Thursday, January 19, 2023

Let it slide

6th Annual Curling Royale Tournament registration set

Former Curling Royale players enjoy the game at
Mary Ann Banks Park. The event this year is set for Feb. 11.
Get your brooms ready, curlers.

The Sixth Annual Curling Royale Tournament has been scheduled in Romulus.

This year, the charity event will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at Mary Ann Banks Park.

While only in the sixth year, the event continues to grow in popularity. Last year, Mayor Robert McCraight, who first brought the sport to the city five years ago, said he was gratified to see the number of teams registered for the event continue to increase. This year, there are limited spots available and pre-registration is strongly suggested before spots fill up, organizers said. Registration 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.”

Each player shoots twice in each end. Teams earn points when their stones are closest to the tee after all 16 shots. Some players will aim for the tee, while others may aim to knock other players' stones out of position. Players must strategize how best to keep their stones closest to 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.

The Romulus event is dependent on the ice in the pond freezing, organizers stressed. The backup date is Feb. 18 at the same time and location.

Team registration is $25 and will begin at 2 p.m. All proceeds of the event will help fund the “Great Lakes Burn Camp for Kids.” Registration checks should be made payable to Great Lakes Burn Camp. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Following the event, a special Happy Hour is planned at Artisan Reserve.