Deeside curling – Christmas & New Year

Edwardian men play curling on a frozen lake surrounded by snow

Christmas Day Curling Party, Swansea (Toronto, Canada) in 1904

There are now just 2 weeks left before club curling at Deeside breaks for the Christmas period. What happens next depends which session you normally play on – but be aware that if you have pre-paid for curling with a “season ticket” this includes all matches on your session until the end of the year.

If you plan to play the Christmas competition, feel free to wear Christmas jumpers, hats scarves etc.

8pm curling

On the 8pm session, league games are now complete, and we will now have 2 weeks of special games, starting on Monday 10th December.

Please arrive by 7:45pm so teams can be drawn and everything is ready to start play at 8pm.

All players will need to give their preferred position before James Pougher (FPOW President) draws the teams at random.

There will then be a mini-ladder competition, with the following format:

  • Each game will last 25 mins or 2 ends (whichever comes first).
  • When the time is up, if the second end is not yet complete, the stones will count where they lie. If the team with hammer is about to deliver when the time is up, they will be allowed to play one final stone.
  • Winning teams will move towards the spectator seating – on the right when looking from the entrance towards the scoreboards
  • Losing teams will move away from the spectator seating (unless either team is already in the furthest playing lane in that direction).

6pm curling

For the 6pm session there is one more league game to play this coming Monday. A Ladder contest will be played on the 17th – using the same system as above. Again, arriving 15 minutes before games are due to start would be helpful.

Curling in 2018

Curling at Deeside Ice Rink will commence for the Spring on January 14th – we expect teams to have approximately 9 matches between then and Easter.

Welsh Championships cancelled

Due to the poor weather conditions and uncertainty about whether the road to Dumfries will continue to be passable, organisers of the Welsh Championships have made the decision to cancel the competition.

The annual Kershaw Cup between The First Province of Wales and Preston Curling Club was also cancelled yesterday, because the venue – Lockerbie Ice Rink – had been forced to close due to the snow and ice.

This does not affect the plans for TryCurling at Deeside which are currently expected to go ahead as planned on Monday.

Fresh plans for new ice: AGM 6th June

Revised plans for a dedicated curling facility in North Wales will be presented at the Welsh Curling Association’s Annual General Meeting this June. Both members and non-members are invited to the event, which is at St David’s Park Hotel on the evening of Monday 6th June.

Despite the disappointment of not being selected for the World Curling Federation’s Portable Curling Facility trial, the team behind Curling in Wales have not let the matter rest. Alternative funding has been identified for the scheme, which if fulfilled would bring a new ice rink just for Curling to the Queensferry area.

Curling at the existing Deeside Ice Rink has been established for more than 40 years, but suffera from two significant issues: limited availability, and difficulty converting the ice to a suitable standard for curling.

Due to the current rink also being used for skating and ice hockey, the number of people who can enjoy the sport is severely restricted. For those who wish to improve their skills, the available ice time and variable quality is a significant hinderance.

Currently, Wales has four hours of curling ice on Monday nights during the winter season – allowing a maximum of 96 players (64 in the last season due to poor ice on 2 of the sheets). In the weeks following the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014, more than 600 people came to try the sport for the first time. Sadly, some had to be turned away due the restricted availability, while for others Mondays are simply not practical for them. This has severely restricted the growth of the sport in Wales, and has also meant that the national teams have no choice but to travel to other parts of the UK and to Europe to play and practice.

For several years, a task force from the Welsh Curling Association has been exploring the possibilities and preparing plans for a new ice rink, which would be in a “temporary” building (designed to last an initial 10 years), enabling curling to take place on consistent ice and throughout the week. It is hoped the new facility would be ready before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and the likely influx of new interest in curling that is anticipated.

The latest version of the plans will be presented to both current and past members of the Association, and others who are interested, before the Annual General Meeting. If you have previously expressed interest in curling at Deeside but have not been able to come on a Monday, you may also wish to attend.

Non-members who wish to find out more are very welcome, but please contact the WCA Secretary with your contact details at least 24 hours before the event. In addition, all media enquiries should be directed to

FPOW to play Welsh Grand Match

The regular 6pm and 8pm Leagues come to a close over the next fortnight – but there will still be club curling on the first two Mondays in December.

  • 8pm players:
    • Regular league concludes on Monday 30th November.
    • A two-week Grand Match begins on Monday 7th December and concludes on Monday 14th December.
  • 6pm players:
    • The League concludes on Monday 7th December.
    • On Monday 14th December, 6pm players will join the Grand Match.

How does it work?

  • The regular players on both 6pm and 8pm sessions will be split into two pools – East and West – or broadly speaking, England and Wales.
  • New teams will be made up from each pool of players
  • In each session, East will face West in 4-end (60 minute) matches. The total score from every match will be added up to decide whether East (England) or West (Wales) are the victors.
  • Matches will take place at 6pm (14th Dec), 7pm (14th Dec), 8pm (both days) and 9pm (both days). If possible, we will aim to start 6pm and 7pm matches early in order to get the full 4 ends in!

Regular club curling will then finish for the Christmas break, and return on Monday 4th January 2016. For more details of dates and games, please see the current match schedule.

Ice Conditions at Deeside

The last couple of weeks of curling at Deeside have been difficult due to slow ice, sheets which are not level and humidity in the ice hall. The humidity caused condensation to form on the curling stones, coating them in a layer of ice which left takeout shots ineffective. Condensation also gathered on the roof trusses and dripped onto the ice in several places (leaving several large bumps in the surface).

The ice rink management have told us that they had a problem with their dehumidification unit, which because it needed new parts to be ordered and fitted, took more than a week to process. The repair happened yesterday (Tuesday 10th), and we are hopeful that the dehumidifiers will work from now until Monday 16th and clear the air.

If anyone is available to come to the rink early (4:45pm onwards) on Monday 16th November, Adrian is asking for volunteers to check the stones for any remaining ice and clear them.

Autumn 2015 Schedule of play

The schedule of matches at Deeside Ice Rink in the first part of the 2015-16 season is now available.

Matches on 09 November are:

18:00 Lane-C Mid Wales Dambusters Connah’s Quay Rockers
18:00 Lane-D Sealand Arctic Monkeys Alyn Valley Fire
18:00 Lane-E Wheelies Deeside Strikers
20:00 Lane-B Deeside Die Hards Alyn Valley Atomic
20:00 Lane-C Deeside Dynamos Alyn Valley Velocity
20:00 Lane-D Mid Wales Vikings Mid Wales Kites
20:00 Lane-E Sealand Seals Alyn Valley Alternators

For games beyond this, please download the full schedule  from here or the schedule page.