The sport of curling has evolved over the past several years for many different reasons. The biggest difference however, is that more people are becoming involved in curling and a younger generation is falling in love with the game. Many clubs host popular learn to curl events each year for new people to come and throw a few rocks and learn the basics. Often new curlers then become new members along with friends or family. People are attracted to the gentle pace of the game, the compelling strategy, and the relaxed atmosphere of the curling club.
The origins of curling date back to 16th century Scotland, but curling has a history much closer to home. The curling club was often a gathering place for small towns in North Dakota. These clubs were often as simple as a quonset building with a sand floor. The cold winter made natural ice possible as many clubs did not have artificial ice equipment. Today most active clubs have artificial ice and use professional scrapers instead of hand tools. Grand Forks is fortunate to have what is considered "dedicated ice" in that our club is only used for curling. Most of the new clubs forming in the US are playing on "arena ice" and have to share both time and resources with ice skating and hockey.
Some curlers choose to compete in style. One such example is the phenomenon of the Norwegian national team's fancy curling pants. With their bold colors and wacky patterns, they bring a loud statement to a sport characterized by its quiet sportsmanship and stoic personalities. Fans and curlers alike have embraced this interesting style and it is common to see curlers wearing colorful clothing during competition. Some clubs even choose to hold themed bonspiels with costumes. Many new curlers now enjoy the sport as a fun way to express themselves as a team.
See you at the club, and Good Curling!