What Is Curling?

Does talking about last stone advantage at cocktail parties or describing a critical eighth-end takeout with your colleagues already come naturally to you? If not, you are not alone.

Curling is an exciting sport filled with strategy, athleticism, and action, with millions of fans around the world. But, for most people (in the United States), the sport is still new and possibly a little confusing. If you are a casual fan, or a potential fan, you may have questions: What is curling? Why are they sweeping? What are they yelling about?

We launched HitTheBroom.com to answer these questions and more to help casual (and would-be) fans get a better grasp of the sport. The more you understand and appreciate what is happening on the ice, the more likely you will be to watch, and enjoy watching, and the more engaged you will become as a fan.

We also put together a casual fan’s guide to curling, a line of t-shirts, and we will be sharing insights and details throughout the Olympics.

To help get you started:

Curling is played on a long, narrow sheet of ice with a marked target area, called the house, at each end. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding 42-pound granite stones to the far side of the ice sheet. The objective for each team is to get its stones closest to the center button of the house.

Players vigorously sweep the ice in front of the stone to keep it moving. The friction caused by the sweeping polishes the ice briefly, which makes the stones travel farther and straighter.

Each curling match is divided into ten ends. Each end includes both teams delivering all of its stones (eight stones per team). After all the stones have been delivered, the team whose stone is closest to the button gets a point. Additional points are scored by other stones in the house that belong to the same team, at one point per stone.

The team with the most points after the tenth end is the winner.

To learn more, check out Curling: The Casual Fan's Guide and come back to HitTheBroom.com often for updates!

This is an excerpt of a post that originally appeared on DearSportsFan.com.

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