Curling

Postby WampaOne » 31 Jan 2006, 16:38

I can?t believe there isn?t a curling tread...

This is a link to a music video called Hearts of Fire, from swedish Power Metal act Hammerfall. They did it as a cheer song for the olympic swedish girls culring team that will play at Turin in the next winter olympics. I love it when the girls turn to the camera singing the words, UCR galore. By the way, 2 of those could really play in the nude curling games...

here?s the video - WARNING - immediate power metal music :)
http://www.httphost1.com/curlingtjejern ... Fire_S.wmv

the original link where I found this, story in portuguese. Says there that the european metal press dubbed this "funny, yet ridiculous."
http://whiplash.net/materias/news_915/0 ... merfall.mv
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Postby Frank the Tank » 01 Feb 2006, 09:29

WampaOne wrote:I can?t believe there isn?t a curling tread...

I didn't think it was worth me creating one so that I can octuple-post while everyone else asks "why is this here".

I do need to thank you Wampa because that video was awesome! I love it when people try to make curling cool because the UCR is always off the charts.
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Postby Theny » 01 Feb 2006, 09:38

A curling thread would be awesome. I'm fascinated by this game and I have no idea what the point of it is or how you play.
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Postby SouthernYokel » 01 Feb 2006, 09:39

Theny wrote:A curling thread would be awesome. I'm fascinated by this game and I have no idea what the point of it is or how you play.


It's ice shuffleboard.
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Postby Frank the Tank » 01 Feb 2006, 09:55

SouthernYokel wrote:
Theny wrote:A curling thread would be awesome. I'm fascinated by this game and I have no idea what the point of it is or how you play.


It's ice shuffleboard.

Not really. It's more like ice bocce. Unlike shuffleboard where you get fixed points for getting your puck into a scoring section, in curling you only get points if your stones in the bullseye (the "house") are closer to the center than your opponent's stones.

Aw hell, I'll make a curling thread. If _ gets a Maple Leafs thread then I can have a curling thread damnit!
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Postby SouthernYokel » 01 Feb 2006, 09:57

yeah, but you push the curling stones like you push shuffleboard...discs. The scoring is like bocce, which is a great drunk beach game by the way. I am fascinated by the sweepers. How much effect do they really have on the path of the stone?
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Postby Theny » 01 Feb 2006, 09:58

Yeah the whole sweeping thing is strange. And who gets the most credit? Sweepers or, um, pushers?
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Postby Frank the Tank » 01 Feb 2006, 10:09

The person who launches the stone gets the most credit for whether or not it's a good shot.

*tune out here if you're not interested because I'm about to discuss what sweeping does and why it works*

A curling ice surface is not smooth like a hockey rink. You start with a smooth surface but then you put some tiny water droplets on the ice using a machine or a modified watering can to create "pebble". These small droplets of water freeze on contact with the ice and create a little unevenness on the surface. Without this pebble sweeping wouldn't make any difference.

When a curling stone is "thrown" you usually put a slight spin on it, trying to get it to rotate somewhere between 2-4 times during its trip down the ice. The difference in friction between the leading edge of the stone and the lagging edge of the stone causes the stone to curve, much like a curve ball in baseball. Turning a stone clockwise during release causes it to curve left-to-right and counter-clockwise turns have the opposite effect.

When you sweep you're not actually cleaning the ice or sweeping stuff away. Rather, you're creating friction on the ice to smooth out the pebble. Sweeping the ice (a) causes the stone to go up to 10 feet farther, and (b) causes the stone to curve less based on its spin. So you sweep when you want to straighten out the stone's path or when you want to increase the distance it travels. However if the stone was thrown too lightly at first no amount of sweeping will get it where you want it to go. When you're watching beginning curlers play their sweepers rarely make much of a difference, but at the Olympic level a good sweeping job (both in terms of skill and judgement) can make the difference between getting a stone in the outer ring of the house and putting it on the "button" (the bullseye).

*it's safe to read again*

It's always fun to watch sweepers in rec leagues fall on their butts.
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Postby SouthernYokel » 01 Feb 2006, 10:12

and they have these rec leagues in conneticut? That actually sounds like a fun game. To play. Not much of a watcher for this game, other than gawking at the sweepers.
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Postby Theny » 01 Feb 2006, 10:14

SouthernYokel wrote:and they have these rec leagues in conneticut? That actually sounds like a fun game. To play. Not much of a watcher for this game, other than gawking at the sweepers.


Frank was the local champion dude. Or so he claims anyways. He may just be trying to up his street cred on the board.
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Postby Frank the Tank » 01 Feb 2006, 10:22

Theny wrote:
SouthernYokel wrote:and they have these rec leagues in conneticut? That actually sounds like a fun game. To play. Not much of a watcher for this game, other than gawking at the sweepers.


Frank was the local champion dude. Or so he claims anyways. He may just be trying to up his street cred on the board.

There are two curling clubs in CT. Only one owns its own ice. I'm not playing this season but in the '03-'04 season I was on the club championship team as the lead. It's not that impressive considering that the leads are always the last person chosen in the team draft. So, I guess you could say I was one of the least sucky of the suckiest quartile of curlers in the club.

The lead throws the first two stones and sweeps for the last six of each end (an "end" is like an "inning", with 8-10 ends making up a curling match). My job was to put two stones out there and try to clog things up in front of the house if we were going first, or try to put in some scoring stones if we were going last. When I was sweeping my job was not to fall on my ass and not to accidentally touch the stone with my broom. It's incredibly less challenging than the skip's role, who chooses all the team's strategy and throws the last two key rocks each end.

So, essentially, I contributed to our championship much like Kobe's teammates contributed to his 81. I stayed the fuck out of the way.
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Postby Theny » 01 Feb 2006, 10:29

Interesting. How did you get into curling?
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Postby Frank the Tank » 01 Feb 2006, 10:32

Theny wrote:Interesting. How did you get into curling?

I was fascinated by it when I first saw it on ESPN in 1988 around the time of the Calgary Olympics. Then, after seeing it again in 2002 at the Salt Lake City Olympics I checked the curling club's web site and attended an open house. They're desperate for membership so the application looks something like this:

1) Have you ever committed a felony?

2) Do you have $325 you'd give us for a year of curling?

If you say no to 1 and yes to 2, you're in.
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Postby Theny » 01 Feb 2006, 10:34

So it's not that big even in Connecticut? Weird. And that seems like a pretty fair price to pay for a yearly membership. Did you guys practice and stuff?
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Postby Frank the Tank » 01 Feb 2006, 10:47

There are only about 100 curlers in CT according to the US Curling Association. It's only big in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin really. It's really big in Canada where there are an estimated 1.5M curlers.

It's $325 because of the heavy expenses of keeping the ice. The club's got problems I think because they don't make enough money to support having a dedicated building with lobby, locker room, bar, and two sheets of ice. They really need more members, but they're in the middle of frickin' nowhere. They're tucked up in the NW hills of CT near both the New York and Massachusetts borders. It's not heavily populated up there and it snows much more there than it does in the rest of the state.

We rarely practiced. Since club membership was so small they only had one flight in the men's league, so there was quite a spread of skill. Many of the skips had been playing for 25 years or more, whereas some of us had just taken up the sport. It was much more social than competitive. When they wanted to have some serious competition with other clubs they'd have four skips form a team together and go to a tournament somewhere else.
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