Curling Curiosity

Do you have curling curiosity? I love watching curling tournaments and always wondered what it would be like to curl. Recently, the Long Island Curling Club offered Learning to Curl sessions and my daughter signed me up! Curling is harder and more exhausting than it appears to be on TV. What follows below is an overview of what I remember from my introductory session. If you want to know more I suggest you go directly to the Long Island Curling Club webpage. They can address your curling curiosity.

The Sport of Curling

Curling is a team sport with 4 players on each team. One player slides a heavy stone down an ice sheet toward a target, called the “house,” and other players attempt to control the stone’s velocity and path by fiercely scrubbing the ice in front of it with long-handled “brooms.” The main goal in curling is to score more rocks closer to the centre of the target than your opponent’s nearest stone. The other team can sweep your stone to keep it out of the scoring zone or they can target one of your stones by hitting it out of the scoring zone. Only one team can score per end and each rock is worth one point, so the maximum points a team can score in a period of play is eight.

What to Wear

Dress in layers. The arena temperature is about 45-50 degrees. We were told we would be standing on ice for two hours. You can wear a hat, but I definitely recommend gloves. Lightweight gloves keep your hands warm while still allowing you to feel the stone. Clothing should allow freedom of movement. You need to be able to squat and lunge ( jeans are not recommended since your movement is restricted).
If your feet get cold easily it was suggested we wear two pairs of socks. Then there was the question of shoes. Boots or anything with a heel was not acceptable. It was suggested we wear sneakers with grips rather than flat sneakers which would cause you to slide. The shoes you wear should only be used for curling. Keep them clean. A good nature and sense of humor with a willingness to try something unique is also recommended.

What Equipment is Needed?

In addition to wearing the right clothes, the curling club supplies the ice time, stones, brooms, push sticks, a curling hack (for pushing off), a curling slider and a stabilizer. Other equipment help to pebble the ice and some measuring devices.

Important Rules

A moving stone cannot be touched by any part of the sweeper’s broom or body or by other team members. If so, the stone must be removed from the ice by the playing side. Score one point for every stone which is nearer the target than any stone of the opposing team. Any stone touching the outer circle is eligible. No measuring is allowed until after the end is over. When a stone passes the back line it is automatically out of play. All curlers must start their delivery from the hack. Should any part of the body pass the hog line during delivery, the stone must removed from play.

Curling Etiquette

Start and finish with a handshake. At the beginning of the game, greet the members of the opposing team with a handshake, tell them your name, and wish them “Good Curling”. When the game is over, offer each of the players a handshake and move off the ice. Compliment good shots, no matter which team makes them. Be ready. Take your position in the hack as soon as your opponent has delivered his/her stone.

Keep the game moving; delays detract from the sport. Be prepared to sweep as soon as your teammate releases the rock. When your opponents are preparing for delivery, stand to the side of the sheet, single file and between the lines. Move only after the stone has been released. If you are throwing next you may stand on the backboard, but remain quiet and out of sight of the opposition thrower. Be courteous. Don’t distract your opponent in the hack. Sweepers should stay on the sidelines between the lines when not sweeping.

Thoughts …

I had a blast and would go back and play again. It is a fun game and in just one session I learned so much about the sport. I have a new respect for sport and those that curl. If I am to be honest, I spent most of my time with my knees on the ice because it is very slippery. I did not expect to be able to get the stone down into the scoring zone. It is much further than I expected. Near the end of the game I was given a push stick to try and I found this much easier for me to push the stone and my knees were thankful.

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with writing? Not much, but I had curling curiosity that needed to be addressed. As far as writing is concerned, you can say that writing is a team sport. While we write the story as an individual, there are several players on our team. We have critique partners, editors, illustrators, agents, and publishers who are our teammates. As far as what to wear, that varies with each author. Our equipment can include paper, pencil, pens, computers, and even typewriters. We have rules as far as word count, spelling, grammar, sentence length, and show, don’t tell, just to mention a few. We even follow etiquette rules when it come to submitting our manuscripts to agents and publishers. It looks like writing and curling have a lot in common. Who knows, I might even write a book about curling.

If you have any interest in curling, I would highly recommend you contact your local curling club to learn more. I am so happy that I gave it a try.

Requests …

I am so glad you’re here and I thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful that I can share my writing journey with you. 

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