Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



To help the Reduced Shakespeare Company in their effort to cover every sport from around the globe in their new play The Complete World of Sports (abridged), Merrimack Repertory Theatre is excited to bring you the Random Sport of the Day every weekday until the show starts on September 9.

Team Canada at the 2006 Olympics. Photo by Bjarte Hetland.

What do you get when you combine 4 people with brooms, 44 pound stones, and ice? Curling, of course! Invented in Scotland in the late middle ages, Curling has been described as the “Roarin’ Game”, with the “roar” coming from the noise of a granite stone as it travels over the ice. Also sometimes referred to as “Shuffleboard on Ice,” curling began as a game played on frozen lochs and ponds. This pastime is still enjoyed in some countries when weather permits, but all National and International competitive curling competitions now take place in indoor rinks with the condition of the ice carefully temperature-controlled.

Gameplay involves each team sliding stones down the ice toward the house, which is the target is each end of the sheet. Teams alternative throwing and each team member throws twice per end. After each throw, the sweepers use their brooms to reduce the fiction underneath the stone, and decrease the amount that the stone curls to help it end up in the desired location.

The winner is the team having the highest number of accumulated points at the completion of ten ends. Points are scored at the conclusion of each of these ends as follows: when each team has thrown its eight stones the team with the stone closest to the button wins that end, the winning team is then awarded one point for each of its own stones lying closer to the button than the opponent’s closest stone. The positions of all the other opponent’s stones other than the closest make no difference to the score. Only stones that are in the house are considered in the scoring.

Curling has been an Olympic sport since 1998, and has done very well in TV ratings in the US over the past few Olympics, especially in 2006, when Team USA, led by Skip Pete Fenson, won the Bronze medal. Fenson’s Rink (a curling team is known as a rink), also participated in the 2006 World Men’s Curling Championship, which was held in Lowell, MA.

To learn more about Curling, visit the World Curling Federation. Interested in giving curling a try? There are several local places to play, including the Nashua Country Club in Nashua, NH and Broomstones in Wayland, MA.

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