Acoustics make curlers holler hard!

PATRICK MALONEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:19 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Curling's unofficial name -- the roaring game -- is getting a bit too literal for one team at the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier.

The members of the Northern Ontario squad have concerns over the ice-level acoustics at London's John Labatt Centre -- a problem which forces them to strain their voices to confer during games.

"It's just hard to communicate with the guys at the other end," Brad Jacobs, the team's 25-year-old skip, said. "You really have to shout to hear each other.

"I don't think there's anything that can be done, to be honest with you. You've just got to yell a little louder."

To be clear, Jacobs' concerns over on-ice acoustics have nothing to do with the noise from the crowd.

If anything, he and his Northern Ontario teammates are hoping the passionate fans who've followed them to London this week make even more noise.

His favourite? The traditional "moose call" that has had him laughing on the ice a few times.

"It's hard not to smile because the sound is so funny," he said. "I mean, the more the merrier for sure."

It's a good thing the crowd noise isn't a problem, because it will get more intense as the crowds -- and the importance of the draws -- grow.

But organizers are trying to keep some of the crowd noise at bay. There are classes from 30 London schools attending the Brier this week, part of a push to show the game to youngsters.

The pupils, though, are sitting in the arena's upper bowl, keeping a distance between them and the athletes.

Not that some of the curlers would complain if they were a lot closer.

"At the Olympics (in Vancouver) it was a continuous roar. And the players loved it," Alberta Coach Jules Owchar said.


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