THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT OF CURLING

People have referred to curling as the Roaring Game owing to the roar that emanates from a granite stone when it moves over the ice. While the actual roots of this game are not apparent, there is a widespread belief about it being among the oldest team sports in the world. Pieter Bruegel’s paintings in the sixteenth century depicted a game, which had similar traits with curling, enjoyed on frozen ponds. Bruegel was a Flemish artist, who died in 1569.  What is clear about the origin of curling is that the activity may have begun as a fantastic game played during the leisure times of people by throwing stones over ice in the severe winter of North Europe. In modern times, it has now evolved into a prevalent sport that has its international championships, attracting enthusiasts and audiences internationally. Also, it is a fact that it was in Scotland that the earliest renowned Curling Clubs were created. And in the nineteenth century, the sport got exported to any places that Scots resided in cold climates around the globe — areas like the US, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, etc.It is on record that in the nineteenth century, curling events were organized internationally in North America as well as Europe; however, it was in the first (1924) Olympic Winter Games held in France that formal global competition was organized for teams strictly comprising men.

Air Canada Silver Broom

The sport became listed for the second time in the US in 1932, but then it was held as a demonstration sporting activity at the Olympics. After a period of inactivity in curling on the global stage that lasted for over 26 years, Canada and Scotland, in 1959, achieved a critical feat when they introduced the Scotch Cup games, played between both countries’ curling champions for men.  This development created interest in other countries. Series of games subsequently increased the Scotch Cup entry, starting from the US in 1961, Sweden in 1962, Switzerland as well as Norway in 1964, France in 1966 and lastly, Germany in 1967. Following the progress recorded with the Scotch Cup games, on the 1st of April in 1966, the International Curling Federation, ICF, became established. About two years later, the Scotch Cup got replaced with the Air Canada Silver Broom and was declared as the World Curling Championship. The World Junior Men’s Curling Championship became endorsed by the Federation in 1975, the Ladies’ Curling Championship in 1979 and the World Junior Ladies’ Curling Championship in 1988.

The Federation’s name got changed to the World Curling Federation, WCF, in 1990; and in 1994, after the Constitution was revised, the WCF created its own Head Office as well as Secretariat in Scotland, specifically in Edinburgh from where it was moved to Perth, also in the country, in 2000.In 2015, the IPC (an acronym for the International Paralympic Committee) did the confirmation of the expansion to twelve (12) teams from ten (10) units in the wheelchair curling series in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018.