Everyone's talking about and slowly becoming obsessed with it, but seriously, do any of us really know how curling works?
Like many of you, curling is a favorite Olympic event of mine. It's intense, thrilling, and we've all become obsessed with it. There's only one problem. While we may think
we know how it works as we get immersed in the pure intensity of it, we're really just as clueless as the next person on what's actually happening.
Which is why we've decided to do some research and break curling down into basic terms, so we're all a little less clueless. Well, we're going to try to at least ...
(We'll see how this goes.)
WHAT Is Curling?
Curling is basically shuffleboard, but on ice and much, much bigger. That's really it.
WHERE Did It Come From?
Before we dive into the logistics of the sport, let's take a look at the history and origins of the Olympic event.
According to the NBCOlympics website
, the game is said to have been developed in the 16th century in Scotland and the Netherlands. Some even believe that Belgium played a part in its creation.
[caption id="attachment_33521" align="aligncenter" width="300"]
Courtesy of the World Curling Federation[/caption]
Fast-forward to 1716 and a casual curling club was created by the curlers of Kilsyth Stirlingshire. The first official club, the Kinross-Club, wasn't founded until more than 100 years later, in 1818. The Grand National Curling Club -- now the Royal Caledonian Curling Club -- was then formed in 1838 and reigned as the world's official authority until 1966, with the founding of the World Curling Federation.
The sport didn't make its way to North America until the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with the first U.S. club being founded in 1829 in Pontiac, Michigan.
For years, many believed that the sport didn't become an Olympic event until 1998 at the Nagano Winter Games, but it turns out that wasn't the case. At the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924, curling made its debut as a medal sport. But, because of the confusion on whether or not it was, in fact, an official Olympic sport, from 1932 to 1992, curling only made five unofficial appearances at the Games, and as a demonstration sport.
HOW Do You Play?
There are two teams, each with eight stones, and they must slide the big granite stones across the ice, aiming for a target at the end. The target is made of four circles, and the main objective is to score the most points. In order to gain points, the teams must put stones in the center of the target -- the closer the stones are to the center, the more points you get.
There are four main positions: Lead, Second, Third, and Skip. All must work in tandem in order to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
-- This player's main job is to be the sweeper. But, they're also in charge putting their team ahead so they'll slide the stone the first two tosses, before sweeping for the next six.
-- This teammate throws the third and fourth stones. And for the last four stones, the second must work together with the lead to sweep.
-- The third player tosses the fifth and sixth stones. This position is vital because they're the one scoring points, as well as taking over skip duties (explained below) for the last two tosses.
-- This position is all about calling the shots. They're the one's who determine the strength of the toss, the rotation of the stone, and which direction it should go. They're also in charge of the final two tosses.
-- strength of the toss
-- rotation of the stone
-- direction the stone travels
Burning a Rock
-- when a sweeper touches a traveling stone, resulting in a violation
-- the target
-- bullseye of the house
-- the line splitting the length of the rink
-- the line at the back of the house
-- the foothold where curlers start their toss/delivery
-- the line behind which a player must release the stone
-- how a game is broken up/once each team throws their eight stones
-- the final rock of an end
-- tossing the stone
-- a shot that curls around another stone
-- a shot that blocks another stone
-- a stone that takes out another out of play
WHY Is Suddenly Everyone Obsessed with It?
This is one question we don't have the answer to. No, really. We're not sure why everyone has become curling fanatics, but honestly, do we even care? It's an incredible sport of strategy, patience, and skill, and it's so fun to watch!
Don't believe us? Check out the hilarious tweets below that perfectly reflect our utter confusion on why
we enjoy this sport so much:
*Aggressively cleans my house with a Swiffer Sweeper*
Time flies when you're having fun.
Wrote nearly 900 words about curling today, & I still don't get it.
This lady is my hero. But really, where'd she get that hat??
So what do you think? Are you a fan of curling? Or is there another Winter Olympic sport that holds your attention more? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and let's get the conversation started.