That Crazy Sport Called Curling

In case you do not know by now, I love the sport of curling.  Since it is the Olympics you are lucky that I am even posting.  Right now there is a bit of a break.  So, here it goes.  This is a multi-part post.  I hope you all enjoy.

Curling.  It seems to have become popular because of my favorite team’s pants.  I mean there is even a Facebook fan group for the Norwegian team’s pants.  A bit silly, but I do like the page.  That aside, why is such a ridiculous sport called curling.  It all seems a bit ridiculous.  Well, the name curling comes from the way that the stones are slid across the ice.  The sliding of the stone is called “throwing the stone”.  If done right, the stones should have a curling motion as they slide.  The ice “playing field” is called a Curling Sheet.  No joke!  It is called a sheet.  You throw the stones down a sheet.

Speaking of the stones, what exactly is the proper name for those?  They are either called stones or rocks.  Either works.  They are made of granite and are slightly radioactive, like all granites are.  The brooms do not have any special name, they are simply called curling brooms.  They were formally called blackjack brooms.   The brooms are used for sweeping in front of the stone to get it to do what you want it to.  Other equipment that is needed includes: curling, pants, stopwatches, curling gloves, and curling shoes.  There are actually two types of shoes.  The slider shoe is worm by the sweepers and one of the thrower’s feet.  The hack foot shoe is worn by the thrower on the hack foot and it does not allow for sliding.

Back to the curling sheet to finish this out.  There are several different parts to the curling sheet.  To help you all with your curling watching, here is what all of those different parts are.  The house is the target and there is one at each end of the sheet.  There are three colours to the house.  The centre of the house is called the button.  The button is crossed by two lines.  The long line that splits the sheet in half is called the centreline.  If you look closely the centreline stops a bit short of the edge of the sheet.  Where it stops is called the hackline and is where the hacks are.  The hacks are where the slider must start from when throwing the stone.  Twelve feet from the back of the hacks is the backline.  The line that intersects the centreline in the middle of the button is called the teeline.  The teeline is where people are allowed to sweep.  Once it reaches the teeline at the opposite end, a person from the other team is allowed to sweep.  When looking at the curling sheet you will notice two thick dark lines twenty-one feet from the teeline.  Those lines are called the hoglines.  The thrower must release the stone before the it crosses the hogline. The area between the hogline and the teeline is called the free guard zone.  There are ten rounds of curling and these rounds are called ends. 

There you have it.  I hope this helps you understand a bit more about curling.

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