One of the world’s oldest team sports, curling may also be among the hardest to fully understand. Inspired by sixteenth-century Scottish clansmen, the sport consists of competitors sliding a 42-pound granite stone, a.k.a. “the rock,” across the ice toward a target. Players then use brooms to scrub the ice to control the direction of the stone. Most beginning curling programs take three to four hours largely because the rules and terminology require some serious explaining. The best place to try it out is probably Wisconsin’s Green Bay Curling Club, which hosted the 2013 U.S.A. Curling National Championships. The facility’s Learn 2 Curl is offered in September, before the season starts, and during the Olympics.
“We had 50 to 60 people showing up every night for a week during the last Olympics,” says the club’s vice-president, Bill Rhyme, a fourth-generation curler. Just be sure to bring a good pair of tennis shoes – the club will provide a slip-on slider required to play – and your I.D. “It’s custom to sit down with your opponents after the tournament and share a drink,” says Rhyme. The club keeps three beers on tap: Miller, Miller Light, and (at press time) Spotted Cow.Back to top