Ice Maintenance Tips:
BGCC Members take great pride in having dedicated ice. An important aspect of that is having consistent monitoring and maintenance of the ice conditions. This page is dedicated to give a general guide for volunteers on what it takes to maintain the ice and what YOU can do to help.
Supporting the Ice as a BGCC member (adopted from Kettle Moraine's Club Website):
Where curling stones are relatively easy to maintain and rarely cause problems, the ice upon
which they slide is a constant concern of all curling clubs. The majority of all curling clubs,
including BGCC, have a Head Ice Technician whose job it is to oversee the care and preparation
of the ice on a daily basis. The Head Ice Technician at our club is a volunteer position. This
hard-working individual is supported by a crew of assistants. Curlers sometimes fail to consider
that they come to a curling rink to play on curling ice which is product of science, knowledge,
expensive and important equipment, and of course many hours of hard work and dedication.
Never mind the heat or cold, wet or dry, wind or rain, sun or snow, the humble ice technician has
to provide curling ice of unbelievable consistency every day for every game on every sheet.
Because most of their work is usually done prior to the arrival of league curlers, many curlers are
simply not aware of the Herculean task associated with the job.
To support the Ice Technician and their crew and ensure that all curlers have access to the best possible
ice, please read the notes below and do all you can to protect the ice and your fellow curlers.
Hands and knees
Resting your knee on the ice even for a few seconds will leave a distinctive indentation in the ice
surface. Some curlers will rest a knee or hand on the ice watching the progress of their stone
down the length of the ice – it only takes a few seconds to melt the ice. Hand marks range from a
single finger to full hand and forearm. Knees covered in clothing will absorb the water from the
melted surface to leave a hole, while hand marks will leave the water behind to refreeze into
unwanted bumps on the ice surface. These indentations and bumps are likely to deflect a stone.
Wearing a knee pad or gloves might not be comfortable, but it would certainly help. The best
and simplest solution is to never place your hand or knee on the ice.
Clothing and footwear
Fuzzy hats and fleece jackets WILL shed on the ice. This stuff will be picked up by a stone; it is
only a matter of time before they alter the path of a beautiful stone and destroy the shot.
Outdoor shoes WILL bring in dirt and salts that will affect the ice surface. One tiny grain of sand
is enough to chip a precision ice scraping blade, and one sole covered in salt from the outside
pavement can contaminate a very large area of the ice surface. Once dirt has frozen to the surface
it can take a long time and some serious energy to remove. Salt will damage the ice while likely
going unseen and will only be removed through time.