Join the Curl­ing League

The 2013 sea­son marks the first year of Curl­ing at the Queen­stown Ice Arena.

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL FEATURES -

Get a team to­gether for Mon­day night Curl­ing at the Queen­stown Ice Arena. An an­cient Scot­tish sport, widely played in Otago for over 100 years Queen­stown Ice Arena host a so­cial Curl­ing League ev­ery Mon­day evening at 6.15pm. The cost per player per ses­sion is likely to be $15.

Rules of the Game

Two teams, each of four play­ers, take turns slid­ing heavy, pol­ished gran­ite stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curl­ing sheet to­wards the house, a cir­cu­lar tar­get marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The pur­pose is to ac­cu­mu­late the high­est score for a game, points be­ing scored for the stones rest­ing clos­est to the cen­tre of the house at the con­clu­sion of each end, which is com­pleted when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may con­sist of ten or eight ends. The curler can in­duce a curved path by caus­ing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be fur­ther in­flu­enced by two sweep­ers with brooms who ac­com­pany it as it slides down the sheet, us­ing the brooms to al­ter the state of the ice in front of the stone. A great deal of strat­egy and team­work goes into choos­ing the ideal path and place­ment for each sit­u­a­tion, and the skills of the curlers de­ter­mine how close to the de­sired re­sult the stone will achieve. This gives the game its nick­name of "Chess On Ice".

His­tory of New Zealand Curl­ing

The first re­ported game was in Man­iototo, Cen­tral Otago, on July 6 1878. The long, cold win­ters made out­door work dif­fi­cult and curl­ing pro­vided a way to pass the time. In spite of war and de­pres­sion, the game flour­ished. Scot­tish and Ir­ish im­mi­grants would go to the small towns such as the vil­lage of Naseby, and in the harsh win­ter con­di­tions they would use the nat­u­ral ponds and the miner’s dams to play their na­tive home­land sport of curl­ing. Be­cause of its lon his­tory in New Zealand, curl­ing is one of the old­est win­ter sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the coun­try. The tra­di­tions of curl­ing strongly em­pha­sise fair play and proper eti­quette on and off the ice. It is a sport where be­gin­ners are warmly wel­comed into more ex­pe­ri­enced com­pany. Curl­ing boasts the old­est national sport­ing tro­phy still be­ing con­tested, the Bax­ter Cup. The trea­sured tro­phy was first played for in 1884 as the Dunedin Club’s point’s tro­phy. Fol­low­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of the club in 1895 the Bax­ter Cup was handed to the Mount Ida Club, one of the found­ing clubs in the Naseby Curl­ing Coun­cil, and can now only be com­peted for on nat­u­ral ice at a one day Coun­cil Bon­spiel. Ad­di­tional in­for­maiton sup­plied from www.curl­ing.co.nz.

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