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the world that can claim greater longevity, the Royal Caledonian Club of Scotland. To put this milestone in perspective, the GNCC is older than the

country of Canada (by five days!). Curling Canada (formerly the Ca- nadian Curling Association) was founded in 1935 and is the second oldest governing body for the sport of curling in North America. Te United States Women’s Curling Association was formed in 1947, fol- lowed by the U.S. Men’s Curling Association in 1958. Te U.S. Men’s Curling Association subsequently became the U.S. Curling Associa- tion. Te World Curling Federation did not begin its operations until 1966.

A Glimpse of History In the mid 19th century, there was a movement among curlers in the

United States to establish a national organization to “encourage the game, establish rules, and improve the opportunity for competition between curlers.” On June 26, 1867, representatives from small groups of curlers in New York, New Jersey and Ohio met to form the organi- zation, which would be known as the Grand National Curling Club of America. Within a year, clubs from Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin were members. Several Canadian clubs also joined in the late 19th century. Te organization was responsible for helping to transform the sport

as played in America into what we know today. As an example, the 25th

Annual Convention featured debate focused on standardizing

the weight of curling stones. Prior to this, there was no standardized weight, size or shape. Discussion about the length of games can also be found in the annals of the GNCC. According to Gwen Krailo-Ly- ons, president of the GNCC, “In the early years, games ran four to five hours, pre-determined by the skips.” To solve quarrels about length, a game became 22 ends in 1885, 18 ends by 1933, and reduced to 12 ends by 1953.

150 years strong T

Te Grand National Curling Club makes history as it celebrates sesquicentennial

he Grand National Curling Club (GNCC), the region- al governing body for curling clubs on the East Coast, is celebrating a milestone anniversary. On June 26, 2017, the organization will mark 150 years in the sport! Tere is only one other curling organization in

Over the years, the GNCC has grown from a few dozen members

into one of the largest curling regions in the United States. Member clubs are located in every state bordering the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida, as well as inland states of Vermont and Pennsylva- nia. At present, the organization has 55 member clubs. Tis includes 21 clubs with dedicated curling facilities, numerous arena-based curl- ing organizations, pond clubs, paper clubs, and clubs that curl in the dedicated ice facilities run by other groups. Regional Programming

Te GNCC is committed to the growth of the sport. With a 106.6

percent increase in membership throughout the past decade, the re- gion sported more than 4,600 members in early 2016. Some of this growth can be directly attributed to resources developed to help new groups start curling in local skating rinks, including a mentor pro- gram and stone rental program. Start-ups rent stones at reasonable rates until they are better established and able to purchase their own. For arena clubs ready to transition to dedicated ice, a low-interest loan program is available to help with expenses. Te organization encourages curlers of all ages and experience lev-

els to improve their skills and participate in bonspiels and champion- ship events. Each summer, a popular junior camp is held to jumpstart the season. Tree five-and-under bonspiels attract adult curlers with five or fewer years of curling experience from throughout the East Coast in women’s, men’s, and mixed competitions. Two annual inter- national bonspiels, the Gordon International (originated in 1884) and Ross Tarlton, pit Canadian curlers against teams from the region. Ad- ditionally, the winners of the region’s various playdowns are provided with funding to help offset expenses incurred when competing in na- tional championships.

Marking the 150th Tis season, GNCC members will be celebrating the organization’s

accomplishments of the first 150 years. To kick off the sesquicentenni- al celebration, all GNCC clubs will receive custom coasters, shoelaces, bottle openers, and luggage tags. Memorabilia in the form of logoed attire, commemorative corn brooms, curling stone book ends, cast iron quoits, and more will be available for purchase through Brooms


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