1. Gear up: Slip-on grippers? Check. One extra-slick slider that threatens to speed away from you every time you step on it? Check. Brooms? Check. 40-lb granite ‘rocks’, which will involuntarily amputate any piece of flesh that lands in its way? Check. Coat, gloves, and assorted winter accessories? Optional.
“You can tell who’s had the most to drink based on how little they’re wearing by the end of the game.” – Tom Z., team member
2. Team up: Once you’re dressed appropriately, divide into two teams of up to 5 players. Ideal number, 4: 1 person to push the heavy rocks, two people to sweep them down the lane, and one ‘skip’ to protect them at the other end. Suggestion: pick Scandinavians and Canadians, who are “born with the game in their blood.”
“We can’t lose, we’re America. If it looks like we’re losing, we’ll just quit the game and say it was all part of our plan.” – Team America (vs. The World)
3: Rock it: Teams take turn ‘delivering’ their rocks to the opposite ‘house’ or end of the icy lane. This requires cat-like agility, as the pusher balances between freezing knee and broom, their foot perilously perched on the slider, while attempting to shove themselves forward with a super-human strength that will not end in crushed fingers or a bruised tailbone.
“I’ve been practicing my lunges” – Sal, only team member to deliver with grace
4: Sweep it: As the rock barrels dangerously (or in slow suspense) down the lane, members of the pushing team can sweep the ice to create extra speed. This requires gazelle-like sure-footedness, as you prance forward, while trying to melt the ice and not trip your teammates at the same time.
“Swipe, swipe, swipe harder!” - Norwegian team member
5. Celebrate: An Olympic game goes through 10 rounds of delivery. Ours usually ended after 3. Points are awarded each round, for the three rocks closest to the center of the house. Loser buys the victorious team a pitcher of beer: cheapest drinks in Revelstoke, B.C.
New Year’s Resolution #9: Worried about breaking this? Visit The Canadian Curling Association to find a rink, club or team near you!