The History of Curling

Curling happens to be a precision sport, which is played on an ice surface that is finely groomed. Some people could say that it compares to bocce or bowls, but experienced players feel that curling is unique in its general execution. Despite the existence if minor variations played all over, many serious competitions adhere to one set of rules established by the governing body in every country. In addition, the sport is overseen by the world Curling Federation.

What is Curling Anyway?

A curling match between two teams is divided into ends. The event organizers set the number of ends within a match. Club matches, as well as bonspiels, are 8 ends only, but champion competitions would be ten. Every end is played for 15 minutes while a scheduled game time can be called a draw. There is a primary level of equipment needed to play the sport. These include rocks/stones that are provided by a club, a broom for each player, proper footwear exclusively designed for curling, and some warm clothing which doesn’t restrict movement.

History of Curling

The sport has a rich history with numerous traditions, which continue even today. It was invented within the Medieval Scotland, with its first written reference to a competition utilizing stones on ice in February 1541, coming from Paisley Abbey’s Renfrewshire records. Two paintings, “The Hunters in the Show” and “Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap” both done by Pieter Bruegel (the elder) and dated 1565 show Flemish Peasants curling. During this period, Scotland, as well as the Low Countries, held strong and cultural relations, something as well evident within the golf history. Evidence that during the 16th century curling existed within Scotland includes some curling stone with the date 1511 engraved on it, as well as another one that bears the date 1551, found after draining an old pond in Dunblane, Scotland. Formally constituted in the year 1716, Kilsyth Curling Club proclaims to be the world’s first curling club. This club still exists today and it again claims the world’s oldest purpose constructed curling pond at Colzium, in the form of some low dam forming a shallow pool specifically in the size of 100 by 250 meters.

It was in 1620 when world curling appeared within print in Peth, Scotland, within the preface as well as within Henry Adamson’s poem verses. In Scotland as well as the Scottish settled regions such as Southern New Zealand, the sport was and is still called, “the roaring game” mainly due to the sound produced by the stones as the move over the water droplets applied to the surface. Curling is a name derived from “curl,” a Scots and English verb that describes the stone’s motion.

Playing stones within the early curling stones were merely flat-bottomed river stones of varying shapes, sizes, and smoothness. Unlike in current curling, the thrower did not have much control over the velocity or curl. In addition, the thrower did not rely upon precision, strategy and skill but relied more on luck. In Darvel within the East Ayrshire, playing curling matches was the weavers’ way of relaxing. They played using heavy stone weights from the warp beams of the looms, with a detachable handle fitted for the purpose.

Mostly, a married woman would maintain the husband’s brass curling stone handle upon the projection, brightly polished till when it could be needed once more. Curlers from Central Canada mostly utilized irons instead of stones till the early 1900s. In fact, Canada happens to be the only nation known to do this. Other countries tried it using ice filled tins or wood.

Between the 16th and the 19th centuries, outdoor curling had become quite common within Scotland mainly because, during every winter, the climate provided favorable ice conditions. Today, Scotland happens to be the home for the curling international governing body “The World Curling Federation,” Perth that originated as the Royal Caledonian Curling Club committee, the curling mother club.

How Curling Spread to other parts of the World

Presently, curling is most firmly established within Canada, where it was introduced by Scottish emigrants. Established in the year 1807, the Royal Montreal Curling Club is the oldest established curling cling and still active within North America today. United States’ first curling club was introduced in 1830. Curling was introduced to Sweden and Switzerland by scots later in the 19th century. People throughout Europe play curling today. The sport has also spread to Japan, Brazil, China, Korea, and New Zealand.

The curling first world championship was held in Falkirk as well as Edinburgh, Scotland back in the year 1959. It was called the scotch cup and was limited only to men. A Canadian team that came from Regina, Saskatchewan, whose skip was Ernie Richardson, won the 1st world title.

Olympic Curling

Since the winter Olympics of 1998, curling has stood an official game within Winter Olympic Games. Today, it comprises of men as well as women’s tournaments. During the 2010 Olympics, a mixed doubles event for Olympics was put into consideration but it was rejected. The international Olympic committee in February 2002 retroactively made a decision that the 1924 Winter Olympics curling competition, which was originally known as the “International Winter Sports Week,” was going to be regarded as official Olympic events (not demonstration events any longer). Consequently, the first curling Olympic medals, in a game that was played outside during the time, were awarded for the winter games of 1924, with Britain and Ireland winning the gold medals, Sweden winning two silver medals, France winning the bronze medal. At the 1932 Winter Olympics, there was a demonstration tournament held between 4 United States’ teams and 4 Canadian Teams. Canada won twelve games to four. The sport has been dominated by Canada since the 1998 Winter Olympics with their team for men winning gold medals in 2006, 2010, and 2014. They also won silver in 1998 as well as 2002. The team for women, on the other hand, won gold in 1998 and 2014, silver in 2010, as well as, bronze in 2002 and 2006.

Curling entails a high level of discipline. Competitors have to shake hands before a game starts to show the good-natured custom, which follows the sport. Which team will have the first throw is a matter determined through a coin toss or any other similar random action. During a team’s turn to throw, strategy for the throw is decided by the skip who indicates this by use of a vocal sign, hand sign, or broom sign. Vice skips determine the numbers of points scored after rocks have been thrown.

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