It is generally agreed that the sport of curling was developed in Scotland in the 16th Century, and brought to Canada by Scottish immigrants around 1759. Curling began in the United States in 1855. Some of the oldest curling clubs in the US are in New York, Detroit, Portage, WI and St Paul, MN, but the sport’s popularity really took off after curling became a medal sport in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Now curling is the fastest growing winter sport in America and is quickly spreading around the world.
- Curling is the most watched winter Olympic sport, and over 50% of the coverage will be curling in 2018
- The US Curling Association voted 10 new US clubs into membership at the 2017 Member’s Assembly
- Filming of Curling Night in America was attended by over 7500 fans (Omaha, NE) and watched by more than 500,000 fans
- The Chaska, MN curling club opened in 2015 and they were expecting 350 members in the first year. They now have over 1300 members and a waiting list.
- The Dakota curling club in Lakeville, MN opened in January 2017 and they have 380 members and over 550 different individuals curled.
About the Game
Curling is played with two teams, each with four team members.
Each curling stone weighs about 42 lbs
Instead of innings or quarters, curling has “Ends”. In each End, every team player throws two stones, alternating between the two teams, down the ice sheet toward the “House” (the large target at either end of the ice sheet). The last stone thrown is called “The Hammer” because it can be a game-deciding throw.
After all stones are thrown, the stones closest to the button (the center of the house) scores a point, and all other stones of that team that are in the House and closer than any rock of the other team also score a point.
A match usually consists of 8 ends and takes about 2 hours.
The Ice Sheet
The distance from hack to hack is 138 ft (the “hack” is what you “push off of” when throwing).
The full sheet is 150 x 15 ft