Curling, What is it?

By: Morgan Sharbaugh

Curling is an Olympic sport than most people view to be shuffleboard on the ice, but what really is it?

The playing “field” as what might say is called the sheet, and it is covered in many little ice droplets called pebbles that are there to knock the rock off course. The players use the brooms to brush the pebbles away so the rock stays straight on course. The goal is the get the rock as close to the center of the bullseye. The center is called the button and the bullseye is called the house.

You might be thinking, well that sounds easy, so why is it an Olympic sport? Because of how much skill and strategy goes into getting the rock the closest to the button! In some cases a team may be down,and with a disadvantage. If a team is at a disadvantage or is throwing the 16th stone–each team takes turns throwing eight stones each–the team may decide whether or not they want to aim for the other team’s top stone.

The teams also have to earn how to read the ice. On each team there are four members: a lead, a second, a third and a skip. When the lead, second, and third throw the stone, as it slides down the ice, the skip directs the team how hard and how fast they should sweep in order to get the rock closest to the house. The sweeping creates heat which melts the pebbles allowing the rock to glide further.

Fun Facts:

Curling is called the “roaring game” due to the noise the stone makes as it glides along the ice.

Curling stones are made from a unique granite that is found in only two places on earth, the Scottish island of Ailsa Craig and the Anna Trefor quarry in Wales. Each stones weighs from 38-44 pounds.

In curling, players are not allowed to trash talk. Good sportsmanship is very important and this is known as the “spirit of curling.”

Sources:

“What Exactly Is Curling?” Mental Floss, 10 Feb. 2018,

mentalfloss.com/article/23982/what-exactly-curling   

WRAL. 7 Fascinating Facts About Curling, the Oldest Sport at the Winter Olympics.

Published February 15, 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018. www.wral.com/7-fascinating-facts-about-curling-the-oddest-sport-at-the-winter-olympics/17342626/

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