Although it’s one of the world’s oldest team sports, curling has only just begun to receive the recognition its supporters believe it deserves.
John Shuster, the first-ever curler to compete in five Olympic Games, was a flag bearer for Team USA as the participants entered the arena at the 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Curling enthusiasts enjoy the sport’s complex dance with stones and brooms, but every four years the sport is presented to a new audience at the Olympics.
After all, the object of the game is to steer a block of granite into a bullseye while a player sweeps the ice with a broom.
How Do You Keep Score in Curling?
In this case, the button represents the centre of the “home” target area. The team who played the shot rock in an end is guaranteed at least one point.
The shot rock is the rock closest to the button. (A conclusion can be compared to an inning in baseball.)
Counting it All up
Two points are awarded to the team whose stones are closest to the button. If there are two more stones in the home, you get two points; if there are three, you get three points; and so on until an opponent rock is closer.
This advantage, known as the hammer, is given to the team that throws last in an end. The hammer can be used to smash the opponent’s rock(s) or to aim at the button (a draw) in a variety of different ends.
In the event of a blank end (when all eight stones have been played) the hammer remains in play.
To assume that someone erred is not the case. Teams will sometimes purposely blank an end to keep the last-rock advantage in the next one.
Especially as the game nears its final ends and the hammer becomes more valuable than a single point.
Each end in a game of curling is played with eight stones, thrown by four players per end. The highest possible score in Olympic bowling is eight, however there has never been an eight-ender.
(Among other strategies, teams would use a number of stones as guards to prevent the opponent from removing their scoring rocks. Therefore, teams rarely even attempt to house all eight stones.
Scottish rinks were the first to host curling games in the 16th century. At first, it was played on frozen canals, lochs, and ponds with curling stones.
Over time, improvements were made, such as the adoption of a standard stone (38-44 pounds) and the relocation to indoor venues.
Curling was first included in the Olympics in 1924 when males competed, but it wasn’t until 1998 that both men and women could participate. It wasn’t until 2018 that a mixed doubles competition was included.