Curling starting to gain popularity across Wisconsin

The Curling Team brings new experiences to the community. Appleton is home to one of the thirty clubs in Wisconsin.

Photo courtesy of Sonia Tallroth

The Curling Team brings new experiences to the community. Appleton is home to one of the thirty clubs in Wisconsin.

Sonia Tallroth , Contributor

It’s the Sochi 2014 Olympics.  The tenth end is coming to a close, and the last stone slides across the ice.  With help from the sweepers frantically brushing the ice, the stone hits the opposer’s out of the button.  Great Britain is all out of stones, and it’s victory for Canada!


You probably haven’t heard a sport like this being described- what player caught the pass? Who scored the goal?  This is the little-known, yet much-enjoyed, sport of curling.  There is no winning pass to triumph in a game- getting your stones closest to the middle of the house (called the button), or the target at the end of the ice is the main goal. In a game of curling, a granite stone is thrown towards the house, and the other team members sweep the ice to make the stone travel faster or move in a certain direction.  However, the sweepers aren’t just brushing the ice willy-nilly- the skip of the team tells the other members how hard or where to sweep.  This makes the game quite strategic since you can’t just walk in and throw the stone.  In fact, one of curling’s nicknames is “ice chess” because of all the planning involved.  Eight stones are thrown per team, per end (or round).  The more stones a team gets to the house, the more points the team gets, and the team with the highest number of points wins.  


The strategic planning and skill needed isn’t the only thing that attracts people to curling.  The curling culture, or the etiquette, makes it one of the friendliest sports.  Reed Rudie, an English teacher here at North, has been curling for eight years and says that the sportsmanship and strategy that is involved and the overall atmosphere” is his favorite part about curling.  During bonspiels, or tournaments, players are expected to call their own fouls, and giving the opponents compliments on good form is not uncommon.  Moreover, curling is not a game based on the usual virtues of other sports- skill, experience, and strategy prevail over speed and stamina.  With enough dedication, anyone can learn how to curl, which really makes it a people’s sport.  


Appleton is one of the homes of the 30 clubs around Wisconsin.  The club, around since 1939, placed first in the Badger Senior Women’s and Steven’s Point bonspiel and boasts two straight wins in the Clintonville Men’s bonspiel.  The quickly growing club is home to many members, and it is quickly gaining popularity across America.  In short, curling is a fantastic sport- just because it isn’t as common as soccer or baseball, don’t be afraid to give it a try!