The history of curling
The origin of curling goes back to Scotland in the 16th century, when the sport was practised on frozen ponds and lakes.
The first recorded game took place around 1541. A Scottish notary recorded a challenge between a monk from the Paisley Abbey and a relative of the abbot.
Scottish immigrants spread the sport to North America. In 1807 the first Canadian curling club opened in Montreal and in 1828 the first club in the USA was formed in Pontiac, Michigan. The Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Scotland, the so-called “Mother Club” of curling, wrote the first official curling rules in 1838.
Technique is essential for curling. Without technique it is difficult to steer the stone in the right direction and at the right speed. Some people are naturally talented; others take time to develop.
As with any sport, perfecting technique is an extremely difficult task, but here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:
Hold the stone with your strong hand and hold a brush or crutch to support your balance in the other.
Squat with your strong leg behind, hold the stone slightly forward and on the outside of your stronger foot.
Squeeze off, stretch out your strong leg behind you, your toes gliding over the ice and on the opposite foot.
Extend your arm and hand in the direction you are aiming the stone. You must be accurate in terms of target and weight (speed and delivery) to ensure that your stone is directed towards your target.
To apply the crimp in the direction of your stone, turn the handle clockwise or counterclockwise. This is called giving the correct grip.
The player must clear the stone before passing a certain point known as the Hogline.
Introduction to Curling
Full of swing
Sweeping with a brush, also called a broom, reduces the friction between the ice and the stone surface and makes it curl less. It also forms a thin layer of water that helps the stone glide over the surface, allowing the stone to continue its swing in the desired direction.
At the end of each end, the team scores one point with the stone closest to the centre of the house (known as tee or button).
Teams can collect more points for each other stone in the house that is closer to the tee than the nearest stone of the opposing team. Stones must be in the house or touch it to be considered for scoring.
The team scoring delivers the first stone at the next end and gives the opponents the so-called "Hammer" or the last stone advantage on this end.