|Former Curling Royale players enjoy the game at |
Mary Ann Banks Park. The event this year is set for Feb. 11.
This year the event is a charity fundraiser for the Great Lakes Burn Camp For Kids and team registration is already under way for the event which will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at Mary Ann Banks Park in the city.
There has to be ice at the park pond for the event and if Mother Nature hasn't provided cold enough temperatures, the event will be moved to Feb. 18 at the same time and location, organizers said. Because of the growing popularity of the sport, there are limited spots available and pre-registration is strongly suggested, organizers said. Sign up is available at (734) 942-7571 and no experience is necessary.
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice toward a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is described as a unique mix of shuffleboard and bowling on ice, with the strategy of chess thrown in for good measure. Curling features two four-person teams who alternate sliding a large stone across the ice toward a bull's-eye 126 feet away.
Each game consists of 10 “ends” or periods (like innings in baseball), in which teams take turns sliding 42-pound polished granite stones across a sheet of ice toward a bull's-eye of four concentric circles 12 feet in diameter. The bull's-eye is called the “house,” and its center is the “tee.”
When players slide their stones, they use a special technique that involves a twist of the wrist. As the stone slides across the ice, it will “curl” or curve much like a bowling ball hooks down the lane at a bowling alley.
As the stone curls toward its intended target, the other three team members use special brooms to sweep the surface of the ice in the stone's path, which can cause the stone to change both speed and direction.
The sweeping motion creates friction, which melts the ice and creates a thin layer of water that makes the stone curl less and travel farther. Sweeping can help a stone travel up to 15 feet farther, experts estimate.
Team registration is $25 and, if still available on tournament day, will begin at 2 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Following the event, a special Happy Hour is planned at Artisan Reserve.