WHAT IS CURLING?
Curling started in Scotland and originally was played outdoors. Over the years the game has been refined and is now played mainly on indoor ice rinks. Curling is played in more than 40 countries worldwide. It is most prolific in Scotland, Canada, the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Germany, USA, China, Japan, Holland, Italy and France.
Modern curling is often described as "chess on ice"; it is a game of SKILL, PRECISION, FITNESS AND.....FUN!
Curling in England - BBC Breakfast report
The objective is simple: to slide a granite curling stone weighing 20kg from one end of the ice rink to the other (40m) to a target marked on the ice. The player slides out of a starting block called "the hack" and releases the stone when it is on the right path. As the player releases the stone the handle is twisted to the left or right thus making the stone spin slowly as it travels down the ice. This makes it Curl down the ice - giving the name of the game - "Curling".
HOW TO PLAY
Two teams of 4 play against each other using two stones per player and playing in turn. All players in the team are involved in every stone played,taking turns to deliver the stone, to sweep (two players) or as "skip" - who guides the delivery and tells the sweepers when to sweep. Sweeping can help to keep a stone on the right trajectory and make it go further than it otherwise would have done. After everyone has played the "end" is finished and the team whose stone(s) is nearest the middle of the target wins the end; one point for each stone nearer the centre than the opposition. A stone must be within the outer (12 foot diameter) circle to count. A game typically lasts 8 ends over a 2 hour session. Special shoes are worn to enable the player to slide over the ice. Skates are definitely NOT used as the surface must be perfectly flat and smooth. A single hair or piece of fluff is enough to make a stone go completely off course.
LEAGUES & COMPETITIONS
Matched sets of stones are provided by the curling rink as are the special brushes and also hire shoes.
Fenton’s Rink host several leagues and junior club sessions as well as regular tournaments for both experienced and novice curlers. Weekend competitions (called "bonspiels" in curling parlance) are also organised where the competition involves several games over a weekend, interspersed with a liberal helping of partying! The social side of curling is very important and Fenton’s Rink also host birthday parties, hen parties and stag parties for those who are looking for something a little different.
A SHORT CURLING DEMO
ABOUT FENTON'S RINK
Fenton's Rink is England's only dedicated ice curling rink. Whilst there are other ice rinks in England they are used exclusively for skating and ice hockey which makes the ice too sticky for curling. Curling really needs properly prepared ice in an ice rink dedicated to the sport. Having been a frustrated curler in England for over 30 years, Ernest Fenton, an exiled Scot, decided to create a 3-lane dedicated curling rink on his estate near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Fenton’s Rink opened in November 2004 with an International Bonspiel, which attracted competitors from all over the world. Curling has been an Olympic Winter sport since 1988 and Curling is one of the few Olympic winter sports everyone can try. The sport of Curling is suitable for young and old, and can be played as a social or competitive sport. The spirit of curling demands good sportsmanship and honourable conduct.
Fenton’s Rink has qualified curling coaches available to teach and encourage beginners. Whether your focus is learning a new skill, or bonding with your friends or team mates, trying this exciting winter sport is great fun and you are sure to have a memorable experience. Many new curlers go on to join a local club for regular curling. You will also have the opportunity to join the English Curling Association , which in turn is part of the World Curling Federation. Fenton’s Rink also attracts experienced curlers from across Southern England and has created opportunities for them to play regularly and competitively.
Fenton’s Rink is open over the winter season from October to April inclusive and we look forward to welcoming you or your party soon.