It’s a game of inches, where like chess, one mental mistake and game over.
It’s called Curling and while some think it’s simply sliding rocks on frozen water, it’s actually a really cool sport that requires strength, agility, focus, and teamwork.
BendBroadband’s Chet Liew, business process architect – IT, is on the ground floor of organizing the inaugural Bonspiel Curling Tourney at The Pavilion Ice Rink, held Nov. 11-12, in Bend.
The tournament was full. Teams came from Boise, San Francisco, northern California, Klamath Falls, Ore., and there were four local teams competing in the tournament. BendBroadband is a community sponsor of the tourney.
Congratulations are in order for the San Francisco Curling Club for winning the inaugural Bend. Beer. Bonspiel. Keg Championship!
“We had a great time. It was a fantastic, fun event showcasing Bend and BendBroadband,” said Chet. “The event is beer-themed (as is the town of Bend) so we had the BendBroadband logo on our keepsake – a beer growler. We’re very grateful to have BendBroadband be part of this.”
Chet Liew jokes that he likes the sport because it poses “a lot less chance of injury” than let’s say other ice sports such as hockey. “It’s also good fun.”
Chet moved to Bend from California about eight years ago. California is where he first discovered curling, so when he moved to Bend he wanted to keep playing. Unfortunately, there were no curling teams or ice sheets, so he decided to help get one up and rolling. Along with a small handful of dedicated local curlers, Chet worked with the Bend Parks and Recreations department to have curling designated as a recreational program.
“I was super excited to get a club started here,” Chet said, adding that the first year club members spent the majority of their time teaching the game. Chet said he believes most people can learn the game in about two hours.
Today, there are about 150 people in recreation leagues and about 30 to 40 people who are “diehard” members of the club.
The sport known as the “The Roaring Game,” originates from the rumbling sound made by the granite stone as it travels across the ice.
Chet says it’s a fairly low-cost game to play. Equipment includes: eight stones that weight about 40 pounds each, brooms, a scoreboard, and on one shoe you wear a gripper and on the other shoe you wear a slider.
A great deal of strategy and teamwork go into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone. With brooms in hand, the curlers determine how close the stone gets to the house. (See article for description of Curling.)
Curling began an official sport in the Winter Olympic Games in 1998.
Olympic Curler, Nicole Joraanstad, manager of Contact Center Operations for TDS in Madison, Wis., is giving a big thumbs up to Chet for providing an opportunity for people to learn about the great sport of curling.
“Curling is the fastest growing winter sport in the United States. My parents shared with me their love for the sport and I hope to do the same with my children,” Nicole said. “Congratulations to Chet and the Bend Curling Club for pulling together this sold-out tournament.”
Nicole was a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team for Curling and represented the U.S. at nine women’s world championships during her 21-year curling career. She announced her retirement from competitive curling last year.
What is Curling?
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to shuffleboard. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game usually consists of eight or ten ends.
Curling was first played in Scotland in the 1500s.
Many thanks to Wikipedia for this description
Curling clubs in Oregon:
There are three curling clubs in Oregon:
- Bend (started curling in the Pavilion in Bend in 2015 but the club was officially formed in 2016);
- Evergreen Curling Club in Portland (started their club in 2002 and opened their own curling facility in 2013); and
- Klamath Fall Curling Club (2012).
The clubs are in the Mountain Pacific Curling Association, which is the fastest growing association in the United States.