Winter Sports

Basics of Curling Competition

Basics of Curling Competition
Published: 2022-02-01
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Curling is a sport where two teams take turns to slice granite stones down a sheet of ice, and at Beijing 2022, there are men's women and mixed doubles events a team that consists of four people: a thrower, two sweepers, and a skip who's in charge.

A game is played over 10 ends and an end sees each team member throw two stones. The target, known as the House, consists of three rings that helped define which curling stones are closest to the center, known as the buffet. A team scored one point to each stone located in or touching the house when an end is complete, but they must be closer to the center than any stone belonging to the opposing team.

If neither team stones are touching the house at the conclusion of an end, no points are awarded. The slide is a key skill in curling. An efficient stone delivery depends on maintaining a balanced slide position. The sliding foot bears the majority of the player's weight, remaining flat on the ice under the body's center axis and slightly towed out to provide a wider base for balance. The broom head rests lightly on the ice, providing additional stability.

Once released, the sweepers can affect the speed and direction of the stone by sweeping across the ice with a brush. They can make a stone travel two or three meters further than it would without sweeping. Sweeping requires both downward force and brush head speed. The most effective motion is approximately 90 degrees to the stone path.

The sweeper keeps the top arm tight to the body, allowing more pressure to be applied on the brush head, but they begin to move their weight over the top. The power comes from the top shoulder, driving the brush head out and pulling it back. Sweepers can also reduce the curl of the stone, making the trajectory straighter. Curling is not played on perfectly smooth ice.

There are little bumps known as pebbles ice made by spraying droplets of water onto the surface. The thicker a sweeping raises the surface temperature of the ice and as curlers become stronger and sweep harder. The game is not only increasing testing the stones and brushes, but also the quality of the ice, which should remain constant throughout again game.

In-Depth Curling Info Courtesy of NBC Olympics