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Miscellaneous Monday - Did you ever stop to think about it?

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

Happy Monday Everyone!

Over the weekend I was called upon by a good friend to help teach/coach a bunch of new curlers the basics of the game.

For anyone not familiar with curling it's that weird sport on ice where one guy throws a rock down the ice while the other people sweep the ice in front of it.


While I was explaining some of the basics to these new curlers, I got some confused faces about some of the terms I was using.  Things that are second nature to me know, but this really got me thinking about some of the terminology that is used in curling and how it came to exist in the first place.

One of the most common things you will here someone talk about is the "Hog-Line".  This is a line marked in the ice about 2/3 of the way down from where the person throwing the rock starts.  You must get your rock to cross this line in order to be considered in play.  The origin of this is that in Scotland young lambs that were the runt of the litter and weren't expected to survive were known as "hogs".  This translated into curling as rocks that were not expected to make it into play.

It has also become second nature for people new to curling to shout "Hurry Hard!" at the top of their lungs, but I can say that this is more of a media pushed activity than actual reality.  Yes, you are yelling as loudly as you can, but that is so that you can ensure your team can hear you above the other games that are happening right beside you.

The term "Hurry Hard!" was designed to indicate when and how intensely the players sweeping the rock should act.  In my experience this specific term is used much less frequently, most teams opt to use terms that are shorter to shout repeated and are clear enough not to be confused with each other.  Which is why you will rarely ever hear someone say "GO!" or "NO!".

I put this out there for curling specifically, but as I got thinking about it there are plenty of other sports that have similar origin stories and terminology we have come to accept as a part of each game but are really weird if you don't understand where it came from.

Enjoy your week everyone and keep it weird!


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Love this post @Jimmy Seddon - I am in Florida visiting my parents and my Mom is such a huge curling fan that she watches it every chance she gets. I curled from grade 7 to 10, and loved it, but didn't know the history of those terms until today (thanks to you).  I am left handed so I was taught by Johnny Squarebriggs who was also a left handed curler. I was on a team with three other boys, and we won every bonspiel we entered, I played 3rd stone (mate), and we had such a great friendship and team dynamic. However when we were in grade 10 a few people complained of our success, and we were eventually told we would need to move to a mix team (2 girls, 2 boys) or switch to an all boys, or all girls team or be disqualified. We were crushed, but I eventually decided to bow out since AJ, Jody and Jamie were friends since they were 6 years old (oh and Jody and Jamie were twins).  It left a bad taste in our mouths and even at grade 10 we couldn't figure out why our gender was an issue when it had nothing to do with the sport. Since then I curled with work social events for fun, but ended up moving on to other winter sports after that experience.

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Jan 28, 2020

@Jodi LeBlanc I completely agree with you.  Curling is one of those sports where there is absolutely no gender advantage and I don't understand why this is still a thing today.

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DPK J Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

@Jimmy Seddon  Nice post!

I watched Curling at Olympics, and I didn't get this sport but this article is making me understand and appreciate this.


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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Jan 28, 2020

@DPK J it's definitely one of those sports where it helps to have someone explain what is happening or if can be hard to follow.

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Fadoua Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

I am surprised I never heard about this sport while living in Chicago!!!! Great to learn about it today. Thanks to @Jimmy Seddon !

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Mike Rathwell Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

Actually, I am not all that surprised @Fadoua . While it is more prevalent in colder climes, it's just not as popular in the US as it is, for example, in Canada where every one horse town has at least a 2 sheet curling rink.

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Mo Beigi Atlassian Team Jan 27, 2020

I wonder if there is any place I can try it out in Australia. Seems like a 'cool' sport!

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Mike Rathwell Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

Turns out there is.... who knew?

Australian Curling Federation 

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Jan 28, 2020

If you are looking for it you can usually find a curling club pretty much anywhere (there's even one in Las Vegas).

Emily Koch Atlassian Team Feb 04, 2020

Indoor ice rinks make it possible @Jimmy Seddon !

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Mike Rathwell Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

I grew up where curling was a high school phys ed and community activity (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada) and went on to skip several rinks. It's an enjoyable sport and one of the few you can play at an olympic level while standing on the ice with a beer and a smoke.

I have since escaped Moose Jaw and live in Southern California. Trying to explain curling is... amusing.

The "curling" bit is the combo of the pebbling on the ice coupled with the spin on the rock. The rock will curl around obstacles toward the direction it is spinning. The sweeping (the hurry hard, whoa bits of the skip yelling) control how much it curls... sweep hard and it goes straighter. lay off and it curls more. Think of it as giant shuffleboard, on ice, with a twist (literally)

There is a whole bunch of physics around this, actually. Fun sport and that bit about being able to play at high level while smoking actually points to a sport where all can play, enjoy, and do well without being left out from the "heroes" that permeate so many other sports.

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Jason H Atlassian Team Jan 27, 2020

It never ceases to amaze me just how accurate the players are in placement of the stones.

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Mike Rathwell Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

Regarding the placement of stones; consider that every sheet of ice you step on behaves differently. Even the same sheet but at a different time may behave differently. So the first couple of shots might not be good until you have the feel for the sheet.

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Thanks for the insight into curling, @Jimmy Seddon ! Always interesting to learn the origins of terminology!

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Emily Koch Atlassian Team Jan 30, 2020

Aren't words weird? It's always interesting to learn just where words came from. And even then, if you think back far enough... I wonder how people even developed the concept of language, and how they coined those early concepts.

(Or is that just me?)

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Alison Atlassian Team Jan 30, 2020

Thanks for sharing @Jimmy Seddon , I grew up ice skating but actually no nothing about this sibling ice sport. Would be curious to try it sometime. Where did you coach it - an indoor or outdoor rink?

Now I'm thinking about all the terms unique to ice skating that people outside of the sport might not know e.g. camel spin. Looks nothing like a camel but apparently was a butchering of Cambell spin? There's also another move called shoot-the-duck - name origins unknown - questionable resemblance to its namesake😅

Valerie Palmer Community Leader Feb 03, 2020

Great read!

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Great topic @Jimmy Seddon 
Although... I doth believe thou hath a spelling error... "that weird sport"...?

You mean "FABULOUS"... no??

This reminds me of when people who know the word 'rugby' exists - but have never seen a game - watch a match with me.
I spend the whole (Rugby Union) game enthusiastically explaining the rules and making sure they understands everything... ruck, maul, gain line, crossing, high tackle vs. legal tackle, 22, etc. etc.

But my favourite part is then right at the end switching to a Rugby League game and just watch with joy as the confusion grows and grows on their faces.... then, once I've told them this is a different type of Rugby, I switch quickly to Rugby Sevens, just to complete my joy and their utter misery! 🏉🏆🌟👏


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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 09, 2020

@Andy - PTC Redundant I know absolutely nothing about rugby.  But, I'd love to learn sometime.

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Epic! Shall I bring a rugby ball to Summit? 😄🏉

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 10, 2020

Absolutely!  We can play pool-side on the sandy beach at the Mandalay Bay!

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