One of the most talked about sports during the Winter Games season is curling. A few weeks ago, one of the founders of the Fort Wayne Curling Club, Craig Fisher, stopped by First News Weekend and told us about their new facility. He also invited us to stop out and give curling a try. So, I took him up on the offer and decided to learn more about the sport!
Curling combines elements of bowling, shuffleboard, and chess. The object of the sport is to send a 42-pound stone down a 148ft sheet into the bullseye – or house. The team with as many stones in the house, as close to the center has possible, will score at the conclusion of each end – sort of like an inning in baseball. And like most sports, it looks easier than it actually is.
Curling involves strategy, physics knowledge, and a keen sense of control to win. But this sport is not just limited to the shooter. Other teammates are involved by sweeping. Sweepers cannot touch the stone. Known as “burning the stone,” this is the equivalent of a foul in other sports.
One thing that I thought was really interesting about the sport of curling was the sportmanship. Ruthie Ilnicki, Fort Wayne Curling Club Member, explained that the teammates and their opponents shake hands and wish everyone “good curling” at the beginning and end of the game. Then, the winning team buys the losing team a beverage of choice. There also aren’t any officials or referees. Teams call burned stones and fouls on their own for fear of bad karma.
According to the folks at the Fort Wayne Curling Club, whether you’re 8 or 80, curling is a sport that all can enjoy. And after my experience, I would have to agree!
If you are interesting in trying out curling, you can learn every night from now through February 23rd at the Fort Wayne Curling Club. Training and instruction lasts about an hour and costs 10 dollars per person. The new club facility is located at 3674 North Wells Street in Fort Wayne. For more details, check out fortwaynecurling.com or call 438-0689.