Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Scots Corner - Curling

Okay so I'm sending you to http://tour-scotland-photographs.blogspot.com/ to see some fun pictures of curling on the Lake of Mentieth which is not too far from where I grew up.

So what is Curling? I do not want any pithy comments about something to do with hair thank you very much :)

Curling is a skilled game usually performed by 2 teams of 4 on ice involving a target (house), polished granite stones (that weigh a considerable amount), and brooms. The basic idea is to skillfully hurl/slide the stone down the sheet with the proper curl to the house with sweeping being done if necessary. It helps to learn how not to hurt yourself in the process of contorting your body into an elegant swan dive. The "properly avoiding the knee to chin bit" can be particularly hazardous when you are learning that art.

The game was originally played on frozen lochs and ponds in Medieval Scotland and progressed from there. The World Curling Federation is located in Perth. (I wonder if they will have a curling tournament to celebrate the town's 8ooth. birthday this year.) We Scots are a fairly mobile race of people and have taken Curling too many countries. Canada has a really strong curling history and I am always torn if I ever get to see a good game between them and Scotland. The US is fairly decent as well and if I forget to mention New Zealand my cousin might reach out and smack me down the ice :)

I love the game and played it badly on a few occasions in my youth, so all I can say is "Roll on the Winter Olympics." I will be glued to the set if any of the competition gets televised here. It is also a Paralympic wheelchair sport and Canada beat out Britain for gold in 2006 :(

If you want a really long read about the history and intricacies go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curling The short form can be found at http://www.worldcurling.org/history-of-curling which is where I found the Olympic photograph.


Janet said...

Love your commentary! There are 2 Curling clubs I know of in New York State (USA)- 1 northeast of NY City, and 1 northwest of the state capital of Albany, NY. I watched a bit years ago when a coworker played, and it certainly involved skill and finesse. I'd forgotten curling is in the Olympics this year, and will have to watch. Thank you.

Lesly said...

There is a Trivial Pursuit question that reads "In what sport do you throw stones at a house?". Here in Canada, everyone knows the answer! Curling is a great sport to watch, and fun to play, too! I hope the American stations give you good coverage of it next month!

ER said...

You probably heard that the Grand Match was called off on Friday... Health & Safety, and all that. :( Such a disappointment - after 30 years of waiting - it really did look like it was going to go ahead. Several thousand were expected, and were already turning up. Ah well, the lads came up here and enjoyed a mini-Grand Match on an outdoor rink in Inverness. I would love to have gone but was still surrounded by ice myself at that point...and no skates! ;) Lizzy