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Curling (by Moss )

Curling is a winter sport that originated in Europe in the 16th century. The exact country of origin is contested, with both the Netherlands and Scotland claiming they invented the sport. Nevertheless, the earliest proof of a game that resembles curling can be dated back to 1511, thanks to a curling stone inscribed with this date found in Scotland. The first written mention of a contest involving the sliding of stones over ice was made in February 1541, in Paisley Abbey in Scotland. The name curling comes from the verb “curl”, and is used to describe the curling stones' movement across the ice. The sport was originally played outdoors on natural ice, such as frozen rivers. The stones used were simply any flat-bottomed stones that could be found. They were often inconsistent in both size, shape and smoothness, and lacked the handle that is characteristic of modern curling stones.

Nowadays, curling is mostly played indoors, on a rectangular sheet of ice (curling sheet) marked with a number of different lines. At both ends of a curling sheet there are two circles, a larger one and a smaller one. Together, the two circles make up what is called the “house”. Cutting across these two circles are two thin lines that meet in the centre (tee) of the inner circle. Additionally, there are several lines across the sheet: the centre line, the hog line, tee line, the back line and the hack line. At both ends of the sheet, there are two hacks, which are small fixtures on the ice, from which the players slide out when playing (throwing) their stones.

To play curling, you of course need curling stones, which are made of two very specific types of granite called Blue Hone and Ailsa Craig Common Green, which come from the island of Ailsa Craig in Scotland. Curling stones used to be made exclusively with these types of stone, but since there is a limited amount of it available, curling stones are now also being made with granite from Trefor in Wales. A curling stone normally weighs between 17 and 20 kilograms. As an example, the stones used in the Olympic Games weigh 19.1 kilograms. Other essential equipment includes the curling broom, which is used to sweep the ice. Sweeping plays an important part in curling. The swift movement of the broom decreases the friction of the ice, thus enabling the curling stones to travel further and straighter across the ice. Additionally, playing curling requires special shoes with soles that are made for sliding and gripping respectively.

Curling is a relatively small sport in terms of the number of active players, and is concentrated to a few key countries. The World Curling Federation has 61 member associations, including countries as diverse as Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Czechia and Nigeria. Out of the approximately 1.5 million registered curling players in the world, Canadians account for more than a million of them. Although curling has been played for centuries, it was not until 1998 that curling was officially included in the Olympic Games. In the current rankings, Sweden is best in the world, both on the women's side and men's side, followed by South Korea and Canada (women), and Canada and USA (men).
Curling teams usually consist of four people who play two stones each in every round (end). The players are named after the order of which they complete their throws. The first person to throw is called the lead, and the next players are called second, third and fourth respectively. Every team has a captain (skip/per) who is in charge of strategy and planning every throw, as well as a vice captain who performs this role when the skip is throwing their stones. The skip usually plays as fourth, but can play in any position.

The basic rules of curling are simple. The objective of the game is to have more stones closer to the tee than the opposing team's best stone in every end. One point is awarded for every such stone, which means the highest possible score in each end is eight. A game of curling usually includes eight to ten ends, with points being counted after every end. A game of ten ends usually lasts for roughly two and a half hours. In international competitions, each team has 73 minutes to complete their throws. There is however another system, called the “thinking time” system, which allows each team 38 minutes of extra time to make strategic and tactical decisions.

The official rules of curling were first established in 1838 by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Scotland, and have remained roughly the same ever since. The rules make up several pages, and include detailed instructions of what to do in every thinkable scenario that might arise during gameplay. Notable examples of rules include the so called free guard zone rule, which was officially introduced last year in order to encourage more offensive play. The rule means that stones within this zone (which lies between the hog line and tee line) are not allowed to be taken out of play (either by being knocked into the side or behind the back line) until five stones have been thrown. Another important rule is the no touch rule, which means players are not allowed to touch any of the stones except the one they are throwing. The consequences of touching a stone depend on whether the stone in question was in motion or not, as well as who touched it. It may for example result in the stone being removed from play, or it being placed back in its original position.

Curling is a sport that requires a large amount of precision, as well as strategic thinking. Due to the strategy involved, curling is sometimes called “chess on ice”. There are myriad ways of strategising, and no end is the same as another. Since every game is so long, it requires players to possess a strong ability to stay focused for extended periods of time. Becoming a good curling player thus not only involves a lot of practice, but also a large amount of mental training. Being part of a team may help players to cope with the pressures of a game, but it might also add additional strain, as every throw could potentially be a game changer. Even if it might not seem so at first glance, curling is an exciting sport, as the game can change in favour of the opposing team in a matter of seconds.
The European Curling Championships have been held every year since 1975, and this year is no exception. This year's tournament is held in the city of Helsingborg in Sweden, and is going on right now! The Championships started 16th of November, and will last until Saturday (23rd of November). The tournament features teams from 13 countries, including Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany and Russia, who compete to qualify for the World Curling Championships 2020. Several matches are played during each day of the Championships. Since there are so few participating countries, all teams will be playing against each other in hopes of qualifying for the semifinals. The Championships feature both women's and men's teams, but these do not play against each other. In curling, it is possible to play in mixed teams (two women and two men). This is rarer, but mixed teams also have their own tournaments. Currently, Sweden is dominating the medal table of the European Championships on the women's side, with 20 gold medals and 35 medals in total. On the men's side, Scotland is in the lead, with 13 gold medals and 27 medals in total. In five days, we will know the final results of this year's tournament. It remains to be seen if Sweden and Scotland can keep up their game, but for now, we can just sit back and enjoy the wonders of this exciting sport that continues to captivate millions of people all over the world.

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Buns wrote on 20-11 05:30:
Buns wrote:
I played this game a couple times on my D.S xD I was good at it . cx
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Mistyxq wrote on 20-11 00:34:
Mistyxq wrote:
The first time I saw curling was in this game and I lived for it
(Kids game full of mini winter games, including curling but using
frozen cow-poo or whatever it was I don't remember lmao)

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Private wrote on 19-11 23:32:
Potionsky wrote:
i would advise you all to google "norwegian curling team", what we lack in skill we make up for in fashion
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Private wrote on 19-11 19:47:
Rochellette wrote:
Oh this was a really interesting reading, the first time I saw curling was this

Someday I would like to try it, it really looks like is difficult.
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Coralin wrote on 18-11 22:58:
Coralin wrote:
what a throwback honestly, i used to be obsessed with curling when i was little
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Private wrote on 18-11 21:57:
BloomCissi wrote:
Libertas wrote:
I really want to try playing curling once 
Same! I've wanted to try since I first saw it in the Winter Olympics several years ago.
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Private wrote on 18-11 21:06:
Ahria wrote:
Suite life I meant
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Private wrote on 18-11 21:06:
Ahria wrote:
First and only time I have seen curling was on sweet life on deck lol
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Moss wrote on 18-11 20:12:
Moss wrote:
Curling definitely seem like a sport I could enjoy! 
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Private wrote on 18-11 19:23:
Claire wrote:
the first time i saw curling on tv i was SHOOK. it's like nothing else you know.
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Private wrote on 18-11 19:21:
Ella wrote:
I remember curling was the only game i wanted too see when the Olympics was there 
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Libertas wrote on 18-11 17:51:
Libertas wrote:
I really want to try playing curling once 

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