30 Dec Sports Experiment – Curling
This December I really wanted to try out a typical winter sport, skiing and snowboarding has up until now been difficult due to ,im-perfect’ weather conditions, however this did not quench my desire to enjoy the cold. Since I’ve been practicing sports on ice for many years, curling was naturally right at the top of my list of favourites for the sport experiment of the month, a sport that also plays on a smooth surface.
Whether curling is classified as a real sport or just a game has been discussed for as long as the sport itself is old. I tried out recently what sporting skills are required, and would like to give you some impressions from my trial training at the Curling Club Blauweiss Lucerne.
First contact with the sport
Until recently, I knew Curling only from watching the Winter Olympics on TV and had never actually been in a curling hall. Honestly, I did not even know that this sport game is not just held on a conventional ice, as we know it from an ice rink. In order for the almost 20kg curling stones to slide precisely, special ice surface conditioning techniques are necessary. In addition to Canada, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries, curling is very popular in Switzerland. Reason enough to try it once.
Short sports profile
When curling, two teams of four players each try to throw and glide their curling stones similar to playing boules or bocce closer to the center of a target circle on an ice rink than their opposing team. It requires technical skill and precision, tactical skills and mental strength. Curling is also known as «chess on ice».
My sports profile
Course of the training
Marcel from Curling Club Blauweiss Luzern took a full two hours to introduce me to the curling game. As simple and confident as the individual moves of the Olympic players look like: Until I was able to deliver my first stone some preliminary exercises were due, since even just standing on the ice in curling shoes has its pitfalls. One of the two shoes that you wear has a non-slip rubber sole at the bottom, the other a totally slippery plastic sole. For this I only had to develop a feeling with a few steps on the ice. My experiences on skating rinks were hardly beneficial. In addition to the actual game device, the curling stone there is also a broom that is used, which primarily affects the speed and the twist of the curling stones. However, the broom also serves as a support in the stone delivery. By the way the stone delivery and coordination of the other new moves was a real challenge. Finding the right frequency of strength to transport the stone exactly to the so-called «house» was very demanding. Of course, the fact that you are making fast progress motivates you and makes you ambitious.
At the end of my introductory training I was able to participate in a short game. Teammates can be found quickly on a club night in the Curling hall, because curling players are very sociable and affable athletes. Team spirit and fair play are very important to them and both young and senior players can actively engage with each other.
The curling introduction was a totally exciting sporting experience for me. If you would like to try out this team sport, contact the club management of Blauweiss Luzern. You are in good company.
In my own environment, I know no active curling players, but would however like to play this sport again soon. So if somebody plays curling regularly or sporadically, I’ll be glad to be there next time. 🙂