Original Headline: Old Sport Gets New Twist As Brave OU Students Try The Arts Of Curling; Help!
The ancient sport of curling, long a stranger to any part of the nation except the ice ponds of New England and the lakes of Minnesota in winter, now is making inroads here in Omaha. The Omaha Curling Club, wibh two rinks, meets at Ak-Sar-Ben each week. The Club has a standing room only membership until new ice can be located to facilitate further members.
Last week, 25 Omaha University students got a first hand look at the brooms and rocks and just what makes the seemingly awkward sport tick. Bert Kurfch’s Sports officiating- class made the trip to the Club’s rink and tried out their styles with the help of OCC President P. K. Maxwell and his associates from the rink.
Dennis Ondilla and Gary bowling, many thought, it will be easy. Only when the 80 pound rock , took the sender halfway down the ice with it, did the startled rookies realize that there, was more to it than met the eye. After a few preliminary lessons from Maxwell, the curling neophyrtes were delivering the rocks in the right direction and managing to land a few on -the scoring area on’ the other end of the ice.
To clarify the sport, it works some-what like shuffleboard on ice. The deliverer sends the rock down the ice and tries to land it on the scoring- area. It is worth one point if it comes to rest within the circle.’ The opposing player then takes his rock and tries to knoijk the otlher one out of the circle or else score himself in doing so. Each side has three rocks per endi An end is somewhat like an inning. Game Simple?
Strong armed P. E. Majors figured that delivering the rock would be easy. Somewhat like Sweeping an Art, This is where the art of sweeping comes in. The other members of the team wait ahead of the rock, and if it is going too slowly to reach the designated target, they sweep the ice ahead of the rock with small brooms. This, either by creating a vacuum or making a slick path, increases the speed of the rock.
The deliverer also can control the direction of the rock by turning- his wrist when he releases it. He can make an outturn or an in-turn delivery. The Omaha U visitors found the sweeping, more challenging than delivering’ the rock.
Trying to keep ahead of the rock proved a big hurdle in itself. Time and time sweepers would take a spill or be simply outrun by the speeding rock. More often than not, the rock would either fall short or strike the retaining wall in back of the scoring area with a resound-Gilmore sweep…whew!ing. whack.
Teams Formed But after an hour or so, the -0U hopefuls began to take on sonie’ polish and figure out the balance needed to master the sport. Mr. Kurth has formed four teams that will play once a week on the dee.”
He hopes there will come a day when the sport can be a part of the program here at the University. That may be a while away, but there are 25 people on his side right now and more to come. Maxwell delivers rock…this is the right way.