The Truth About Curling
The first thing that non-Canadians ask me when they find out that I am from Canada is: “Tell me about the sport of curling because in my country we do not play, but it is a very fascinating sport to us and we must learn all we can about your culture.” This is what they ask unless that person is from one of the following countries that has an official curling association (list from Wikipedia):
- Andorra – Andorra Curling Association
- Australia – Australian Curling Federation
- Austria – Austrian Curling Association
- Belarus – Belarusian Curling Association
- Belgium – Belgium Curling Association
- Brazil – Brazilian Ice Sports Federation
- Bulgaria – Bulgarian Curling Association
- Canada – Canadian Curling Association
- China – Chinese Curling Association
- Croatia – Croatian Curling Association
- Czech Republic – Czech Curling Association
- Denmark – Danish Curling Association
- England – English Curling Association
- Estonia – Estonian Curling Association
- Finland – Finnish Curling Association
- France – French Curling Association
- Germany – German Curling Association
- Greece – Hellenic Curling Association
- Hungary – Hungarian Curling Association
- Iceland – Icelandic Curling Association
- Ireland – Irish Curling Association
- Israel – Israel Curling Association
- Italy – Italian Ice-Sports Federation
- Japan – Japan Curling Association
- Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan Curling Association
- South Korea – Korean Curling Federation
- Latvia – Latvian Curling Association
- Liechtenstein – Liechtenstein Curling Association
- Lithuania – Lithuanian Curling Association
- Luxembourg – Luxembourg Curling Association
- Netherlands – Netherlands Curling Association
- New Zealand – New Zealand Curling Association
- Norway – Norwegian Curling Association
- Poland – Polish Curling Association
- Russia – Russian Curling Federation
- Serbia – National Curling Association of Serbia
- Slovakia – Slovak Curling Association
- Spain – Spanish Ice Sports Federation
- Scotland – Royal Caledonian Curling Club
- Sweden – Swedish Curling Association
- Switzerland – Swiss Curling Association
- Chinese Taipei – Chinese Taipei Curling Federation
- Ukraine – Ukrainian Curling Federation
- United States – United States Curling Association
- United States Virgin Islands – US Virgin Islands Curling Association
- Wales – Welsh Curling Association
Since I played curling for a few months back when I was in high-school, and I’ve watched a couple of games on T.V., I figure myself to be something of an expert. Therefor I will explain all you need to know about this sport. Once again the amoebas have agreed to assist in the explanation:
Teams are made up of 4 people, making a total of 8 players participating in each game. Competitors like to get together before a match to have a celebratory drink to the game that is about to take place.
The Canadian Amoeba Curling Club has won the World Amoeba Curling Championship the past three years.
The game begins. The blue team shoots first this round. Next round the brown team will shoot first. Play continues for a total of ten rounds. With the first shot, Team Blue will try to set up a guard. A guard is a rock that sits before the house (the coloured circles) but after the Hog Line (black line you see in the image).
The first shot was perfect! Everyone, including the opposition, celebrates the shot with another drink.
Team Brown has the next shot. They decide to try and get a rock into the house. Unfortunately the shooter put too much pepper on the shot, and the stone goes all the way down the sheet and out of play. The players decide to have a commiseratory beer.
Curlers tell non-drinkers to “go play hockey”. This is considered a major insult in the world of curling.
Play continues with players on opposite teams alternating their shots. After all the shots are taken (sixteen in total for each end), points are awarded. Points are scored by having one or more of your team’s rocks closer to the center of the house (circles) than your opponents. If your team has two rocks closer to the center than any of the other team’s rocks, then your team will score two points. If neither team has a single rock in the house at the end, neither team receives a point.
In this case the brown team scores two points since they have two rocks closest to the center of the house. Only one team – or neither team – can score points each end. Everyone celebrates Brown Team’s points.
Play continues like this over ten ends. At the end points are tallied and the team with the most points wins. After the game everyone gets together and has “one for the road”.
Games sometimes end before ten ends are played, due to excessive alcohol poisoning.
And that is pretty much curling in a nutshell. If you are interested in some actual curling information, I recommend checking out Curling Basics. It’s a really cool site, with lots of good, and…er…relevant information.