A Lesson in Canadiana: Curling Edition

by - Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I have gotten a couple of comments on my last post regarding curling... and what exactly it is (and no - it doesn't involve perms or anything else to do with hair!). It is basically a giant game of shuffleboard, played on ice.

While I am not the person to really explain the sport (and for those of you that don't think curling is a sport... trust me... I have seen some very sweaty boys in the last few days... they work hard!)... I recommend that you visit this interactive flash demo from Curling Canada for information on how the game is played.

The basics involve throwing marble "rocks" down the ice onto a giant target. The team with the most rocks closest to the middle (the button) without an opponents rock being closer, would win the points.

Each player gets to throw two rocks down the ice (there are eight red rocks and eight yellow rocks in the games I am watching). Some shots are made in order to "draw" their stone (meaning they throw it light enough that it stops on its own) and some are made to "hit" other stones out of the way, or to advance your rock to another place in the "rings" (the giant target).

Players can sweep their rocks in order for them to curl more (the rocks rarely go straight unless you throw really hard) and also to make them slide farther. The "skip" (kind of the leader of the team) is the one who decides how hard the sweepers should sweep, and when they should start and stop sweeping after the rock is thrown.

In order to do this, there is a lot of yelling. "Huuuuurrrrryyyyy" and "hhhhhaaarrrrddd" are often heard when the skip wants the player to sweep harder... they yell other things too, but those are the most popular. If you click on any link in this post, I suggest you listen to Russ Howard yell "HHHAAARRRDDD"... the dude's voice cracks. He is a skip at the Brier this year for Team New Brunswick - there are still a few days left and he hardly has any voice left.

Many would consider it a very "gentlemanly" game... there is a lot of camaraderie on the ice. It is also very skillful (I think everyone who plays it well excelled in geometry in school). It is as much about your own shots as the misses of others... and well... honestly, I could watch it all day.

OK... I have bored you with curling rules and stuff... now I am going to leave you with curling eye candy (you can also check out my Sunday Hottie of the Week: Curling Edition for more)...

Andrew Gibson, Team Nova ScotiaCraig Savill, Team Ontario
Brad Gushue, Team Newfoundland/Labrador
Jamie Korab, Team Newfoundland/LabradorAnd last but not least, my favorite... John Morris from Team AlbertaSorry for the "boring" curling post, but I thought I would do my part to educate those that have never had the enjoyment of watching a curling game... come visit me in Canada... we'll go play a game (or throw the rocks at eachother as hard as possible while yelling "hurry" and "hard" at eachother!).

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  1. Anonymous1:27 AM

    Go Team Alberta Go ... Yummy!

  2. This made me smile, because it is Mr. Newlywed's dream to curl.

    He actually belongs to the Internaional Curling Association. I kid you not.

    Yet, he has never played.

  3. Ooooh John Morris sure is yummy.

    Curling is kind of like bocce ball on ice. Only instead of the little ball that you throw beforehand, you have the centre of that bulls-eye at the end. Ha.

    Sounds like you're having a fantastic week!

  4. All you had to say was "Hot guys"! I'm in!

  5. Cool! I had heard of curling, but knew absolutely nothing about it except that it was played on ice.

  6. So it is kind of like lawn bowls but on ice?

  7. can we please give an honourable mention to paul gross in men with brooms? he can hurry me hard any time! ;)

  8. Love this post. As an Albertan, I'm sad to say that it took me awhile to get into curling, but I entered my first bonspiel in the fall and had the time of my life. Also? Last dude? Hot.

  9. hahah. the HAAAAAAAARRRRRDDDDD makes me laugh, everytime. no doubt these guys are losing their voice.

    alberta, all the way, for obvious reasons.

    oh, and johnnymo? stellar. my favorite is when he and martin get into their little power struggles.

  10. Thanks for the Curling 101, Carmen. I watch and try to 'get' it, but no one ever explained it to me. My BF's dad curls (actually on his way to BC sometime soon!), and the first night he met me he asked, "Are you athletic?". (Bahhhahahhaha - to know me is to know that athletic, I am NOT!) He was interested in recruiting a fellow curler. :) I must admit while waiting for supper on Sunday, the curling was on and I did notice Mr. Nova Scotia, and though I am not really into the game, he made me keep watching :)

  11. I've never played it but if that Andrew Gibson fellow was at the local rink you can bet I'd be heading there for some er..."private lessons"