PLYMOUTH, N.H.– This month, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and Plymouth State University have a common thread; the sport of curling. Due to a rise in its popularity since becoming a medal sport in the 1998 Winter Olympics, curling has captured the interest of many Americans who want to find out more about it, and more importantly, a venue where they can try their hand at it. The public is invited to experience it at PSU’s Welcome Center and Ice Arena’s Hanaway Rink, when the rink hosts an exhibition and skills class March 18-20, 6-8 p.m., with league competition beginning Tuesday, April 1.
While Hanaway Rink is no stranger to traditional winter sports like hockey, figure skating, ice dancing and broomball, special preparations to the ice surface are needed to prepare for a curling game. In what’s referred to as pebbling, water droplets are sprayed and freeze on the ice surface, allowing the stones to glide down the ice toward their marks. Curling has fondly been dubbed “The Roaring Game” due to the sound the stones make when traveling across the textured ice.
Curling is one of the world’s oldest team sports, dating back to medieval Scotland where competitors slid common stones across frozen lochs. Today the stones are composed of 42 lbs of polished granite which are pushed across the ice toward a circular target area, or house, the very center of which is called the button. Once a stone is released, players use brooms to fervently sweep a path that places their stone closest to the button. Since the object of the game is to position your stones closest to the target, plays may include knocking out oppositional stones, placing stones to create colossal blockades, or strategic finesse shots. Terms like kizzle kazzle, spiel, wobbler and biter are used to describe strategy.
For more information about Curling Day at Hanaway Rink, contact Ice Arena @ email@example.com.