There’s no better way to take advantage of suddenly-above-zero temperatures than pop-up curling. And the stones hit the ice Friday and Saturday at Little Thistle, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Curling Club of Rochester.
Though the sport can confuse newbies — to be fair, any jargon-filled activity paired with brooms probably would — we’ve compiled a quick guide to give you a leg up.
It’s simple: Slide your stones into the button (bull’s-eye), and try to get the closest to the middle.
Each curling team gets eight tries to throw their stones into the concentric circles. At the end of the 16 stone throws, whichever team has the closest stone to the button gets a point. That team gets another point for any stone that’s inside the closest opponents’ stone.
Only one team can score at the end of the 16 throws, which means a team could score anywhere between 1 (likely) and 8 points (astronomically unlikely, unless you’re a team of adults playing a team of toddlers).
While one teammate throws, the others use their brooms to sweep the ice in front of the stone. That decreases the friction between the stone and the chipped ice, which makes it travel straighter and farther.
3. Throwing stones
There are actually three possible moves here — you can obviously aim for the bull’s-eye and try to score. But other strategies include throwing a block to keep the other team’s stones from reaching the center (or your winning stone), or knocking the opponents’ rock out of scoring position. Aim carefully.
Traditionally, curling involves two teams of four, in which everyone throws two stones. So be ready to sweep AND throw.
If you go
What: Pop-Up Curling
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19-20
Where: Little Thistle Brewing, 2031 14th St. NW, Rochester
Cost: Free; sign up at calendly.com/curlrochester/pop-up-curling-2-19-2-20.