Sticks and Stones  Updates from the world of curling

Is this the path to the Olympic podium?

2014-07-30

We’re trying something new in our quest for a medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics: sponsored curlers. The U.S. doesn’t yet have the financial backing to commit to full-time curlers like some other countries do – Great Britain, China, Russia, for example.  Our curlers still work and/or go to school, usually full time. But we’ve (we=U.S....

Curling 101: Sweeping Your Opponent's Stone

2014-03-06

Here’s another great question, by reader Mary Keeley:  Why would one team sweep the other team’s stone in the house? The simple answer is “to keep the opposing team from scoring.” There are a few instances in which you might do this, and there’s only one area in which it’s permitted. You may sweep the […]

A new national team?

2014-03-02

The Sochi Games are over, but curling continues around the world! The World Junior Championships are underway in Switzerland, the Paralympic Games are about to begin in Sochi (first wheelchair curling game is March 8), and the U.S. National Championships began Saturday evening in Aston, Pa., just outside Philadelphia. The USA men’s Olympic...

Curling 101: It's a civil sport

2014-02-26

One of the things I enjoy about curling is the camaraderie among athletes, no matter the level of competition. Whether you’re at Sunday afternoon family league or the Olympics, curling games begin with handshakes between the teams – and usually a handshake, pat on the back or fist bump among teammates. Good shots are congratulated...

Ode to Norway's curling pants

2014-02-21

“Like so many of the beautiful things we lose too soon, perhaps these pants were simply too good — too original, too sophisticated in concept and style — for this harsh and unforgiving world,” writes Sam Laird for Mashable as he takes a spin through the week of shocking slacks sported by Norway’s men’s curling […]

Curling is hot at Winter Olympics

2014-02-19

#Curling! #Curling! #Curling! You may be mystified, you may be entranced, you may be in love. But whatever you are, you’re watching, Facebooking, tweeting, pinning and “sharing” curling. According to NBC Sports research chief Alan Wurtzel, curling is scoring again in the Olympics. In a teleconference with the Sherman Report,...

Love these curling videos!

2014-02-18

I really enjoyed this video feature that sportscaster and former pro tennis player Mary Carillo did for NBC on the history of curling. I can’t wait for the big freeze! http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/curling-quirky-not-quiet     And this one on the “shrieks and screams” is funny:...

Is there room for amateurs at the Olympics?

2014-02-18

After another disappointing finish for U.S. curling teams at the Winter Olympics, there is much talk about how our national teams are chosen, coached and trained. Actually, it’s a conversation that has been going on for years. Each member of our 2014 women’s team has years of competitive experience on the world stage, and...

What's with the stopwatches?

2014-02-16

Sarah, John from Oregon and Jane from the U.K. are wondering about the stopwatches that curlers wear around their waists (or attached to their belts/belt loops) or have attached to their brooms. The quick answer: The sweepers time the speed of each stone at the start of delivery to get an estimate of how far […]

Curling 101 - Touching a stone

2014-02-16

I received another great question early this morning from ReillyMama2: “What happens if you knock the other teams curl (stone) with either the broom or your foot?” Because there are specific rules about touching, or “burning,” stones, I expanded the question. I wish I had a short answer, but, as the phrase goes,...

Curling 101 - How far do you throw the rock?

2014-02-16

Yet another great question, this time from Corinna, via Facebook. “I heard someone say you have to throw the rock 150 feet to the target area. It doesn’t look that far on TV. How far is it?” How big is a curling sheet? Each sheet of ice is at least 146 feet long between the […]

What are those tiny lights on curling stones?

2014-02-15

A reader named Jim asked a great question that came to mind while he watched the curling action from Sochi: What are those tiny lights that blink red or green on top of the curling stones? It takes a little bit of explanation. Every sheet of curling ice has two hog lines – stripes that […]

Curling 101 - Free Guard Zone

2014-02-15

Lindsey asked via Twitter about the free guard zone. You may have wondered why a team would deliberately throw its first rock in front of the house and not in an immediate scoring position. That rock essentially is guarding an area of the house behind it. A team with the hammer, or last rock, advantage […]

When GoPro goes curling

2014-02-13

You’ve probably seen video from GoPro cameras attached to BMX bikes, snowboards and parasails. But GoPro footage from a curling stone? Round and round and round it goes. In general, a curling stone rotates 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 times as it travels down a sheet of ice, roughly 124 feet from a player’s hand […]

Curling 101 - Where do stones come from?

2014-02-13

You hear a lot about curling stones during the Olympics. It’s clear people are curious what the stones are made of, how much they weigh, how much they cost and where they come from. Some of you have asked me these questions. Most of you are probably pondering the answers. Read on. Curling stones are […]

Why do curlers yell out numbers?

2014-02-11

As they’re moving down the sheet of ice, you’ll hear the sweepers on a curling team yell out numbers toward the skip in the house. What’s that about? The numbers are an estimate of where the sweepers think the stone will end up if left to travel on its own. The numbers give the skip […]

Syracuse hoops team tries curling

2014-02-11

Well, sort of. Check a VIDEO of the Orange messing about during practice inside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center. According to Trevor Hass, assistant sports editor of The Daily Orange, “Jerami Grant and B.J. Johnson channeled their inner Haavard Vad Petersson and Christoffer Svae. Grant rolled a basketball forward, flaunting the...

Jimmy Fallon on the ice?

2014-02-11

Or is he “in” the ice? I think it’s time for Jimmy to “hurry hard” to the nearest curling club. Maybe the Plainfield Curling Club in New Jersey. Got a comment or a question about curling? Email me at dena.rosenberry@gazette.com. Follow me on Twitter: @djrosenberry And if you want to learn to curl, contact me […]

Curling 101 - Watch the basics (A video or two)

2014-02-11

So…  You’ve read a bit about curling and you’re watching it on TV as 10 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams vie for gold in Sochi. But you want to know a bit more about how to curl. You could watch “The Simpsons” curling episode from 2010 (“Boy Meets Curl”). And you can ask me! […]

Are curlers athletes?

2014-02-11

Are they? Are curlers real athletes? And do they deserve a spot at the Olympics? This well-known and well-respected sports columnist says yep. Yep, yep. (Full disclosure: We’re former co-workers but I didn’t curl when I live in SoCal.) By Bill Plaschke SOCHI, Russia — The Canadian guy with bulging tattooed biceps is pumping his...

Curling 101 - Game Play

2014-02-10

How many times do you throw stones down the ice in a game? Each game, or match, in national or international competition consists of 10 ends (like innings in baseball). Each team delivers 8 stones from one end of the ice sheet to the other in each end. The score is tallied after each end. […]

Lego Curling

2014-02-08

There are curling fanatics and there are Lego curling fanatics. Or perhaps Lego fanatics who see the fun they can have creating a curling scene. The work at right is part of a series by Matija Puzar, who re-created a classic match between Norway and Sweden, two curling power houses. You can see her other […]

Learn to Curl

2014-02-08

  Curlers don’t let friends curl with milk jugs! Curlers in Fort Wayne created this VIDEO to promote their club and their Learn to Curl events. Funny stuff! If YOU want to learn to curl and you’re near Colorado Springs, join me at the Colorado Sports Center (where Olympian Jason Brown trains) on Saturday, Feb. […]

Curling 101 - Sweeping and 'Throwing'

2014-02-07

Time to answer a few more questions that I’ve been asked about curling: Are you the thrower or the sweeper? I’m both. In fact, all players throw, or deliver, stones and sweep stones. After one player delivers a stone toward the skip, or captain, who is standing in the opposite house, his or her teammates […]

Team Coco goes curling!

2014-02-06

My friends at the Orange County Curling Club in Southern California had a great time teaching Andy Richter of Team Coco and the Conan O’Brien show to curl. Check out his form! Andy said it was a lot like sweeping his patio – with a bit more drinking involved.

What Does the Skip Say?

2014-02-05

We all know there’s a lot of yelling that goes on during a curling game. Mostly from the skip to the rest of the team, but a fair amount goes on up and down the ice. So, what exactly does the skip say? Check out this video spoof of the catchy “What Does the Fox […]

Heading to U.S. Mixed Nationals

2014-02-05

I’m heading to U.S. Mixed Nationals! Over the weekend, Team Colorado won a playdown in Chicago and earned the right to represent the region at the U.S. Mixed National Championships in March. Mixed curling pairs two men and two women on a team, alternating positions. Some teams are skipped by men, others women. My teammates […]

Going old school

2014-02-05

Curling has been around for centuries – there’s evidence it has been played since the 1500s in Scotland. Since I just came from a weekend of competing and practicing at the Chicago Curling Club, home of the American Curling History Museum, I thought I’d share this gallery of fantastic photos of curlers from the mid-20th […]

Curling 101 - Teams, Stones, Scoring

2014-02-05

I’ll start off sharing some of the basic questions I’m asked about the “roaring” game. How many players are there on a team? Aside from mixed doubles teams (more on that later), curling teams comprise four players. Which one of you throws the stones? Each player slides, or delivers, two polished granite stones down a...

What the heck is curling?

2014-02-04

Hello, and good curling! I’m here to share my love of the sport of curling with readers and to answer questions about the game. There are no silly questions (even, “Is curling really a sport?”), so fire away! If you read the short bio on the blog, you’ll learn that I’ve been curling for about […]

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Blogger Bio

I started curling after getting hooked watching the game during the 2006 Winter Olympics. I went to a Learn to Curl held by the Broadmoor Curling Club, and I've been playing since fall of 2006.

I've represented Colorado at U.S. Club Nationals three times and represented the region (Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas) at U.S. Mixed Nationals once, and Mixed Doubles twice.

Curling is a fantastic family sport, and one of few competitive sports that you can play with teammates of all ages and abilities. Kids play with parents, cousins, grandparents and friends. The Broadmoor Curling Club has taught hundreds of Wounded Warriors to curl. We have taught curlers who use a wheelchair, curlers who have a traumatic brain injury, curlers who are deaf and curlers who are blind. The beauty is everyone can play and compete together!

Want to know more about curling? Wondering about the rules of the game? Send me an email at dena.rosenberry@gazette.com.