Despite its status as an Olympic sport, many Americans don’t know a thing about curling. One group of 20 adventurous Spiders will find out just what it takes to be a curler this week when they take a class with the Curling Club of Virginia at the Richmond Ice Zone at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 6.
The trip is part of the Outdoor Adventure and Recreation program at University of Richmond, and is organized by Lucia Anderson, outdoor and facilities coordinator.
“We decided that we wanted to get a last-minute trip together and open it up to the university and offer it for free just as kind of a fun Olympics tie-in,” Anderson said. The curling trip also provides transportation for students and snacks at the rink.
Anderson said because of the Olympics and cold weather, it seemed like a fun activity for students that wouldn’t take away too much time during the busy week before break.
In curling, two teams of four take turns sliding large stones down the ice towards a target called the house. The object of the game is to have the most stones inside the house, closest to the center.
Each player gets two stones per turn. An end, which is like an inning, occurs when all eight players use their stones. A game is over after eight ends.
As the stone glides, sweepers attack the ice with brooms in an attempt to boost the distance it travels. A skip, like a coxswain, standing near the house yells out to the sweepers and player releasing the stone, telling them where the stone should end up.
Each stone closest to the center inside the opposing stones receives a point. For example, let’s pretend that I’ve already thrown both my stones.
One is in the center, and the other is on the outer ring of the house. Now you throw your first stone and it lands between my two. That means at best I can score only one point because I only have one stone that is both inside the house, and closer to the center than yours.
“I saw it on the Olympics and I wanted to try it,” senior Mark Massaro said. He said he heard about the trip from the Outdoor Adventure email list and signed up with some friends.
Andrew McBride, associate vice president for facilities, also happens to be one of the founding members of CCVa. and its current treasurer.
He said one of the benefits of curling was that anyone can play it regardless of age, strength or physical ability. “When you deliver the stone, you use the weight of your body to actually slide down the ice and then let go,” he said.
In December 2010, after months of organizing, the CCVa. was created with the help of some other local curling enthusiasts. Now the club is about 22-strong and offers a variety of classes for anyone interested in curling.
The Outdoor Adventure and Recreation program has organized several events this year and Anderson said this curling class was just one of about six more events this semester. “I love to find different trips and unique opportunities for students to enjoy,” Anderson said.
To learn more about the Outdoor Adventure and Recreation events, Anderson said there was an email list students could join. They can check on the Richmond website for more details.
Contact reporter Richard Arnett at email@example.com