3. They show respect for the coaches and/or volunteer parents (e.g. listening to
    directions and using appropriate language when addressing them).

Parent volunteers will be instructed to report any inappropriate or dangerous
behaviour immediately upon witnessing same. Any child that engages in such
behaviour will be asked to leave the ice surface for the duration of the curling
session.