Curl it up — it’s a bonspiel

January 23, 2019

BOISE AND STANLEY — Intrepid curling teams are coming to Stanley from across the U.S. Jan. 25 to 27 for the Seventh annual Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel, according to a press release about the event.

“We’re blown away that online team registration closed in less than 3 minutes this year,” said SOB chair Jared Belsher. “And we’re thrilled about where they’re coming from … north and south and coast to coast.”

Sixteen teams from seven states — Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin — will compete in a 32-game, triple-elimination event this year. Boise Curling Club organizes the event, hosted at Stanley’s outdoor ice rink.

“The SOB brings a lot of people up to Stanley and the community never fails to show them what winter fun is like in the Sawtooth Mountains,” said SOB committee member Rob Smith. “Stanley hospitality is just the best and curlers across the country know it.”

During the event, four games are played simultaneously in a series of “draws” which start at 5 p.m. on Friday evening and continue Saturday morning, Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The championship draw begins at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday morning, Jan. 27. At noon on Saturday, BCC members will invite anyone interested out onto the ice to learn the basics and try curling for free. It’s “a great chance for all ages and abilities to experience the game’s age-old traditions of friendly, honest competition and camaraderie,” according to the release.

Curling is a 500-year-old sport in which two teams of four players each slide 42-pound granite stones down a sheet of ice toward a target at the other end while fine-tuning each shot by sweeping in front of the moving stones. Because of the strategy, communication and teamwork required to finish each end with your own team’s stones in scoring position, curling can be described as “chess on ice with a lot of shouting.”

Boise Curling Club, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization which presents league curling in Boise and conducts several “Learn to Curl” events each year, is rapidly outgrowing available ice facilities.

“We are finalizing our business plan for a dedicated facility,” said BCC board member Vince Carlson. “We expect to publicize it and start our final fundraising push in 2019.”

For more information on the Sawtooth Outdoor Bonspiel, visit sobidaho.com. For more information on Boise Curling Club and its “dedicated ice” project, visit boisecurlingclub.org.