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Curling

An excellent version of the classic winter sport of Curling. Use your skill to get your stones closer to the centre than the competition. Use your mouse to set the direction (look for the little dotted line when you aim) and click to set the power and send the stone on its way.

 

 

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more about Curling....

Origins and history

The game was probably invented in late medieval Scotland, with the first written reference to a contest using stones on ice coming from the records of Paisley Abbey, Renfrew, in February, 1541. Two paintings (both dated 1565 ) by Pieter Brueghel the Elder depict Dutch peasants curling (Scotland and the Low Countries had strong trading and cultural links during this period, which is also evident in the history of golf).

The word curling first appears in print in 1620 in Perth, Scotland, in the preface and the verses of a poem by Henry Adamson. The game was (and still is, in Scotland) also known as "the roaring game" because of the sound the stones make while travelling over the pebble (droplets of water applied to the playing surface). The word derives from the Scots language verb curr which describes a low rumble (a cognate of the English language verb purr). The word does not take its name from the motion of the stones, which due to their deviation from a straight-line trajectory are said to curl. In the early history of curling, the rocks were simply flat-bottomed river stones which were sometimes notched or shaped; the thrower had little control over the rock, and relied more on luck than skill to win, unlike today's reliance on skill and strategy.

Outdoor curling was very popular in Scotland between the 16th and the 19th centuries as the climate provided good ice conditions every winter. Scotland is home to the international governing body for curling, the World Curling Federation, Perth, which originated as a committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, the mother club of curling. Today the game is most firmly established in Canada, having been taken there by Scottish emigrants. The Royal Montreal Curling Club, the oldest active athletic club of any kind in North America, was established in 1807. The first curling club in the United States began in 1832, and the game was introduced to Switzerland and Sweden before the end of the nineteenth century, also by Scots. Today, curling is played all over Europe and has spread to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and even China and Korea. The first world curling championship in the sport was limited to men and was known as the "Scotch Cup" held in Falkirk and Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959. The first ever world title was won by the Canadian team from Regina, Saskatchewan, skipped by Ernie Richardson. (The skip is the team captain, see below.)

Curling has been an official sport in the Winter Olympic Games since the 1998 Winter Olympics. In February 2006, the International Olympic Committee retroactively decided that the curling competition from the 1924 Winter Olympics (originally called Semaine des Sports d'Hiver or International Winter Sports Week) would be considered official Olympic events and no longer be considered demonstration events. Thus, the first Olympic medals in curling, which at the time was played outside, were awarded for the 1924 Winter Games with the gold medal won by Great Britain and Ireland, two silver medals by Sweden and the bronze by France.

Basics of the game

Curling is played on a rectangular sheet of prepared ice into which two round, painted, archery-like targets (called the house) have been embedded. The game involves two teams of four players. These teams are called rinks and named for the team’s captain, who is known as the “skip”. Each team has eight polished granite stones, called stones or rocks, with which they try to score. During each round of play, called an end, each player slides two stones along the surface of the ice. Play alternates between teams, each throwing one stone on their turn. The person throwing the stone influences where the stone stops by the amount of force used, called the weight, the spin (turn), and the direction of the throw. Additionally, the final position of the stone is changed by sweeping or brushing the path in front of the stone to reduce curl and increase distance. Once all the stones have been thrown during an end, the score is determined and the play reverses direction back to the other house.

The players are known as the lead, second, third and skip, and traditionally throw stones in that order . The skip acts as the team’s captain, determining the position played by each player, strategy during the game, holding the broom in the house as a target for the shooters, and representing the rink. However, there is nothing in the rules to say where in the order the skip plays and in recent years the skip has thrown second or third stones on some teams.

The basic goal of each end is to have your curling stones nearer to the center of the target once all the stones from both teams have been thrown for that end. Therefore, the maximum number of points a team can earn per end is eight, though this is extremely rare because only the closest stones belonging to one of the two teams are counted. Strategies used during play, such as blocking (guard) and hitting rocks to reposition them (bump) or remove them from play (take-out) lead to lower scores.

The term draw is used to describe a shot that comes to rest in the house without making contact with another stone. To peel means to remove both the target stone and the shooter's stone from play. For more information, see Types of shots below. To help ensure the stone lands where intended, the skip stands in the house and indicates to the player throwing where to aim given the desired effect of the shot. The other two players sweep in front of the rock. Once thrown, players may not touch a stone while it is moving, so sweeping is the only way to influence the stone once thrown. Games, called matches, usually last eight ends, though in competitive curling there are usually ten ends and some recreational games last six ends