Archive for January, 2006

How about the teams?

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.m-usa.jpg


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History of Curling

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

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