(February 6, 2014) By Elizabeth Demers, USWCA Circuit Committee
With more players than ever and a bounty of eligible bonspiels, the USWCA Circuit has provided a new level of exciting competition for the 2013 - 2014 season.
Several bonspiels that elected to be part of the Circuit in 2013 - 2014 have seen a boost both in registrations and in level of play. Kettle Moraine's Ellen Dowd observed, "If a person is a member of the Circuit, you know they are dedicated curlers and therefore are accomplished curlers, which does bring up the level of competition. We think the benefits of being in the Circuit are: bringing quality curlers to our bonspiels plus increasing the number of people participating. We had 20 competitive teams in our Fall Fling, which supports this."
The Circuit has seen a phenomenal 68% growth in individual participation in the last year. Demographically, the heart of the Circuit beats in the East and Wisconsin regions, which have the highest number of individual participants as well as the most member bonspiels. But the Circuit race isn't defined by region, as the midseason points totals show - curlers in the tiny Central division top the leaderboard, with Wisconsin and East women in hot pursuit. By its very nature, the Circuit invites travel and exploration, bringing eastern teams west and vice versa. Nutmeg teams went to Wisconsin for the inaugural Madison Schmecken Spiel, while a Madison team returned the courtesy call at the Nutmeg Crystal Snowflake, in Connecticut. Circuit organizers expect this trend to grow especially in the shadow of the Winter Olympics. With US curling heating up on the Road to Sochi, women curlers have "the eye of the tiger" as they eye club spiels across the country, sweeping their own Circuit road to glory.