Frozen lochs, Scots and Granite Rocks. A history of Curling - one of the oldest team sports in the world

Curling is like Chess on ice. It demands strategy, focus, pre-emptive strikes, game plans and endurance. What you might not know, however, is that like Chess - Curling has a long and colourful history (http://worldcurling.org/about/history/). 

Believed to have formed in 16th Century Scotland, Curling is one of the oldest team sports in the world. Games were played during the harsh Scottish winter on frozen ponds and lochs.

The earliest-known curling stones came from the Scottish regions of Stirling and Perth and date from 1511. In the 1600s, stones with handles were introduced. Stones are intentionally rotated slightly when delivered and will curve a foot or two ("curl") in the direction they are rotated.

 In the 1800’s  Curling clubs began to appear.  Scotland led the way, forming the Grand Caledonian Curling Club in 1838. This club was responsible for formulating the first official rules of the sport. In The 1843 the club was renamed the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. 

 Key 20th and 21st century developments in the sport have been the:

  • standardisation of the stone  
  • development of the slide delivery,
  • use of indoor, refrigerated ice facilities, and 
  • incorporation of Curling into the Winter Olympics and Winter Para Olympics.

 In 2014, ’Curling: Pure Emotion,’ a sculpture by curler Bjorn Zyrd was unveiled by President Kate Caithness, at the Olympic Museum Park in Lausanne, Switzerland (http://worldcurling.org/2014/09/curling-statue/).  Curling is the first Olympic Winter sport to have such an artefact at the Olympic Museum Park. A fitting honour for one of the world’s oldest team sports

Curling’s Olympic History, including Para Olympic Curling  Read More (add page to put in text below)

 1924 - Men’s curling was included in the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. It was then dropped, and later re-introduced as a demonstration sport in 1932 in Lake Placid.

 Curling was a demonstration sport in various Winter Olympic Games between 1936 to 1992, eventually  including Men’s and Women’s events.

 In 1998, Nagano, Japan,  Curling officially joined the Olympic programme, with both men’s and women’s competitions (https://www.olympic.org/curling-equipment-and-history/)

 AAA and Para Olympic Curling History (http://worldcurling.org/about/history)

 Wheelchair curling was introduced during the 2000 World Handi Ski Championship in Crans Montana Switzerland. Switzerland and Sweden were the only countries competing. 

 2001, the first International Wheelchair Curling Bonspiel took place in Sursee Switzerland. This proved to be a test event for the first World Wheelchair Curling Championship held in January 2002. 

 Other international events introduced in 2002 included World Senior Curling Championships for women and men.

 In March 2002 the International Paralympic Committee granted official medal status to wheelchair curling for mixed gender teams.

The organising committee of the Torino Paralympic Winter Games in 2006 agreed to include wheelchair curling in their programme.

In 2005, the European Youth Olympic Festival introduced a curling competition for junior women and men between 15 and 18 years of age. 

Curling became part of the inaugural Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012.

Like many sports, Curling is a growing sport in Asia. Thus, the first World Women’s Curling Championship was held in Aomori, Japan, in 2007.

 The first World Men’s Curling Championship held in Asia was in Beijing, China, in 2014.

 In 2008, the first World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship was staged in Vierumaaki, Finland. 

 In 2015, the mixed doubles discipline was accepted as an additional event for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang; eight teams competed for medals.

 In 2015, the International Paralympic Committee confirmed that the wheelchair curling event in PyeongChang in 2018 would be expanded from 10 to 12 teams.

 Curling in Victoria (this follows on from the introductory history above on the same page)

 The Victorian Curling Association (VCA) is the peak body for Curling in Victoria https://www.curlingvictoria.org.au/

 Located at O'Brien IceHouse, Docklands (hyperlink) the VCA run:

  • a regular curling league (social and competitive)
  • Come and Try sessions 
  • wheelchair curling  
  • professional coaching sessions. 

 No special clothing or foot wear is required for Curling; equipment for Come And Try Curling is provided. This makes Curling a sport for any one and every occasion. So why not try Curling for your next corporate event?  From team building to amazing client experiences, Curling is an Olympic Winter Sport that can include everyone at any time: great in the winter and refreshingly cool on a hot Victorian summer's day.

To find out more or get involved in Curling contact the Victorian Curling Association 

If you would like to know more about Curling, for example, 

  • the Rules
  • the Curling Rink - dimensions, lines, areas.
  • the Game 
  • Scoring

 Please Click Read More (the information is courtesy of the Victorian Curling Association https://www.curlingvictoria.org.au/

 ( insert page and copy text below onto it.)

The Curling Rink


The curling rink is about 44 metres long and about 5 metres wide. 

The Game

Teams are made up of four players. A normal game lasts about two hours

Starting in the Hack, each player in the team slides a 20 kg granite stone down a sheet of ice. The aim is to have the stone stop nearer the centre of a target (the "House") than your opponent’s stone.

Stones are intentionally rotated slightly when delivered and will curve a foot or two ("curl") in the direction it is rotated.

Two sweepers, as directed by the skip (the person in charge of the team), use brushes to sweep the ice in front of the curling stone so that the ice is smooth, enabling the stone to travel further and straighter.   


An “end” is completed when all 16 stones (8 per team) have been delivered.  Only one team can score in an end, with teams scoring one point for each stone closer to the centre of the House than the opponent's closest stone.

Curling Manuals

Here are some manuals about Curling from our friends at the Canadian Curling Association (www.curling.ca)







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