What's it all about?
Have you ever wanted to go bowling, but on slidey ice… and with brooms? If the answer is "yes, yes, yes!" then you should definitely check out curling.
How it's played
The sport: Curling is a s-l-o-w sport. Curlers need to take their time to figure out the strategy of getting heavy stones down a sheet of ice to their target!
The events: There are three events — men's, women's and mixed doubles. Each has teams of four, except for the mixed doubles which has a team of one man and one woman.
The equipment: A slab of ice, special brooms, curling stones made of granite and special shoes. (See pictures below.)
The strategy: Let's learn some curling speak! Athletes have to deliver (slide) stones down the sheet (rough ice) closer to the button (centre) of the house (target) than their opponent.
The points: Teams with the closest stone(s) to the button get a point. The team with the most points after six or eight ends wins.
The athletes: Curling is a sport for everyone — you don't have to be fast or strong. But athletes need to know their math to figure out how to curl the stones just right.
Did you know? Curling is a polite sport. It's considered sportsmanlike to concede after the sixth end if there's no chance of catching up or winning.
Things to watch for
One foot slides...
- Curlers wear two different shoes when on the ice.
- The shoe on the left foot is called the slider and lets that foot slide on the ice.
- The shoe on the right foot is called the gripper and gives the athlete more traction on the ice.
- Curling stones are made from a rare type of granite.
- There are only two places in the world where they can get the granite: the Scottish Island of Ailsa Craig and Wales.
- Since this granite is rare, they might have to use something else one day.
- The skip yells this to the sweepers once the stone is thrown.
- It lets them know to begin sweeping the ice in front of the stone.
- Sweeping the ice makes the stone curl less and travel farther.
Many believe that curling is named after the way the stones "curl" on the ice.
Curling is nicknamed "the roaring game" because of how the stones roar when going down the ice.
Curling ice isn't smooth — ice makers spray water droplets on it that form pebbles when they freeze. This helps the stones curl after they're thrown.