I went curling for the first time this weekend. A curling lesson and party for a friend’s birthday. What fun! There were 8 of us divided into 2 teams of 4. We were introduced to the rules of the rink, a new lexicon and the basics by the keeper of the Marpole Curling Club. He clearly loved his job, was passionate about the game and about protecting the hacks! See the rules below…the most important rule (it’s even listed twice on the rule sheet) is to protect the hacks.
I couldn’t figure out what the hacks were until I was told to put my feet into them & throw my first rock. The hacks are 2 pieces of rubber frozen into the ice used to push off of when you throw. It is critical to protect the hacks from incoming rocks as it takes 16 hours for them to re-freeze into the ice once damaged. The terminology is fascinating! At one point in the game, I was concentrating so diligently on sweeping a rock towards the circles that I didn’t notice my foot and broom hit and move 2 other rocks. My teammate immediately scolded me, “Those are burnt rocks now!” Oops, both rocks were then out of play.
I was pleased with myself that I didn’t fall over or end up on my butt every time I threw a rock. I did, though, have a series of nice bruises on my knees – a sign of rookie exuberance methinks. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed yelling at my friends with great gusto… “Hurry, hard”, “Woah” and “Stop!” Only 3 weeks remain in the curling season @ the Marpole Curling Club, if you hurry hard you too can experience this wonderful game.