Is it just me or this year does the sport that has climbed into popularity seem to be curling? It seems to be that no matter where you go during these winter games someone is mentioning the curling teams, or someone is curling and asking about curling. One of the most searched terms as of this writing on Google and other search engines is Curling Game Rules. Add to that the fact that on NBC’s list of most viewed Olympic pages Curling beat out hockey and on February 22nd the LA Times said that “Curling legends are enjoying their newly minted sex symbol status”, you have a true new trendy sport.
Curling is a small sport played on ice with brooms and big stones. Overall it does not seem like it is that hard, right? Wrong, the game is actually fairly complex and it does take a lot of skill. Have you ever tried to slide a 38-44lb granite stone down a sheet of ice and make it go and do exactly as you want? I tried once and I failed miserably so I can appreciate the skill of the curlers at the Olympic Level.
Weather you plan on taking up the sport or are just watching it for fun the first thing a lot of new comers to the game ask is exactly what is the point of the sport? Well there are some simple rules that anyone can follow. The main objective I to slide the rocks down the sheet of ice to the circles that are painted on the floor, they are called the House. You have 2 teams of four players and they go in turn to slide their stones. The Olympic tournament system has set thing to be 10 ends to each match.
The basic idea is to have one of your team’s rocks nearest the center or “Button” of the House. When each player has pushed two stones, the team that has a stone closest to the button of the house scores a point for each rock that is closer than the other teams nearest rock. If the rocks have been well guarded or pushed off and there is no rocks in the house there are no points scored for either team. If the points are even at the end of 10 ends there is a tie breaking end played to choose the winner.
Now that we have the basic idea of the game we should look at a few of the players. When a rock is let go down the ice you have two players with brooms they are the sweepers. They use skill and instructions shouted (loudly at the Olympics!) from the other team members, to guide the rock down the ice and as close to the button as possible.
There you have the most basic rules of the curling matches that so many people are hooked on currently thanks to the Olympics. If your interested in more information on the sport and maybe learning how you to can become a curler you can check out, curling rocks.net the official curling association for the USA.