What are those curlers actually shouting? | Burning Questions

What are those curlers actually shouting? | Burning Questions

September 9, 2019 97 By Ronny Jaskolski


Curling has been
described as chess on ice, but with more shouting! Think Wall Street traders…
..but more slippery. One of the world’s
oldest team sports, curling, originated in the
16th century in Scotland, where games were played on
frozen ponds and lochs. Scottish immigrants
brought the game to Canada in the 18th century, where
curling fever quickly swept the nation. (BURNING QUESTIONS
WINTER GAMES EDITION) (WHY SO MUCH SHOUTING
IN CURLING?) Today, one million
Canadians play regularly with millions more
watching major tournaments, or bonspiels, on television. To the casual observer, it may
look like it requires little skill
apart from Herculean sweeping ability. But, in reality,
curling is one the most tactical, intricate sports
around. What is really going
on between the sheets – that’s actually what they
call the playing surface, I’m not being weird –
and how do you know your back line from your biter? Here’s how the magic happens. Teams of four all play sliding
a 20kg stone from one end of the sheet to the other. 20kg, that’s like
1,000 pieces of sushi or 6,400 teabags,
if you’re from the UK. Scoring is simple –
you get a point with each stone closer
to the bull’s-eye or bottom than any of the
other teams’ stones. Kind of like bowls, but on
ice and without old people. By the way, did you know that
almost all curling stones come from an island off the
coast of Ayrshire in Scotland called Ailsa Craig? The 240-acre craig is home
to the blue-honed granite, which is used in the stones. So far, so simple, right? Now…
the strategy comes in. There are three main
types of shot – guards, draws and takeouts. Guards block the house,
or scoring zone. Draws are designed to
get around the guards and land in the house,
often using physics-defying curling moves. Takeouts are hard
shots that knock the other stones out of play. Teams have to plot how to get
their stones into the house while maintaining
a line of defence so the other team can’t
pull off a takeout. And they say chess is hard! I mean, to be fair,
I find snap hard. To guide the stones across
the ice, curlers use brooms. But these are no
ordinary brooms. They’re made from fibreglass
or carbon fibre and a hollow to allow
for faster sweeping. Ow! Sorry! I thought he was
still there. Curling is a vocal sport
because the captains have to shout instructions
to their sweepers as they help the
stone travel. While it all might
seem like white noise, there are, in fact,
some specific commands the skippers employ. If you’ve ever wondered what
they’re actually saying, fear not. Just for you, we have put
together the Burning Questions
Curling Glossary. Let’s start with the basics. “Hurry!” – this means sweep as
fast as you can. “Hurry hard!” – sweep as fast
as you can with downward pressure. Yeah, got it? “Clean!” – not, no,
go clean your room, but an instruction to keep
the broom down on the ice without much pressure
to clear away anything that could disrupt
the momentum of the stone. And finally… “Die!” If you hear the skipper shout
this, do not panic. They’re not challenging
the other team to a fight to the death. It simply means they
want the sweepers to stop sweeping a rock. Clear? The good news is, while
it is extremely skilled, curlers come in all
shapes, sizes, and ages, so who knows? Maybe it’s
not too late for me. Die! We’re not done, yet. We’ve got more Olympic stories for you! Subscribe to our YouTube channel. It is right there! Don’t be shy! Click on the button!