Curling is a game that looks deceptively simple but is, in fact, quite complex. It takes an hour to learn but a lifetime to master.
On the surface, curling seems as simple as shuffleboard on ice. A granite rock, a sheet of ice, a target 120 feet away. Finish with your rocks closer to the target than your opponents’, and your team of four wins a game in which keen competition mixes with a wonderful social atmosphere.
But there is much more to it.....
- The stones are deceptively easy to slide down the ice requiring a high amount of finesse and fine motor control to deliver the stones with the appropriate weight
- The stones curl as they decelerate thanks to a "pebble" of frozen mist on the surface of the ice. This pebble combined with the rotation placed on the stones by the players cause the stones to curl one direction or the other
- Players must predict the amount of curl that the stone will take based upon the ice conditions (which may change over the course of the game) and the weight (strength of delivery)
- Sweeping allows players to impact the length and direction (somewhat) of the stone's delivery by making the stone go further and straighter
- Sweeping, when done properly, is incredibly intense (think of wind sprints), raising the sweeper's heart rates above 160 beats per minute. Players must often quickly drop their heart rate down to their resting heart rate in order to make their next shot
- Like chess, you need to be thinking several moves ahead, employing complex strategies, to outsmart your opponent
- Like billiards, stones can be bounced off one another to meet your goals. Understanding the physics of angles and the transfer of momentum are keys to the advanced game
Curling is a game of finesse, strategy, physics and can be intensely physical.....there's a lot more to the game than shuffleboard on ice.
But wait....there's more...
Curling is not just a sport, but a culture also. The curling culture centers around the "Spirit of Curling"
Curling is a game of skill and traditions. A shot well executed is a delight to see, and so, too, it is a fine thing to observe the time-honored traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game. Curlers play to win, but never to humble their opponents. A true curler would prefer to lose, rather than win unfairly.
A good curler never attempts to distract an opponent or otherwise prevent another curler from playing his or her best.
No curler ever deliberately breaks a rule of the game or any of its traditions. But, if a curler should so inadvertently and be aware of it, he or she is the first to divulge the breach.
While the main objective of the game is to determine the relative skills of the players, the spirit of the game demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling, and honorable conduct. This spirit should influence both the interpretation and application of the rules of the game and also the conduct of all participants on and off the ice.
Additionally, players don't trash talk, they congratulate their opponents when they make a good shot, they shake their opponents hands before and after each game...and most importantly, players broomstack with their opponents after a match. Broomstacking is an age-old tradition whose name comes from the practice of stacking your brooms on the house while heading off the ice to socialize and get warm. After a curling match, the players of each team sit down together and socialize with the winners buying the first round of drinks.
If yes, then come on out and try the sport of curling at the Fort Wayne Curling Club's next Learn to Curl session!