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The curling team is composed of four players; the lead, second, third and skip. Each member has a specific duty and must be in sync with his fellow players.
Lead: Next to the skip, the lead is one of the most important members of the team. It is his first two shots (preferably in front of the rings) that set up the team’s strategy. Depending upon the lead’s stones, a team can either be on the offensive or defensive. The lead is also one of primary sweepers.
Second: The second follows up on the lead’s first two shots. He is primarily a take out specialist, clearing out opposing stones. The second is often paired up with the lead for sweeping.
Third: Also known as the “vice-skip”, the third is a trouble-shooter of sorts. His main duty is to set up the playing field giving his skip an easy shot. A third must be good at both take outs and draws. When the skip is throwing his stone, the third is in the house directing the shots.
Skip: The skip is the team captain directing the overall strategy and shot selection. Skips are known for their excellent shot making ability and powers of observation. Skips are constantly “reading the ice” looking for patterns and possible shot approaches.
The precise beginnings of curling are a bit of a mystery. Its origins are hotly debated between the Scots and Continental Europeans. Was it a purely Scottish invention or was it imported by Flemish travelers under the reign of King James VI? Recent discoveries of lost artwork, diaries and archaeological finds has sparked a number of theories, but nothing is conclusive.The earliest of graphic curling records center around 16th century Dutch paintings by Pieter Bruegel and R. de Baudous. The paintings show a number of winter motifs with background characters playing a game of “ice shooting”. Other paintings have children sliding wooden discs or frozen clumps of earth along a frozen pond.
In Scotland, a 16th century diary of a Scottish monk describes a challenge between two friends with “stones-on-ice”. In the early 17th century, an entry in a Glasgow Assembly records tells of a incident where a local Bishop is accused of a terrible act: He was a curler on the ice on the Sabbath.
The Birth of RCCC
As curling gained popularity in Scotland in the early 1800’s, a uniform set of rules became necessary. In some clubs, stones ranged in size from a football (5-25 lbs) to a basketball (40 lbs or more). Crude handholds were carved into an edge making it possible for the stone to be thrown. Other stones had a crude metal handle bolted into the center. Playing areas varied due to the size of the frozen loch they had. Some teams had eight members, others had four or six.Subsequently, as more clubs formed, a governing body was established to promote the sport and streamline the rules. In 1843, Prince Albert granted patronage of the Grand Caledonian Club (Edinburgh, Scotland) forming a centralized focal point for the sport. The Royal Caledonian Curling Club still exists today as the official record keeping center.
Info. gathered from http://www.allsports.com
Since curling is played on Ice, players need to wear special shoes. The sole of one shoe has a thin strip of teflon or another type of smooth surface, called a slider. Inexpensive sliders can be purchased that can be attached to any shoes by means of an elastic band. This enables curlers to slide out of the hack when delivering a rock. Left handed curlers have this special shoe on their right foot, while right handed curlers have it on their left foot. The other foot has a thin layer of rubber, to maximize traction on the ice. An additional piece of foot wear is the gripper, which can slide on and off the shoe with the slippery surface. This is also usually made of rubber. This piece of equipment is needed when a player is sweeping, and needs traction of both feet.
Another piece of equipment is the curling broom ( yeah a broom). The curling broom is used by the sweepers to sweep the ice surface in front of the rock. Sweeping in front of the rock lessens the deceleration of the rock, and also straightens the trajectory of the rock. The broom can also be used to clean debris off the ice, and is also used by the skip to show where she or he wants the rock to go. The skip will also hold the broom at the opposite end of the rink from the delivering player to show the deliverer where to aim the rock. Brooms can come in many different shapes and sizes depending on preference.
In Soccer, Baseball, Basketball and even Golf you gots balls.
In Curling, We Used Stones! Curling Stones to be exact.
The Curling Stone or rock used in the game weighs a maximum of 44 lb (19.96 kg) and is fitted with a handle on top allowing it to be rotated as it is released. If the handle is rotated away from the body, the shot is said to be an in-turn, and if rotated across the body, it is an out-turn. A special feature of the rock is that its bottom is not flat, but concave and the actual running surface of the rock is only 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 12 mm) wide on the rim of the concave bottom. This small running surface allows the pebble applied to the ice to have an effect on the action of the rock. On properly prepared ice the rock’s path will bend (curl) in the direction the front edge of the rock is turning, especially toward the end of its trip. The degree of curl depends on several factors, including the preparation of the ice and the flattening of common paths to the house during the game. Ice on which the rocks curl well is said to be swingy.
Although the rock is designed to be delivered by players grasping the handle as they slide down the ice, a special “delivery stick” may be used by players incapable of delivering the rock in this fashion. Such a stick is designed to attach to the handle so that it can be released without requiring the player to place a hand on the handle in a crouched position. This allows the game to be played by handicapped players, as well as those unable to crouch comfortably. According to the Canadian Curling Association Rules of Curling, “The use of a curling aid commonly referred to as a “delivery stick” which enables the player to deliver a stone without placing a hand on the handle is considered acceptable.”
A special handle has recently been developed for high-level tournament play, which integrates electronics to ensure a rock is released before it crosses the hog line. The handle is coated in metallic paint; the circuitry detects the relative charge of the thrower’s hand contact to determine if they are still in contact, and a linear field is established at the hog line to indicate its location to the internal sensor. Lights at the base of the handle indicate whether contact was sustained past the line or not.
The curling arena is a sheet of ice 146 feet (45.5 m) long by 14 feet 2 inches (4.32 m) wide, and is carefully prepared to be absolutely level and to allow the “rocks”, as the polished grante stones are called, to glide with as little friction as possible. A key part of the preparation is the spraying of fine water droplets on the ice to create what is called pebble. The pebble creates friction with the bottom of the stone. As the bottom catches on the pebble, it turns to the inside or outside, causing the stones path to ‘curl’. The curling action of rocks changes during a game as the pebble evens out from wear.
On the rink, a 12 foot (3.7 m) wide set of concentric rings, called the house, is painted near each end of the rink. The centre of the house, marked by the junction of two lines which divide the house into quarters, is known as the pin, tee, or spit. The two lines are the centre line, which is drawn lengthwise down the centre of the sheet, and the tee line, drawn 16 feet (4.9 m) from the backboard and parallel to it. Two other lines, the hoglines, are drawn parallel to each backboard and 37 feet (11.3 m) from it.
The rings which surround the button are defined by their diameter as the four-foot, eight-foot, and twelve-foot rings. They are usually distinguished by colour. The inner rings are merely a visual aid for judging which stone is closer to the centre, they do not affect scoring, however a stone that is not at least touching the outside of the 12-foot ring (ie. more than 12 feet from the centre) is not in the house and therefore does not score.
Twelve feet behind the junction of the centre and tee lines, the centre line is crossed at right angles by the hack line. The hack is a device used to provide traction to the curler making a shot; the curler places the foot he or she will push off with in the hack. On indoor rinks there are usually two fixed hacks, rubber-lined holes, one each side of the centre line with the inside edge no more than three inches from the centre line and the front edge on the hack line. A single moveable hack may also be used.