Monday, February 15, 2010

Shuffleboard On Ice

There is no other Olympic sport that seems to have raised so much confusion as curling. Many people have no idea how this game is played beside the fact that they throw a giant rock down the ice and use funny looking brooms to guide the rock onto a relatively small target. However, I felt that I would do a little research tonight to get all of us fired up for the first Olympic round-robin matches tomorrow at 9 AM.

The first recorded instance of curling was in Scotland in 1541, and the first club was established in 1716. Ever since, curling has been tied to Scotland and has since become a major world sport, or at least major enough to earn a spot in the Olympics. However, very few people have any idea how this game is scored much less won. Using the most trusted source on the Internet, Wikipedia, I discovered that there are 10 rounds in a game of curling. Each round, each individual team has eight stones to shoot at target. Now once the eight stones are thrown by each team, the game is scored like bocce. For many of you, bocce may not be any more help than curling, so I will explain further. The team that has its stone closest to the middle of the target gets one point for each additional stone that it has closer to the middle than the closest of the opponent's stones. In my rough sketch shown, the dark team would score 3 points in this round.

Well, I hope I've been able to help you understand the sport a little better. If anybody wants to, shoot me an e-mail and we can go out curling on Lake Champlain! (You know I'm joking, right?) Either way though, if you're watching this sport in Torino in 2006, I've come to appreciate it more than I previously had. Think of it simply as shuffleboard on ice and the rest will make sense.

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