Mar 26 2012
If you are a sports fan, you probably think that you are up to date on all the major types of sports competitions in our part of the world. Well, more than likely you are not. There is a very popular sport played in Canada that many sports fans in the US and beyond have never even heard of. That sport is called curling.
Anyone who plays sports generally plays games to win. They all want to win whatever competitions they are competing in and win big. Curling competitors are no different- although the way they play games to win is very different than the sports most people are familiar with.
For starters, there is no ball. Instead there is a large, smooth, oval stone called a “rock” with a handle on top. The game is played on an ice arena similar to hockey. But unlike hockey, players do not wear skates; instead they wear special shoes that give them traction.
The game is played by 2 or more teams of four players who take turns sliding the rock across the ice towards the “house”, which is a circular marked target on the ice arena. Each team has 8 rocks. The goal, and how these teams win big in competitions, is to get the highest scores by chasing the moving rock with brooms and brushing the ice in front of it to change its speed or direction. This requires intense teamwork and strategy on the part of the players, since the decisions on which path to “brush” must be made split second.
Curling has been called “Chess on ice”, and has also been likened to shuffleboard or boule. It is believed that curling began in 16th century Scotland. The first curling rocks were simply smooth river stones with flat bottoms, and their direction was usually just based on luck. Over the centuries more details were added to the game, resulting in the curling you can now observe on Canadian TV.
Curlers enter games to win big. And despite the unusual nature of this sport, these curlers are extremely talented individuals who have combined the best aspects of physical sports with the mental strategy required of a complicated board game. So go online and look up some videos of curling; you will be amazed and intrigued!