Watching curling an be quite addicting but what if you could have your own home curling rink?
Think of all the things you could enjoy:
The weird colored pants!
...and most of all, THE FUN!!
Curling involves sliding large granite stones along a long runway of ice to a specific target called the house.
Because these large rocks make a rumbling sound along the ice, curling has been often called “The Roaring Game.”
But is curling a sport you can pick up and play at home?
The History of Curling
The game of curling goes way back and in fact is one of the oldest ice sports on the planet.
In fact the sport of curling actually started in Scotland as early as 1511.
The game continued to grow internationally in the nineteenth century in both Europe and North America.
It wasn't until the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix, France when curling was first debuted as an international mens competition as
Great Britain defeated Sweden and France.
It wasn't until decades in later which lead to the formation of the World Curling Federation and
Olympic Committee approval that curling was granted medal status.
Today it’s a well-known sport played by thousands of people throughout the world.
Is Curling a Sport or a Game?
With every passing Winter Olympics, a debate often arises between if curling is a sport or not.
Some people believe that it should not be in the Olympics at all and in some ways I guess it’s easy to see why.
Although curling was part of the first Winter Olympics, the sport did not truly get recognized until 1998 during the Nagano Olympics in Japan.
At face value, curling looks easy to play, however...curling is filled with strategy!
Teams can plot to block or knock opponent rocks out of the house.
The Rules of Curling and How it's Played
The Royal Caledonian Curling Club wrote the official rules in 1838, however, the game continues to innovate with
obstacles likeguard stones and power plays.
The glossary of Curling provides a definition of many of the commonly used terms during play.
Curling teams consist of four persons:
The lead, second, third, and “skip” or captain.
Two teams compete to get as many points as possible in each "end" or inning.
The lead player will push off the "Hack" and slide along the ice, releasing the stone before reaching the "hog line."
The rock slides along the ice to reach a specific target called "the house", which looks like a bullseye.
The goal is to get the stone on or as close to the center or the "button".
Play begins with the toss of a coin to determine which team gets the "hammer" (final stone)
Each team member gets two shots, meaning 16 stones per end.
The Scoring System
When all 16 stones are delivered, the team with the stone on the button gets awarded the point.
If no rocks are on the button, the side closest to the button gets awarded the point.
If one team has more than one stone closest to the button (center) each would count as a point for that end.
That being said, the most points one team could score on one given end would be eight points.
Also, if one team let's say has five stones in the house and the other team has one but it's closer to the button than
(Exampe Photo Above: Yellow Team Scores two points)
If by chance after all 16 stones from both teams are thrown and no stones are in the house then no points will be scored on wht's considered to be a "blank end".
Teams play a total of 10 innings, and the team with the most points wins.
How to Throw (Deliver) a Curling Stone
Before any stone is thrown a discussion takes place with the Skip to determine the strategy "intention" for the delivery.
The skip will provide a target using their broom to help the thrower aim at the intended target when throwing the stone.
The thrower is able to curl or steer the stone in any direction depending on the
rotation (clockwise or counter clockwise) of the handle at the time of release.
The curler will crouch and slightly move the stone forward to release it from the
frozen ice then slowly move it back towards the hack.
The final motion is a smooth push or lunge of the hack in a forward motion on their sliding foot while utilizing their
broom to help equalize the balance during the delivery.
What’s With the Sweeping?
The constant sweeping is where curling has grown in its popularity and interest.
Each player is equipped with a curling broom that will quickly be put to use.
Play begins when the first player releases the rock before the hog line.
Once in play the two other players stand before the stone as it makes it's way down the ice to sweep the surface and manipulate the path of the rock.
The sweeping motion actually melts the ice which impacts the trajectory of the stone.
Team members will sweep quickly, or apply additional pressure to the ice while
sweeping, depending on where they want the rock to go.
At first glance it may seem to you that curling looks simple to play but trust me
when I say that the game is filled with strategy, teamwork, and foresight.
It’s also for this reason why the skip is essential for overall team success.
Not only does the skip go last, which can determine the outcome of the end, but
instructs the team by yelling when to sweep and when to stop.
A good strategy involves blocking or knocking the opponent’s stones.
The Development of Iceless Skating and Curling Rinks
In the past, people needed access to a professional curling rink and heavy granite "stones" to enjoy the sport.
Since the development of synthetic ice plastic for ice skating the opportunity to introduce off-ice curling was born!
Synthetic Ice is made of a durable, infused polymer material that has been around for awhile and was often installed in malls and other public places that had no access to ice.
Some of the many benefits that synthteic ice has to offer includes:
- No need for electricity thus providing a huge savings on energy.
- Less overall maintenance or need for maintenance equipment.
- Provides the ultimate "green energy" solution.
- Lightweight and portable for quick set-up and break down.
- Lasts many years and can be reused many tomes over.
With these rinks people have the ability to enjoy their favorite sports like ice skating, hockey, and yes... (at last).... even curling!
Having the ability to ice skate and play curling all year-round has helped break down the barriers and allow access to winter sports to virtually anyone....anywhere!
Now, these synthetic ice panels are available for the home and anyone can set up a rink in their backyard, spare room, garage, or driveway.
The Home Curling Rink Package.
The PolyGlide Pro curling rink is a "synthetic ice solution" that is easy to set up and brings the same excitement and strategy of the sport right into your own home.
A single curling rink consists of several interlocking synthetic ice ice panels and a single or double-end target (or house) depending on your needs.
These panels connect to create a curling runway that’s customizable.
The PolyGlide Ice Pro Curling Rink comes with everything you need to "Bring the Curling Rink Home".
Of course, you won’t need 40-pound stones to slide along the synthetic panels.
So these kits will come with solid plastic “stones” that emulate the rocks on the natural ice.
The PolyGlide Ice Pro-Curling Rink Packages are available
in three (3) Standard Sizes:
Each standard rink package comes complete with:
- 8 stones (4-Red and 4-Blue)
- Single House (Target)
Setting up Your Home Curling Rink
Now that you've decided to invest in your own home curling rink it's important to
plan out which rink package makes the most sense for your home or business.
- Choose and area that is as close to being as flat and level as possible
- Mark off the dimensions of your space with stakes, strings or props and measure the total length and width of your designated rink area.
- Make sure that your space has proper lighting to allow for evening curling sessions
- Select the right size rink package that will fit within for your space and budget.
The most significant step will be to determine the location of your new rink.
You can set it up on any hard/flat surface (i.e.: patio, deck, driveway or fabricated wood or composite platform).
The PolyGlide Pro Curling Rink is available in Olympic and scaled down versions as previously listed above.
Keep this in mind when deciding where you’re going to set up your game as you do need to allow for space around the perimeter of your rink for people.
Many businesses opt for single target rinks for their leagues to create more of a bowling alley-type layout.
The key thing is to make sure the curling sheet goes on a flat, level surface.
If the surface is not level it may affect the speed and direction of the stones during play.
To correct this you can install a simple "Shed Deck" constructed of a few sheets of plywood on a wood or composite-framed base.
Is Curling a Sport I Can Get Into?
Curling is a great, fun and exciting sport you can start at any age from youth to adult.
While it requires some strength and endurance, the sport values quick thinking, chess-like strategy, leadership, and adaptability.
These qualities make curling an excellent sport for adults, young kids, and teens alike.
It could easily evolve from a pastime in your home to starting a competitive team or taking your game to a higher level
if you decide to take it that far.
Curling at Home
Curling at home will be a bit different from playing on an professional,
For starters, the 40 pound stones will be replaced by a lightweight model designed by PolyGlide Ice.
These custom-made stones actually have the ability to curl unlike any other synthetic ice stone on the market.
Furthermore, using the broom may not be useful however you'll find that people LOVE to mimic this maneuver.
When you’re playing at home, the focus will be on learning the proper technique to release the stone before the hog line and
strategizing your stone placement with each players turn.
Yes, you'll soon understand how it's all about the strategy!
With trial and error, you’ll discover methods to knock your opponents out of the house, and block them from accessing the button as you attempt to win each round.
You will also set things up, so you get a stone as close to the center button as possible.
Commercial Curling Rinks
PolyGlide Ice has been providing portable curling rinks to multiple commercial
businesses and outlets ranging from Hotels, Restaurants, Sport Bars, Malls,
Party Rental Companies and Golf Clubs just to name a few.
This has enabled businesses to offer a new "twist" to their customers and clients throughout the Holiday season and help expand their business model by increasing interest AND local foot traffic.
Building a Team
Curling is a team sport, so you’ll need to gather the troops to have a decent and most importantly FUN game.
Gather your friends, kids, siblings, or your neighbors for a weekly game and watch them get hooked.
Much like bowling, Curling Teams can be men only, women only, open, or mixed, so you can decide on how you want to set-up the competition so everyone can enjoy the sport.
As you build up your skill and passion, it’s good to look for like-minded people to compete against each other where you can start a weekly or monthly get together.
Have your friends come over to learn the game and have some friendly (or not so friendly) competition.
It’s Time to Compete!
If you’re looking for some more action, why not join a curling club or better yet...start your own curling league!
As you start to develop your curling skills you can consider taking your game to the local curling club.
You’ll have your synthetic ice sheet for practicing at home, however, a club is where you can test your skills against other curlers on a regulation rink just like those Olympians you see on TV.
A club usually has ice facilities and granite stones which you will have to get used to.
There you can start learning how to use the different brooms and the on-ice physics involved with the game while getting accustomed to playing on a regulation size sheet with two ends.
Clubs are a great way to join a team if you have a small family or you’re having problems getting them on board.
These clubs also have in-house competitions, where curling teams in the area can test their skills against each other.
You can also seek out amateur curling leagues throughout the country if you really get hooked.
If you think you got what it takes, test your expertise with your team against other curling clubs and enthusiasts.
As you can see, portable synthetic ice curling rinks go a long way to help growing the sport by introducing the game to people in all regions regardless the limited access to the rink!
Curling is not a contact sport, however, it is filled with suspense, strategy, and lots of action.
Every four years most people poke fun at the game during the Winter Olympics but when they sit down and absorb the sport, they truly can’t get enough.
Actor George Clooney once got obsessed with the sport while on the set of his movie in 2002.
Long ago, getting involved with the sport required access to an ice sheet, granite stones, and other vital equipment.
Over time, synthetic ice panels made curling more accessible in clubs, and many other recreational spaces.
Now anyone can purchase the panels for their own home and enjoy the sport at their own leisure.
The bottom line is that curling is an easy sport to pick up at home with your kids, friends, and family.
It will encourage teamwork, key strategizing, and more importantly... it will bring the people together!
From there, you can decide if you want to play for fun or take your curling adventure to the next level!