RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Winter Olympics showcases events that many of us might not otherwise see. One of those sports is curling, a game that made its Olympic debut in 1998. We spent some time with the Curling Club of Virginia to get an idea of the basics of the sport, and the skill and athleticism required to participate.
Curling involves two teams sliding 44 pound rocks down the ice and trying to get them as close to the middle of the house, which is a circle or target, as possible. Each team slides eight rocks per end, which is like an inning in baseball. The team which has a rock closest to the middle of the house scores in that particular end, and the more rocks the scoring team has closer than its opponent's closest rock, the more points that scoring team acquires. In the Olympics, games will last ten ends.
You'll also notice a sweeper, who sweeps the ice in front of the rock in an effort to help it go straighter and farther. The sweeper may not make contact with the rock.
The curler who is sliding the rock down the ice will push off from the hatch, and must release the rock before a certain point on the ice called the hog line.
You'll be able to catch curling throughout the Olympics on the NBC family of stations.
Below is some information from the Curling Club of Virginia, including several dates in March when you can learn to curl.
Saturday, March 10: 9-10:45 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.-Midnight
Sunday, March 11: 9-10:45 a.m. & 10:15 a.m.-Noon
Thursday, March 15: 7-8:30 p.m. & 8-9:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 17: 8:20-10:15 p.m. & 9:45-11:30 p.m.
All Learn2Curl sessions are held at Richmond Ice Zone at 636 Johnston Willis Dr., N. Chesterfield, VA 23236. Learn2Curl sessions are $25 per person.
Advance registration is available at CurlingVA.org. Curlers are encouraged to wear warm, loose-fitting clothing, rubber-soled shoes like sneakers or tennis shoes and stretchy pants like sweatpants or yoga pants. All necessary equipment will be provided by the club.
CCVA Olympic Curling Watch Parties
CCVA will be hosting watch parties throughout the Olympic curling competition. Check CurlingVA.org or Facebook.com/CurlingVA for details and updated schedule.
CCVA 2018 League Schedule
Beginner League March 22-April 12 from 7-9:30 p.m. (4 Thursday games for $70)
Beginner League April 14-May 19 from 7-9 p.m. (6 Saturday games for $100)
Spring League April 19-June 15 from 7-9:30 p.m. (9 Thursday games for $140)
Details and sign-up for each league is available at CurlingVA.org.