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.

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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

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