Curling's great tradition began in 16th century Scotland. The Scots added zest to their winters with a game originally played outdoors on frozen ponds and lochs.
The earliest equipment included curling stones formed by nature -- each one Unique. The stones often curved, or curled, as they slid across the ice, hence the name "curling". Brooms were used to clear snow from the path of the stones.
Scottish immigrants brought the game with them to North America in the 18th century where it spread across the northern US and Canada. By 1855 curling clubs flourished in New York City, Detroit, Milwaukee and Portage, Wisconsin.
The modern game evolved by the 20th century, with its standardized equipment and facilities and indoor, refrigerated ice. Many innovations over the years have resulted in a game of fitness, precision and finesse.
During the curling season, October through March, over a million curlers take to the ice in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, most European countries and 25 of the United States.
The World Curling Federation governs international competition; the United States Curling Association is a member of the WCF and the US Olympic Committee.
For more about curling: write to the Executive Director, United States Curling Association, 1100 CenterPoint Drive, Box 866, Stevens Point, WI 54481.