There are varieties in sports that are being played around the world today and that too with great fanfare and high level of expectations.
There are varieties in sports that are being played around the world today and that too with great fanfare and high level of expectations. Even if the likes of cricket, football, hockey, basketball etc. are amongst the numero uno in the world of sports today, there are some others that have created a penchant of their own. One such sport that has been one of the favourites in the Northern American region as well as European countries is ‘Curling’. This sport is widely recognized the world over thanks to the Olympics and the Winter games. Curling has now a wider reach amongst the sports lovers and also has a universal body associated with it (World Curling Federation). Also called as ‘Chess on Ice’ and ‘The Roaring Game’, Curling is one of the most complicated games ever played.
Curling is recognized to be one of the world’s oldest team sports, with its origin roots dating back to the 16th century in Scotland. There, these games were played during winter on frozen ponds. The sport made its first entrant in the 1924 Winter Olympics held in France. Right between 1936 and 1992, Curling was a demonstration sport but soon in 1998, in the Nagano Winter games, it officially joined the Olympic programme, with both men’s and women’s competitions.
So how is it played?
So here’s the deal! Curling is played on a 150 ft long ice sheet, yes you heard it right, with a target at the end which is called the ‘house’. There are two teams that participate in this game with each taking turns in sliding an 18 kilo granite stone down the ice towards ‘the house’ aiming to get as close to the centre of the sheet. The two teams are given to slide eight stones in a round, which is called an ‘end’ and there are ten ends in a game.
The two teams comprises of four players each. Skip – he/she is the captain of the team and the one who determines the weight, line and turn of the stone delivery. Lead – is responsible for throwing the first two rocks and then sweeps the next six. Second – throws the third and fourth stones and sweeps the first two and final four. Third – is the vice-captain and throws the fifth and sixth stones. He/she is also discusses strategy with the Skip.
How does one win in Curling?
A curling match lasts for ten ends and the team with the most number of points at the end of these ten rounds is declared the winner. At the start of the game, the Skip pushes down the stone onto the ice sheet which is later slowed down by tiny ice pebbles. To avoid that slowness, the Lead, Second and the Third sweep along the sheet with a brush in their hands. With that, the pebbles melt away and thus the stone stone travels further.
Curling may not profound sport and as commercial as the others (football, cricket etc.) but still is able enough to create a fan base. European countries have been strongly favoured towards the sport and in true sense; ‘Curling’ has created a niche amongst the rest.