Sport Curiosities



In curling, an Olympic sport since 1924 in Chamonix, two teams of four players compete on a rectangular ice surface, taking turns to throw a polished granite "stone" at a series of concentric circles. The goal is to place the stones as close as possible to the center of the circles, using brooms to influence the direction and speed of the stones by "sweeping" the ice surface. The sport owes its name to the effect ("curl") that gives the stone a curved trajectory. Its nickname, “The Roaring Game”, originates from the rumbling sound the granite stones make when traveling across the ice.


New synthetic material has superseded the sorghum curling brooms of the early days. The polished granite stones come with a handle and weigh between 40 and 44 pounds.


For indoor tournaments, the artificially created ice has its surface sprinkled with water droplets, which freeze into tiny bumps on the surface. Called "pebbled ice", this surface helps the stone's grip and leads to more consistent curling.


The rink is 42.07 m long and 4.28 m wide with a target, or “house”, at either end.


Curling shoes have two different soles: One must ensure the best grip on the ice, and the other must ensure maximum smoothness during the throwing phase.


The competition consists of ten rounds, called "end", each with a final score determined when all 16 stones have been thrown. A team may move one or more stones closer to the center and then receive one or more points for each end. The team with the most points at the end of the ten ends or the team awarded the victory by the opponent wins.