Are you going through withdrawals now that the Winter Games are over? We were intrigued with this year’s Curling Events, from the colorful costumes to the competitive nature of the sport. Since we have four long years until the next Winter Games, we figured connecting with a local Curling Club would be the best way to get familiar with the sport, enjoy the ice and some friendly competition! Curling, which is similar to shuffleboard (but played on ice), was only added as an official sport in the Winter Olympics in 1998 but originated in Scotland in the 1500’s. If you are interested in reading more, a great resource we found helpful was the United States Olympic Committee’s USA Curling website which provides a search tool for locating clubs near you, along with other information and news on the sport of Curling.
Otherwise to get started Curling you’ll need the following:
- An Ice Rink
- Curling Brooms
- Curling Stone
- Clean Shoes
- A Dash of Humility (Due to the likelihood of falling down once or twice!)
If you find a curling club or a curling open house at a rink they should have the stones and brooms for you
The object of the game is pretty simple; get your stone as close to the button as possible, or at least closer to the button than the opposing team. There are two ‘houses’ on the ice, one at either end of the curling sheet which look like, and are often referred to, as ‘the target’. The center of the house is called the button and the team with their stones closest to the button wins. Individuals can influence the speed and direction of the stone by brushing the ice in front of the stone with brooms.
Quick Tip: The curling stones are made of granite and weigh between 38-44lbs. Never ever pick up the stone when you are on the ice. Dropping the stone can break your toes and/or the ice or stone itself.
Although we were quick to realize that the Curling game takes a bit of finesse, it’s really a sport that is quite fun and in our opinion, vastly underrated! Now’s the time to start practicing and become an expert before the next Winter Olympics.