Curling is a very old scottish sport. It isn't known, when scottish people began playing Curling. But in the Smith Institute in Stirling is a rock with the engraved year 1511 exposed. The first report about a Curlingmatch between two monks stems from Paisley Abbey near Glasgow and is dated February 1541. Someone named Mr. James Gall let on his tombstone engrave in Perth, Scotland, that he was a big Curling fan.
The ancient Scotland was a poor country. The Citys hadn't got a lot citizens, no public traffic existed, the land was poor and only within some months useful. So, the only occupation of the Scots was to thrash the British or steal some sheeps of the neighbor's clan. But at all times, they did sports. The hooligans were probably a scottish invention, because 1457, the scottish parliament prohibitted Soccer and Golf (!) because they aroused riots. Curling wasn't endangered by this prohibition allthough the rocks were great to hit an opponent..
The first Curling rocks weighted only 2 or 3 kg. They had the design of a hand. And so they were called "loofies" (loof=hand in old english) With the help of the time, the rocks became like today ones. The people called them boulders, gave them a handle and rounded them like the modern rocks . At the beginning, everybody knew, that you must shoo the rockk from A to B, but no precise rules were known. Especially the lenght or width of the rink or the size and the weight of the rock were unknown.. That's why some real boulders appeared in 18th Century. The biggest one, the "Jubilee Stone" had the weight of 58.5 kg. If this would be still so today, Curling would be a sport for strong men. Fortunately, the evolution took another way.
The curlers took the "Round Stones" with the weight of approx. 20 kg, but the first stone wich had the today usual hollow grinding was used in 1784 by Mr. Tam Pate. With this hollow grind, he was able to play a twist around a guard. Today we call this curl. Through this late invention, we know, that the word Curling isn't based on the verb to curl, but comes from the old verb to curr (to grumble)
The first Curling club was founded in Kinross, Loch Leven in 1668. The first national association was the Grand Caledonian Curling Club (founded in 1838). In 1843, the club got the privilege to be the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. This Club was the World Federation, till 1966, when the ICF (International Curling Federation) was founded. Since 1991 the ICF is called WCF (World Curling Federation).
Women are today a matter of course. In example, the German Curling Federation wouldn't be so successful when it wouldn't have women. The first women's Curling club was founded in 1895 and had the name "Hercules". Women got their own world championship in 1979, 20 years after the men.
Copyright 1999 by
Damian Amherd & Stefan Hubacher
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