Curling finds a home in Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Curling finds a home in Wausau

WAUSAU (WAOW) - The game of curling has been called chess on ice.

"It's a thinking sport. It doesn't take a lot of athleticism," said Susan Sandquist, an instructor at the Wausau Curling Club.

As it does during every Winter Olympics, curling has captured the world's attention, including right here in central Wisconsin. 

"We've had a few more spectators. I think it's mostly because of the publicity that curling has gotten in the Olympics," she said.

Before giving it a try, it helps to know the rules.

Sandquist went over the basics. "There's lead, second, third and skip. Four people on each team. You throw 16 rocks, 2 per player, alternating with the other team. The ultimate goal is to have your rocks closest to the center of the house."

The house is what curlers call the target on the ice.

The structure of curling is similar to another sport you might be more familiar with.

"Our scoring is kind of like innings in baseball. We play 8 ends in a typical game so during an end, all the rocks go down on one end and then you tally the score," Sandquist explained.

The team that gets its rock closest to the bull's-eye gets the point. There's a slight learning curve, she says.

"There's a whole sense of practice where you have to get a feel for how fast the rock is going and the turn. So it's sort of a game of finesse."

Curling club members in Wausau say they love having new players. 

"Come on in and ask a question. Someone around there will be glad to help you and point out what's going on out there," said Bill Edwards, a senior member of the club.

Once you nail the basics, curlers say that's when the strategy starts to come into play.

"You're going to try to get guards. You're going to curl your rock to try to get it around a guard. You might be taking something out and the angles are important," Sandquist said.

Curling is an easy sport to pick up but a difficult one to master.

"I'm still working at it and it's been 50 years," said Edwards.
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