Americans got pretty excited about curling during the last Winter Olympics. It's a sport that is best described as a sort of shuffleboard on ice with brooms.
This weekend, you can not only try curling yourself, but mingle with the best in the sport. It's Orange County's first 3-day bonspiel, or curling tournament, and it's happening at The Rinks-Westminster Ice, on Springdale in Westminster through 3:30 p.m.Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Harty, Co-Chair of the Surf City Spiel and Vice President of the Orange County Curling Club, joins John Rabe on the line for a preview.
What is curling?:
"Curling is a sport that's kind of like chess on ice. There's a detailed element of strategy involved as well as shot execution. Every single rock has to be placed by the team in the right location and that takes skill, and speed, and stamina by each of the players on the team."
What is a bonspiel?
"A bonspiel is a curling tournament. And our bonspiel has teams coming from all over North America to compete against each other for the right to with the Richard Ramirez Memorial Cup."(And we should point out that this Richard Ramirez is the late founder of the Orange County Curling Club, not this Richard Ramirez.)
How many clubs are there in Southern California?
"There are three clubs in Southern California. There's one in Escondido, there's our club in Orange County, and there's the Hollywood club."
What is it that makes curling different?
"One of the amazing things about the sport of curling is that it's very much a curling community sport. People at all levels get to come and play together and compete against each other. We have members who this will be their first ever bonspiel and they'll be playing against teams who have been to the Olympics. And I think curling is the only sport where people can meet and compete in that way."
How can people learn to curl?
"Nearly every Saturday night at the rinks westminster ice we have a 'learn to curl' session. And people can come out and sign up for the event and join a two hour session to get out on the ice and learn the skills and actually play a short game."