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Old 02-20-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
arturo7
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So, what's with all the sweeping?
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
I had a suspicion that drinking was an integral part of the sport.


I wonder if the Olympians conceal flasks in their socks?
Yeah, if you've been following the olympics, they just made the skip (top guy) sit out against France because he hasn't been playing up to par. Rumor 1 is that he's been drinking too much and can't concentrate. Rumor 2 is that he hasn't been drinking enough and isn't used to playing sober.

 
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:42 PM   #13
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So how do you find a place to play around you? I looked on USAcurl and the world site but with no luck. Google maps returned some stuff but of little help. I hate bowling but I think something like this would be fun to play with friends. I always like watching it on tv and I'm watching the USA/Sweden match now.

 
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scut_Monkey View Post
So how do you find a place to play around you? I looked on USAcurl and the world site but with no luck. Google maps returned some stuff but of little help. I hate bowling but I think something like this would be fun to play with friends. I always like watching it on tv and I'm watching the USA/Sweden match now.
Contact USAcurling http://www.curlingrocks.net/contact-us.php. They actually have extra staff on during the olympics to answer those questions.

Of course the easy answer...if you are in Wisconsin or Minnesota, the closest curling rink is probably closer than your job. If you're anywhere else in the U.S., good luck.

 
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
So, what's with all the sweeping?
You asked, so here you go. I've been inundated with curling related questions from friends for the last week. Here's my standard answer to everything.

Short version:
Because the skip is yelling at them to sweep.

PhD version:
I can send you several papers that have titles like, "The motion of rapidly rotating cylinders sliding on smooth surfaces."

Bill Nye the Science Guy version:
If you remember back to physics class, the reason we can ice skate is because the pressure exerted by our weight down on the thin blade causes a localized melting of the ice. This layer of water between the skate and ice allows us to slide along. When it's too cold out, people say it is "sticky ice" because the ice can't melt enough to let us glide.

In curling, the 42 pound rock is flung down the ice and given a slight rotation. Since the whole rock is actually contacting the ice in a 10 inch wide circle that is about 3 mm thick, it acts like the skate blade and melts the ice below it thus allowing it to travel forward.

As the rock rotates, it drags the water film along to the front corner...in other words a clockwise rotating rock will drag the water to the front right corner...which reduces the drag more there thus allowing to rock to move in that direction...in other words a clockwise rotating rock will curl to the right.

When the sweepers contact the ice, they are essentially warming it up so it is easier to melt. This means there will be more melt water under the rock and this results in two things:
1. The rock will travel farther because it moves easier. Estimations vary, but some say as much as an extra 20 feet if done correctly.
2. The rock will have a more even layer of melt water under it so it won't curl as much.

So if a rock is thrown to weakly or it looks like it will over curl (thrown too narrow), the skip will tell them to sweep to compensate. If the rock is thrown too hard or too wide, the skip starts to look for other ways he can use the rock and prepares the list of insults he's going to hurl back down the ice at the guy that threw the stone.

In Olympic caliber curling, you see them sweep almost every stone, which is a bit more than beer league curling. At the novice level, many more stones will be left in play. This results in very high scoring games that are fun. At the Olympic level, if you give your opponent 3 points in one end, you may as well quit. They try very hard to throw "take-outs", which is the term for throwing your stone down with the intention of bumping out your opponents. Those stones are usually thrown very hard and narrow, which means you have your sweepers sweep it to make sure it stays on course.

Also, because the contact surface of the stone is so small, if it runs over a human hair or a piece of lint on the ice, that is often enough to send it glancing off at a 30 degree angle. So sometimes the sweeping is not being done very hard. Its just enough to keep the ice clean.

 
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:11 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info. I was actually under the impression that the sweeping made the stone curl more and I've probably watched 20 hours of curling over the past 4 years. I really wish they would explain more during the broadcasts as it is not very easy to understand the details of what's happening in a relatively fringe sport...... strange that I need to come to a brewing site for explanations.

 
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:13 PM   #17
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Fringe sport? I guess that's all relative to your location. Up here, golfing is a fringe sport for about 9 months of the year.

I think NBC figures you go to their website and spend countless hours sifting through their videos to figure all the sports out.

 
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:59 PM   #18
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Man, I'm watching curling right now on Winter Olympics. It's a fascinating game, really. It's not a sport, but it's a great game (but then, golf isn't a sport neither IMO). Now I wanna try it
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:41 AM   #19
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Fringe sport? I guess that's all relative to your location. Up here, golfing is a fringe sport for about 9 months of the year.
I knew the Packers were extremely popular in Wisconsin but I didn't know curling was...... that's my justification. I really had no idea it was that big in parts of the US.

 
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:32 AM   #20
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Oh, its not as big as the Packers...but neither is the Pope. Its basically popular among those of us who never really felt like playing hockey but found ice fishing a little too slow.

So what's the qualifications for classifying something as a "sport"? It takes a specialized skill set (walking on ice with one foot clad with teflon), requires some physical exertion (unless you're the skip sitting back calling the shots) and can be very competitive. Like football, at any moment the crappiest team can beat the best through a flukish series of events.

I'll warn you, don't try it unless you plan on getting hooked. Also wear heavily padded clothes because you will fall on your rear and take some ibuprofen ahead of time so you are ready for the pain.

 
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