“Curling is a game of skill and tradition. A shot well executed is a delight to see and it is also a fine thing to observe the time-honoured traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game” – Olympic Winter Sport, The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition, June 2008.
I figured that in order to get my ‘curl’ on, I need to freshen up on the rules….who am I kidding! I need to learn the rules! Maybe even watch a couple of games to really understand what curling is all about. So, I have downloaded The Rules of Curling and even managed to find an A – Z of Curling Terminology. S and I were having a bit of a giggle over some of the funnier curling terms, such as:
- Hog Line;
- Hogged Stone;
- Swingy Ice; and
- Burned Stone.
So, what have I learned I hear you ask? Well, firstly – curling is played on ice (no surprise there!) on a curling sheet. Secondly, that it is a sport that dates right back to the 1500’s (thank you Wikipedia!), so I guess one could assume that it is a fairly old sport, much older then ice hockey and bobsleighing!
Thirdly, the ‘things’ they push along the curling sheet are called stones, and according to the rule book, they can weigh no more then 19.96 kg. Fourthly, a team has four players – so S and I are going to have to recruit! Finally, I have learned that the big ‘target’ looking thing at the end of the curling sheet is called the ‘house’. And, from what I can tell, the game is scored according to which team can get their ‘stone’ as close to the red circle in the centre of the ‘house’ (look at me go! Using all this curling terminology – I will be an expert in no time!).
The two players with brooms, you know the ones that look like cleaning ladies on speed, well….. they are the ones who basically steer the stone, or create a path for it by altering the state of the ice. I was talking to my mother the other day about what role I would play in the team and she thought it was funny to quip that I couldn’t be a sweeper because I don’t know how to use a broom! – good one mum! We’ll see wont we, maybe I have selective broomism and will make an awesome sweeper!
PS – the 2010 World Seniors and World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is currently underway in Chelyabinsk, Russia – go the Aussies!!