Homer's Travels: Curling And C.R.I.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Curling And C.R.I.

The question (i.e. answer) to Saturday's Mystery Jeopardy Answer is:

Name seven things that have to do with curling.

Curling Stone or Rock - 44 lbs of solid granite
Why am I asking about curling, you ask?  Friday and Saturday the Wife and I, along with the Matron of Honor, Best Man, ER, and ST (the members of Team Arnold), participated in a Curling Tournament (a bonspiel) in Sioux City, IA.  The tournament, the result of a suggestion made by the Wife during the 2010 Winter Olympics (Though the idea may pre-date the Olympics, I can't remember), was set up by my brother-in-law TE and consisted of sixteen novice teams of four to six.  It turned out to be crazy fun.

Friday night we had a four hour orientation with an hour of instruction and three hours of practice time.  Curlers from a Fremont, NE curling club gave a brief power point presentation of the terminology, rules, and methods used during curling.  The presentation was of perfect length.  The curler giving the presentation knew the audience very well - a group of amateurs out to have fun.  She taught us the rules but told us that we could be flexible in enforcing them.

After the presentation we had time on the ice.  I never imagined that the curling lane was so long - 146 feet long. I figured the stones would be heavy, 44 lbs of solid granite, but I underestimated just how hard you had to shove those things to get them to the other end.  It didn't take long to get the general hang of throwing the stones but getting them to go the distance ... that was another story.  Nobody's stone delivering form were very good.  Everyone tended to fall over once they released the stone and few people practiced the art of sweeping, but we all got the gist of what we were supposed to do.  Here is a news article, with a video, of the curling practice (I'm in the grey and black coat, jeans, and brown shoes at 1:23).

On Saturday the tournament started at 8:00 AM.  Out first game (which consists of several ends, similar to innings in baseball) started at 11:00 AM so we slept in, had a good breakfast, and got to the rink a half hour or so before our first match.  Each game lasted three ends (a 'real' curling game usually lasts 10 ends).  We tied out first game (1-1), lost out second (0-2), and lost our third (1-3).

The players were varied - city workers, judges, and fun people like us.  There was a costume contest which was fun.  One team wore jackets with "Duh, Winning" on the back.  There were the mandatory cross dressing body builders.  We all had red flannel shirts, not very original but, we compensated by being the only group with a cheer - the chorus of the Schnitzelbank.  Everyone was there to have fun and were very sporting.  We all shook hands after meets and things were very pleasant.

The third game ended with a little bit of excitement of the unwelcome kind.  The Wife, after falling over during her practice throws, decided to be a sweeper.  In regular play everyone sweeps and throws.  This tournament was a little more relaxed.  During the last end of our third game the Wife was heading to sweep one of our stones when her feet went out from under her and she land flat on her back.  Her head bounced off the ice and she didn't move for awhile.  A couple of players, an EMT and an emergency room nurse, checked her out and helped her off the court.  After we finished the end, they suggested I take her to a hospital.  (Ohhhh ... that's why we had to sign those waivers!)

We were worried she might have had a concussion but, after the doctor examined her, she was given a clean bill of health and some meds to stop the pounding headache and nausea she was suffering from.  We went back to the rink and then back to the hotel where after a quick fast food lunch, the Wife took a needed nap.  We all went out later that night for some good food, conversation, and drink ... though not for the Wife as she was not to drink while on the meds.

On Sunday we all came down for breakfast, all suffering from Curling Related Injures (CRI).  We all had bruises on our knees (The Matron of Honor won the bruise award in Team Arnold) and sore muscles.  I discovered muscles I didn't know I had and a few I'd forgotten about like my back.  Despite the sore muscles and CRIs we all agree that we had a great time.  We all have a greater appreciation for the great sport of curling.  Next year I need to get ready with some deep knee bends to strengthen the knees and thighs.

P.S.  In all the hubbub I never got the final standings of the tournament though I suspect we were at the bottom.


  1. Well, now you've made me supremely jealous. I've wanted to try curling ever since attending the events in Vancouver! Organizing time amongst my friends has been tough, though. Even worse, I spent my Saturday in class... :(

  2. Sounds awesomely fun. The Boy tried to find somewhere here to try out the curling but no dice so far; too late in the year.

    Maybe in the Fall....

    V. glad The Wife is ok. :)

  3. GH: I'm surprised how many curling clubs there are out there. You would think that you would hear about them more than once every four years.

    JaG: It is awesomely fun and relatively easy to learn.

    Thanks about the Wife. We both still have a few little curling aches and pains.

  4. That is so cool!!! Man, your wife is one tough cookie. I'm glad you two are having so much fun!

  5. MMC: She is. The ice didn't have a chance. It was very fun and very quirky - just as we like it.