Curling: A Sweeping Good Time

The sport of curling has grown in popularity over the years and is a fan favorite at the Olympic Winter Games. So what does this have to do with Wisconsin? Everything! Wisconsin has the largest concentrated curling population in the US, with over 4,000 curlers, some being Olympic athletes. But what exactly is curling?

Here’s how it works:

Described as ‘chess on ice’, a curling match involves two teams of four. Each team skillfully slides their 40-pound granite playing pieces across a sheet of ice ­– trying to position them closest to a circular target or ‘house’. The curler can influence the stones path by causing it to slowly turn or curl as it slides down the ice. The path is also affected by the two sweepers using brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. The team with the best-positioned stones gets the most points.

Here’s where to watch:

Curling is a sport the whole family can enjoy watching and with over 25 curling clubs throughout the state there are no shortage of matches to enjoy during the fall, winter and spring. Find a club in your area and see just how slick this game really is.

Here’s how to get started:

  • The Milwaukee Curling Club is the oldest operating club in the United States and offers, “Learn to Curl” – a two-hour training session that will have you ready for scrappy scrimmages in no time.

  • The Green Bay Curling Club provides beginner sessions that piggyback a short “Try it League” for new players interested in getting a little taste of true curling competition. Be sure to call for their latest schedule.
  • With the Madison Curling Club, newbies will experience a two-part clinic. Curling lessons start off-ice, where you learn about equipment, warm-up and safety, etiquette, techniques for the delivery and sweeping, basic rules and strategies of the game. Then it’s ice time – you’ll take your newly learned skills and put them into curling action.

Have you ever curled before? Tell us about your experience in a comment below.

This entry was posted in Sports, Winter Activities