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All About Curling

January 22, 2013

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"Hey Skip... sneak that rock past the biter and land it on the button!" It's the language of curling so let's "broom up" everything there is to know about curling so we can get you out on the ice before it melts. Here's Kidzworld's article for all about curling...

What is Curling?

Curling is a precision sport where the players try to get points by sliding a large flat stone across the ice and land it closest to the button (kinda like a bullseye painted on the ice). The game is usually played between two teams of 4 players. Each player takes turns "throwing the rocks" while the other players sweep the ice in front of the rock while it's sliding in an effort to strategically place the rocks closer to the button than the other team.

The RinkThe RinkCourtesy of pacurling.com
 

Collision Course

As the players throw the rocks into the house (the area that surrounds the button), the rocks can bump and collide with the rocks that were already thrown. This is what makes curling so fun. Some of the greatest curlers are the ones that can colide 3 or 4 stones to get their rocks closest to the button and knock their opponents rocks out of play. When this happens, players can accumulate 2 or more points to run up the score.

Curling StoneCurling StoneCourtesy of ptbogolf.com
 

Curling Slang

So you're ready to grab a broom and start curling? Wait a second. Like any sport, you need to talk the talk before you walk the walk. Let's brush up on some of the major curling terms...

  • Light: A stone thrown at a low speed.
  • Hack: Similar to a starting block in track and field; the foothold the player throwing the rock uses to push off.
  • Hurry Hard! A command to sweep immediately and urgently.
  • Hog Rock: A stone removed from play because it doesn’t reach the requisite distance.
  • “Peel that guard so we can get in the house.” Funny Expression
  • Peel: A hard throw.
  • Guard: A stone that comes to rest in front of another stone to protect it from the other team’s shots.
  • House: The 12-foot, eight-foot and four-foot rings at each end of the ice where players land rocks to score.
  • “Freeze to that rock on the hammer and we’re trying to blank the end.”
  • Freeze: A stone coming to rest at the point where it merely touches another stone.
  • The Hammer: The last shot of each end, or round of curling.
  • Blank End: A situation wherein neither team scores in an end.

Best of the Brooms

Team CanadaTeam CanadaCourtesy of the Olympics
 

Of course, to play curling, you need a large sheet of ice... so you're not going to find the best curlers in Jamaica. The best curlers in the World are usually the same countries that are really good at hockey. But who's the best? Team Canada has won the World Championships more than any other country with 29 titles in 48 tournaments. Here are the current top 5 ranked countries:

  1. Canada
  2. Scotland
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  5. Switzerland

Have Your Say

Have you ever curled before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below...