How to Become a Curling Umpire

Students will officiate the upcoming national tournaments in Duluth.

DULUTH, Minn.– Two national championship curling tournaments are coming to Duluth. Preparations are underway for the big event. This weekend volunteers are being trained to be a curling official.

“Curling is becoming a much more popular sport,” deputy national instructor Randy Czarnetzki said.

Curling is rated one of the highest streamed sports, during the past two Olympics.

“There are more curling clubs in the United States now than there ten years ago, probably by a tenfold,” Czarnetzki said.

The mens and womens senior national championships will take place at the Duluth Curling Club. Locals are volunteering their free time to work towards becoming a curling official.

“Curling officials are in great demand,” Czarnetzki said. “The number of participants always seems to outnumber the number of the officials.”

After classroom sessions and experience on the ice.

“I’m really excited about it, it’s interesting that you can see everything from behind the scenes,” student/future umpire Amy Gallagher said.

The students will then be officials in curling, known as umpires.

“It’s a little more passive officiating you could say,” Czarnetzki said

Unlike other sports making the calls of the game doesn’t require a whistle, or potential arguments with coaches.

“Generally you’re there to assist the players, rather than to jump in and say you did this wrong or you did that wrong. Generally players come to you and ask for help and then you provide them with assistance solving rule or something like that,” Czarnetzki said

There are three different levels of officials. The key components of becoming a level one umpire are learning how to be a timer and an end ice observer.

“Those people are assisting with the scoring and helping the players identify if rocks go flying off the ice where they were, just prior to the shot,” Czarnetzki said

Higher level umpires dive further into the rule book and are more active on the ice.

“If we continue with officiating courses, at some point we might have a chance to officiate at an Olympic event,” student/future umpire Bonnie Hughes said.

After this weekend the students can umpire in next weekend’s Senior Championship. If you’re interested in becoming an umpire or more information visit Duluth Curling Club.

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