A Favorite ‘Frozen Watersport’
By Darryl Horsman
Out of the rivers flowing through Scotland came polished
channel stones that were to become the first-generation curling
stone. This was back in 1511!
Almost 500 years later, the sport of curling has become the
darling of the Winter Olympics.
Since its first official debut at the 1988 games in Nagano,
Japan, the sport of curling has seen some unprecedented growth
throughout the United States.
For those who missed televised curling during the last
Olympics, curling has been called the "shuffleboard" on ice. There
are four players on a team who each "deliver" two stones each in
an alternating fashion.
While one person is delivering the stone, two others are
"sweeping" in front of the stone (actually heating up the ice so
that the stone travels farther), and the "skip" is standing in the
opposing rings watching the shot come to him.
The object of the game is to get as many of your colored stones
closer to the center of those three rings, called the "button,"
than that of your opponent.
In the curling world, the game of chess has been used describe
the flow of the game as curling is chalked full of strategy used
to outwit your opponent.
Coyotes Curling Club Formed In 2002
The sport of curling has been in North America since the early
1800s with the first U.S. club started in 1832. In Phoenix, Ariz.,
the Coyotes Curling Club was formed in 2002 with the help of a few
transplanted Canadians and Americans from colder climates where
curling plays an important role in social, community, and sports
Currently, the curling club meets for two 12-week sessions. The
fall league begins mid-September and runs every Saturday for 12
weeks, and then after Christmas, the winter league commences
mid-to-late January and enjoys another 12-week session.
To take part in or go to watch curling, the club meets at the
Alltel Ice Den located on the Loop 101 (and Bell Road) in
As with any curling club, the Coyotes Curling Club has become
an integral part of the community — most notably, the City of
Calgary, Phoenix Sister Cities program — sharing the experience of
curling through the many demonstrations held throughout the year.
Also, the curling club helps out with various charities such as
the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.
Curling: A Sport For All Ages
Curling has flourished in Phoenix since its creation four years
ago due to the overwhelming ease of learning the game. The game
can be played as early as 6-7 years old and can be played as late
as your 80s (in some cases, beyond)!
The club boasts a curler who is 77 years young! The club offers
instruction on the game throughout the year. In less than two
hours, their instructors can have you well on your way.
In addition, the love of the game arises from its social
nature. Visiting with friends during and after the game is almost
more important than winning or losing.
For more information on how to participate in curling and the
Coyotes Curling Club, please visit their Web site at
or contact Darryl Horsman at (602) 300-4808.
For even more detailed information on curling, visit
And, to find out more about Phoenix sister Cities Commission,
Inc., phone (602) 534-3751, e-mail
or visit www.phoenixsistercities.org.
Editor’s Note: It is my special pleasure to include curling as
one of our "frozen" watersports for several reasons: 1) I
thoroughly enjoyed curling myself — at the Glencoe Club in
Calgary, Alberta, Canada — for the 21 years I lived there. 2) The
Phoenix Sister Cities organization is open to all of us and offers
the opportunity to participate in committees representing 10
cities around the world: Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu,
China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France; Hermosillo, Mexico;
Himeji, Japan; Prague, Czech Republic; Ramat-Gat, Israel, and
Taipei, Taiwan. 3) There are also opportunities to be involved
with other committees: Youth & Education; Arts, Sports &Culture;
Membership/Sponsorship; Programs, and Disabilities Awareness.