Learn To Curl Open House Slides Into The Ice Arena

By: Brianna Bailey bmb1064@plymouth.edu

Brooms sweeping across ice and sliding granite stones. This is the strange sight that makes up the sport of curling and it’s one that can be seen at the Ice Arena during the Learn to Curl open house. The Plymouth Rocks Curling Club will host the event on Sunday, Mar. 1st and Sunday, Mar. 8th, allowing Plymouth State University students the chance to channel their inner Panther while learning the basics of “the roaring game”, a name that comes from the sound the stone makes as it slides across the ice.

“Curling is often referred to as a game of chess on ice,” said Dave Gyger, a curling enthusiast and the manager of the Ice Arena. “It’s a very strategic game. You’re delivering a 44 pound granite stone down the ice, trying to make it either curl around a stone or possibly move a stone out of the way and try to get the most stones that you can get closest to the center of the house, which are the rings painted on the ice… curling is the most fun that I’ve ever had on ice… the first time I got to experience the sport; I was immediately hooked.”

“Curling is often referred to as a game of chess on ice. ”

David Gyger, a curling enthusiast

The game is played on special ‘pebbled’ ice. This effect is achieved with the use of a canister backpack, which sprays droplets of water on the ice through a special hose with small holes drilled into it. The droplets freeze on the ice in a way that resembles small pebbles, a texture that gives the granite stone something to grab onto so that it can slide across the ice.

Although the sport entered Olympic fame in 1998, it didn’t become mainstream until 2014. Gyger attributes this feat to the popularity of the 2014 winter Olympics. But with popularity comes demand, and curling clubs, with their limited space, were soon overwhelmed by the new interest.

Photo Credit: David Gyger

Whether a first timer or someone looking to brush-up on their new skills, Gyger urges anybody who has an interest in curling to attend the event. “Athletic prowess is not an advantage. You know you think that ‘ah, I’m not an athlete’ or you know ‘I don’t have a lot of athletic ability’. That’s not the predominant component to make it successful. An intellect, being able to strategize and combat your opponent’s shots, is a big one.” He goes on to say that the curling community is “one big happy family” and hopes that curling newcomers can experience this comradery.

Students that would like to attend the Learn to Curl open house can sign up for the novice curling league, that will run for the first four Sundays starting on Mar. 15th, 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. PSU also offers curling as a one credit class during the last 8 weeks of the spring semester and the first 8 weeks of the fall semester.

The Learn to Curl open house is free to anybody in the community. Guests are expected to bring clothes that are comfortable and warm, and rubber-soled shoes free of any debris that could be carried onto the ice. For additional information and to register for this event, visithttps://campus.plymouth.edu/arena/curling/.