This season the USWCA sponsored Five Year & Under Bonspiels are scheduled for ALL five regions; Central, East, West I, West II, and Wisconsin. Curling clubs across the country have recognized the importance of these events in providing new curlers with the opportunity to experience curling in other clubs with curlers having the same skill levels, in positions they normally would not play. What an excellent way to promote curling. Pins for the winners and runners-up are provided by the USWCA, as is a traveling plaque that goes to the winning team which is then passed on to the next host club. Curlers who have curled five years or less should take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and sign up to curl either as an individual or as a team in their region or in any of the other regions for a more broadening experience. New curlers may choose to curl in one of two events; the Five Year & Under Open Challenge, which is open to both men and women, or the Five Year & Under Women's Challenge, which is for women only. Either way, it is a great opportunity for 5 or less year curlers to enjoy the bonspiel experience on an entirely new level. Check below to see which club is hosting a 5 Year & Under Bonspiel in your region and sign up NOW!
- This season the Madison Curling Club hosted the Wisconsin Regional 5 & Under Open Challenge Bonspiel. It took pIace January 16 - 18, 2015 at their six sheet facility in McFarland, WI. The 40 teams that were entered had an exciting weekend of curling, food, and fun. Congratulations to the First Event Winners from the Milwaukee Curling Club - skip Nick McLellan, vice Chris Apel, second Bob Sorheim, and lead Greg Bell.
- Last season, the recently completed Milwaukee Curling Club hosted the 5 & Under Open Challenge on February 7 - 9, 2014. There were 28 teams registered, one of the largest 5 & Under Bonspiels ever held in the Wisconsin region. The winners of the 1st event, pictured in the side bar to the right were the Merath rink from Blackhawk CC.
- The St. Paul Curling Club hosted 16 teams for their 5 & Under Open Challenge Bonspiel on February 7 - 8, 2015. The theme was The Heart of Curling. A composite team (Pryor) from Detroit/Ardsley won the first event. The other out of town team (Gangi) from Mankato, Minnesota was runner up in the fourth event. Some members of this team had never curled before this weekend but seemed to quickly grasp the skills required to be in the medal round! The other teams from the Twin Cities represented the Frogtown, Four Seasons, and St. Paul Curling Clubs. Great food, fun, and raves from these players confirmed the event was truly a success. They especially appreciated the USWCA 5 & Under pins. Congratulations to the First Event Winners - skip Will Pryor, vice Ann Gabhart, second Barbara Gabhart, and lead Patrick Cannon.
- There were no 5 & Under Bonspiels hosted by this region last season.
In the West II Region, the newly dedicated Coyote Curling Club hosted its first USWCA sponsored 5 & Under Challenge. Three games were guarantee. A continental breakfast was served on Saturday and Sunday with a Pot Luck Dinner on Saturday evening. There were raffle prizes, a Halloween Costume Contest, a 50/50 raffle, and Calcutta. Congratulations to the First Event Winners from the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club - skip Reggie Wilcox, third Zevi Altus, second Shir Aharon, and lead Amanda Chang.
- There were no 5 & Under Bonspiels in this region last season.
- This season the 5 & Under Open Challenge was hosted by the Fort Wayne Curling Club on January 23 - 25, 2015. Their club has three sheets of ice where 18 teams played in the event. Congratulations to the First event winners from the Fort Wayne Curling Club: skip Craig Wickman, vice Stephen Imes, second Marina Rozzell, and lead Chris Keller.
- The Mayfield Curling Club hosted the last 5 Year and Under Challenge of the season. Twelve teams from all over the area participated in the Women's 5 Year and Under Challenge on March 14 - 15, 2015. A great committee made sure the two days went smoothly. At the house party on Saturday night, teams in the finals and the consolation rounds were announced. Even though the club had to give up their ice for the weekend, seeing what a great experience it was for the ladies made it worthwhile. The club agreed that the USWCA sponsored 5 & Under program is wonderful for new curlers, and Mayfield would be willing to host another one in the future. The first event winner, from the Detroit Curling Club, was the Garrity Team: Jill Garrity, Ann Gabbhart, Julie Benson, and Kristine Rathke. The first event runner-up, from the Columbus Curling Club, was the Rozzell Team: Martina Rozzell, Nicole Hume, Leeanne Chandler, and Heather Yardley.
- Last season the 5 & Under Women's Challenge was held at the Waltham Curling Club the weekend of March 8-9, 2014. A wonderful time was had by all. The first event winners were the composite team representing Chicago and Exmoor. The team consisted of Sarah Calcutt, Lisa Boland, Kelly Boland, and Lauren Sturdy.
- The 5 & Under Open Challenge was hosted by the Columbus Curling Club on April 12-13, 2014. They had 20 teams enter the event. Debbie McCormick was there the entire weekend. Each team was given one 5 minute timeout where they could consult with her on what to call. Getting coached by an Olmpic curler was the highlight! The first event winners were the team from the Columbus Curling Club. The team members were Ryan Moelman, James Reinaker, Craig Wickman, and Evan Western. The runners-up in the first event were Arron Frim, Greg Dillinger, Joshus Mulet, and Jack Gaynor from the Columbus Curling Club.
- In the East Region, the Norfolk Curling Club was pleased to be the first club in the East Region to host the 5 & Under Open Challenge on November 14 - 16, 2014. This was a 4 event bonspiel with 12 teams participating. The teams were from Ardsley, Bucks County, Cape Cod, Nutmeg, Rutland, and Schenectady Curling Clubs. The main event was curling, curling, and more curling. Between draws, teams enjoyed watching their friends and new acquaintances compete with many hours of plate-glass skipping, good food, good conversation, and keeping up with their favorite non-curling sporting event on TV in the warm room. Everyone was highly complementary of the Norfolk club, the food, and the atmosphere. Congratulations to the First Event Winners from the Bucks County Curling Club - skip Greg Danks, vice Zac Gery, second Justin Lehmann, and lead Christi Freeman.
- There were no 5 & Under Bonspiels hosted by the East Region last season.
These popular bonspiels began in the GNCC. The first Women's Challenge event was held at Norfolk, CT in 1991 and was an official GNCC event. In 1993 the USWCA adopted the plan for a Women's Challenge to be held in each region/area of the United States. This event has become so popular that the USWCA now sponsors an Open Five Year and Under Bonspiel along with the Five Year and Under Women's Challenge.
There are traveling award plaques for the winning rinks in each event. Special pins are presented to winners and runners-up in four events. Participants must have five years or less curling experience. The goal of these events is to give newer curlers a chance to participate in bonspiels, meet other new curlers and play positions they normally wouldn't play. It is felt that the curlers will feel less concern about attending regular bonspiels after they have played against others with the same experience.
All Curlers with five or less years experience are eligible to participate. membership in the USWCA is not necessary, but in order to host one of the events, the host club must be a member. The Women's Challenge is made up of women's teams, but the new Open Event may have teams made up of any combination. Team members do not have to all belong to the same curling club.
An Eligibility Form must accompany the Event Entry. The Eligibility Form must be signed by a Curling Club Officer, and verifies that each team member meets the criteria for under five years of curling.