Home / Q: How Did Curling Become a Sport?

Q: How Did Curling Become a Sport?

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A: What’s not to love about an Olympic sport that resembles the household task of “Swiffering” your kitchen floor? Originally created in 16th-century Scotland, curling primarily involves people sliding heavy granite rocks towards a bulls-eye on the ice.

Sure, it might sound boring, but it quickly gained popularity during the colder months. Before you could say “shuffleboard copycat,” the sport was big enough to necessitate a World Curling Federation. The game eventually evolved into a team sport consisting of four players per team. But just how four people curl is what’s so intriguing to watch.

One player throws the rock, a second player visually guides the stone from the opposite side of the ice, and two players (who we like to call the Swiffettes) adjust the stone’s trajectory by frantically sweeping brooms in front of the traveling rock to control its speed, direction and curl. While most popular in Canada, the rest of the world joined in on the rock-sliding goodness in 1998 when it became an official Olympic sport.

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  • Hmm. Never heard of it.

  • RJ


    Thanks for the chuckle, Suss…

  • There’s something hypnotic and utterly Canuck about curling. Heck, they even made a movie about it called ‘Men with Brooms.’ My friend once made a remark on the shcool bus that outed all of us. He basically said that if you’re channel surfing on a Saturday afternoon you’ll end up watching five hours of curling. I’ve been known to do this. Sweep you effen whore! Sweep! Deeper! Harder! Slut!

  • Edward Baines

    Apart from getting the Rock to the correct place at the other end of the Sheet.

    Curling is a game of Tactics, more complex than Checkers/Draughts but less so than Chess.

    Every member of the Team takes a roughly equal part in the game which requires neither extremes of strength nor fitness, but does require you to improve your pliability and muscular control.

    It is a skill based sport so, at a Club level, there is no telling who will be the better. Young can compete with old, men with women. All on an entirely equal basis.