FORT WAYNE, Ind. (NBC33) - Curling is an Olympic sport that has seen incredible growth in popularity in the Summit City, and the attention the sport garners during the Olympics is a big reason.
Craig Fischer, president of the Fort Wayne Curling Club explains why so many are drawn to the game.
"It's an interesting sport. It looks easier than it actually is. So people watch it and say 'oh yeah I could do that,' but there is also strategy to it, there is physical activity to it. You've got the physical aspect of wind sprints when you're doing the sweeping. You've got the strategy of chess - you need to be thinking two to three moves ahead in order to set up your end correctly and hopefully prevail at the end."
While it is seeing growths in popularity in recent years, it is a sport that has very early beginnings. Invented in the 1500's by the Scots, the modern-day game has been adopted and developed by the Canadians, seeing world-wide popularity growth in recent years.
"Curling was a medal sport back in 1928 and then wasn't in the Olympics for a long time. It came back into the Olympics in, I believe 1998 as a demonstration sport, but it was really the vast amount of TV coverage that it got in 2006 that really boosted the profile of the sport. It's gotten a lot of press coverage during the Olympics and a lot of interest in the Olympics since then."
In order to fully understand and appreciate the sport of curling one must understand the format of the game and how scoring is kept.
"There are four players on each team, everybody is involved in every play. You have one person delivering the stone, two people sweeping, and one person at the far end of the ice directing the delivery and that person is typically called the 'skip,' or the captain."
Honesty and sportsmanship are both qualities that are also engrained in the athletes.
"You'll also notice there are no officials on the ice during a curling match. The players call their own fouls, the players decide upon the score themselves. It's rooted in sportsmanship of the game."
When it comes to strategy, the game is often considered to be a hybrid of chess and shuffleboard on ice.
"The teams will start to throw stones, typically laying down guards first. In each end, which is when each team is finished throwing their eight stones down, all that matters is which team is closest. That's the team that's going to score at that end. And the number of stones or the number of points they will score is the number of stones they have closer than their opponent's closest stone."
You can catch all the men's and women's curling action right here on NBC33.
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