Subscribe to Fourth Estate Watch our YouTube Channel Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook

Curling season begins this month

James Taylor , News Editor
September 19, 2013
Filed under News

Leaves changing colors reminds UW-Green Bay students of football Sundays, but for others, a lesser-known team sport comes to mind.

Curling season is about to roar to life at the local club located at 781 Potts Ave.

Students looking for an outlet to compete can leave the footballs and basketballs at home, pick up a broom and toss stones while enjoying the lively nature of chess on ice.

Years ago, curling enthusiasts had to wait for Mother Nature to freeze surface water prior to initiating a new season of the roaring game, but for 55 years, members of the Green Bay Curling Club have made due with artificial ice.

GBCC is home to approximately 165 members and hosts leagues for men, woman, mixed teams and juniors. UWGB students can even join leagues for curlers with five years of curling experience or less.

The GBCC was formed in 1958 and hosted demonstration matches for area residents interested in the game. Currently, the club hosts matches on a three-sheet rink.

Curling can be competitive, but curling members emphasize sportsmanship and the social enrichment the sport can yield.

“Curling is laid back,” said 20-year-curling veteran Dan Lieburn. “You go out play eight ends, then have drinks with guys and enjoy the camaraderie.”

The social nature of curling is always evident at the GBCC. The lounge is often filled with the smell of chili labeled mild and not so mild. As members await the start of their match, they sit together discussing events of the week over a bowl of chili and pitcher of beer.

“There is no other sport like curling,” said 23-year-curling veteran Nathan Jackson. “The etiquette, sportsmanship and uniqueness are the best part of this sport.”

Indeed, the sport of curling is unlike any other. Its moniker, the roaring game, is derived from the novel sound created when a stone travels across a sheet of ice. Equipment used during play is distinct from other games.

Onlookers new to the sport of curling may find the act of broom sweeping odd, but these brooms are an integral aspect of curling and are used to raise the surface temperature of the ice to affect the speed and direction of a launched stone.

The sport is also unique in that balance and precision are valued over strength and speed. For youngsters interested in the game, this can be encouraging.

“Curling doesn’t require you to run fast or jump high, the playing field is even for kids who may not have the attributes necessary for other sports,” said Jackson.

The tradition of curling is alive and well at the GBCC as the new season approaches. When the stones finally come to rest at the end of the night, the spirit of the sport becomes evident.

As curlers approach the lounge after a match for a well-deserved bowl of chili and glass of beer, opponents will offer each other the traditional job-well-done handshake and congratulatory remark — good curling.