Learning to curl with the Kalamazoo Curling Club

The many faces of curling

KALAMAZOO, MICH. - It's called shuffleboard on ice, or, if you've played the game, you might call it chess on ice. 

"There's a lot of strategy involved," said Marcus Gleaton co-founder of the Kalamazoo Curling Club

And curling, while many of us have never tried the sport, is the most covered Olympic sport in the winter games. 

"This year there will be more coverage at the Olympics of curling than all other sports combined," said Gleaton. "Fifty percent of the coverage will be Olympic curling, which is awesome."

The game works like this: teams of four take turns sending a stone down a 150-foot rectangle of ice into a bulls-eye for points. 

"One of the most common questions I get asked when people find out I curl is, are you a thrower or a sweeper, and in fact, you're both," added Gleaton. 

One person is the skip, or the team leader. That's the person you'll hear making the calls and guiding the rest of the team through the match. 

A fun fact about curling - the stone, or granite rock sent down the ice, is made of very specific granite. 

"They're a special granite that comes from a quarry," said Gleaton. "It's an island called Ailsa Craig in Scotland. It's a very dense granite so it holds up and withstands." 

And each stone costs about $1,000. 

If you don't have the money to invest in your own curling set-up, the Kalamazoo Curling Club welcomes all beginners to the sport. Starting in March, the club will offer Olympic leagues lasting three weeks. 



You can also learn to curl with the Kalamazoo Curling Club. Due to high demand, all Learn to Curl events are booked, but more are being added in coming weeks. Check the Kalamazoo Curling Club website and Facebook page for updates. 

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Laura Hartman is a meteorologist at WZZM 13. You can contact her by email at lhartman@wzzm13.com, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. 

© 2018 WZZM-TV


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