Before this week, I was curling stupid. Just plain ignorant on the sport. But I figured that if I am going to be watching a lot of it, I might as well learn what I can about the sport. So here is what I have learned so far:
- Two teams- 4 people per team
- 4 people- one skip (one who call the shots) one thrower, and two sweepers
- Playing field 15' by 150 approx. Ice is covered with a brine solution to make it "pebbly"
- The friction between the stone and the ice causes the stone to turn one way or another is know as "curling"
- One game consist of 10 Ends (or rounds). One End consist of 16 thrown stones total (8 per side)
- Each team has a total of 73 minutes to throw all of the stone for the game. If they don't make that, they forfeit.
- The circles at the end of the playing field is called the "house" and the center white circle is called the "button". The button is the target.
- Goal is to score points by having more stones closer to the button than the other team. One point is awarded for each stone that is closer than each of the opposing teams stones. Points are awarded at the end of each End.
- Thrower uses a "hack" which is a black block (similar to someone running track) to push out of to throw the stone. They have to release the stone before the first black line which is a "hog line" and the stone has to cross at least the second hog line.
- The skip is person that stands behind the house calling where to throw the stone and how hard.
- The sweepers are "sweeping" the ice as the stone travels down the field.
- There are two reasons for sweeping: to increase the distance that the stone travels, and to make the stone travel straighter.
- Stone weighs between 38 and 44 pounds
- The player's shoes have two different finishes. One has a Teflon finish that will slide on the ice and the other shoe has a rough surface for traction.
- The speed at which a stone is thrown is called the weight.
- Stopwatches are used to tract the speed of the stone
- There are three types of shots: the guard, the draw and the takeout. Guards are thrown in front of the house and are used for protection, the draw are shots to make it into the house and the takeout is a shot used to remove the stones from play.
If you have a chance to catch a game, give it a shot! And if anyone knows the sport and can correct me on anything that I have written, please do! I am certainly no expert.
GO TEAM USA!!!
(images from Google images)