Curling’s origin dates back to the 16th century in Scotland, where the game was played on frozen lochs and ponds. Scottish immigrants brought the game with them to North America, where it quickly spread across the northern United States and Canada.
The modern game evolved during the 20th century, aided in large part by the move indoors and the use of refrigerated ice. Curling became a full medal Olympic sport in 1998. Today over a million curlers are on the ice during the season (November-March) in Canada and the United States, and as far away as Australia and Japan.
The Racine Curling Club was formally organized on March 2, 1954, with Judge J. Allen Simpson as president. There were 28 charter members. Outdoor ice was used at places like Horlick Field, Root River, Hatter’s Sand Pit, and Armstrong Park. Snow, sun, sand, cold winds and heaves and cracks in the ice made it a game for only the most dedicated. The Grand Opening of the indoor Racine Curling Club was held on February 26, 1966, with Scottish Pipers in kilts leading the way. The Racine Curling Club today provides wintertime activities for over 160 adult and youth curlers from throughout South-East Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.
Curling is played on ice with 42-pound granite stones. The size of the playing surface (a ‘sheet’) is 138 feet long by approximately 14 feet wide. Target areas, known as ‘houses’, are located at each end of the sheet, thereby allowing play in both directions.
The Team usually consists of 4 players, called the ‘Lead’, the ‘Second’, the ‘Third’ (or Vice-Skip), and the ‘Skip’. The Skip is the captain and chief strategist for the team. All four members, beginning with the Lead and ending with the Skip, deliver two stones each ‘end’ (similar to an inning). In doubles curling, there are two players per team who deliver a total of five stones per team.
In the game of curling, each player delivers his/her stones each end, alternating with their counterpart on the opposing team. After all stones are thrown, the team with stones closest to the center of the house scores points for that end. The number of stones closer to the center of the house (circle) than the nearest stone of the opposing team determines the point total. A game normally consists of 8 ends, which takes approximately two hours to complete (1 1/2 hours for doubles).