Curling is one of the more curious sports out there, and you might have caught it if you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics. The sport is similar to lawn bowls, except it takes place on ice. The sport is popular in countries with cold climates where there is a lot of snow and ice. For instance, Scandinavian nations tend to have a big interest in curling, and the sport is also popular in North America.
You might not know a lot about curling as a sport because it’s not especially common. But, the game is actually much more fun and interesting than you might think. Next time you turn on the TV and watch some curling, you’ll want to know what’s going on. Well, here is everything you could possibly want to know about the sport of curling, and how it works.
How to play
The basic format of curling is very similar to lawn bowls, except players must slide stones across the ice and get them into a target area of four circles, a little bit like a dartboard or archery target. The two teams take turns at trying to get their stones as close to the center of the target area as possible. There are an array of techniques used to accomplish this, including brushing the ice in front of the stone with brooms. There are generally two teams of four, with two players brushing, and the other two in charge of sliding the stones.
It is very tactical
The game of curling might seem like it’s a little dull or straightforward, but it’s actually an incredibly tactical game. There are plenty of techniques the teams and players can use to improve their turns and to try to manipulate the path and travel of the stones. There is also an emphasis on trying to make sure you put yourself in a better position than your opponent. This generally includes tactically sacrificing one of your stones in order to supplant or take out an opponent’s stone.
Curling started as a Winter Olympic sport in 1924 but has only featured prominently since 1998. The dominant teams in curling have been Canada, along with Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Denmark. However, in recent years, the United States has developed a much stronger curling team, picking up a bronze medal in the 2006 Games. The current Olympic curling champions are Canada, with the men beating Great Britain to the gold medal in 2014, and the women beating Sweden.
There is specific equipment that you need to use to play a game of curling. Specifically, you need a curling sheet, which is a sheet of ice 45 meters long by 5 meters wide – naturally, this can’t be found just anywhere so you may need to go to a club! There are also curling stones, which are an essential part of the game; these granite stones can be found online and through limited suppliers. The shoes are similar to regular athletics shoes, except the soles are specifically designed for movement on the ice.
Because of the specialist equipment involved, curling is a difficult sport to enjoy as an amateur. But, there is a lot of scope for playing if you live in the right sort of area and if you can join a club. This is a fun, and interesting sport, that allows you to enjoy some tactical competition, and work as part of a team.