2010-02-08 18:24 BJT

The game of curling is more than 500 years old. The earliest written record of curling — of groups of people sliding stones on frozen ponds and lochs (an arm of the sea that is similar to a fjord) in competition — are found at Scotland’s Paisley Abbey and date back to 1541.

Curling for men was played at the first Olympic Winter Games at Chamonix, France, in 1924, but curling did not appear again as an official Olympic sport until the Nagano 1998 Winter Games with both men’s and women’s tournaments.

How It Works

At the Olympic Winter Games, curling consists of two events: a women’s tournament and a men’s tournament. Each tournament starts with 10 curling teams. Two teams play against each other at a time. The game is played on ice, and the two teams take turns pushing 19.1-kilogram stones towards a series of concentric rings or circles. The object is to get the stones as close to the centre of the rings as possible.

One game consists of 10 “ends” (similar to innings in baseball). During each end, each four-person team “throws” (in fact, slides along the ice) eight stones — two stones per person and 16 altogether. Team members sweep the ice clean in front of each stone to control the stone’s direction, known as its “curl,” and the stone’s speed. The team with the most points — more stones closer to the centre of the rings — at the conclusion of 10 ends, is the winner.

Competition Events

Men’s Tournament

Women’s Tournament

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: