“Some people call it shuffleboard on ice or chess on ice,” said Soren Schmidt, Finlandia Curling Club Coach.
He’s talking about curling. Curling is a sport that involves four people on a team who have one person curl at a time. When you’re curling, you slide a stone, or rock, across a sheet of ice while other members of the team sweep the ice in front of the stone to make it go farther than it normally would. The goal is to get your team’s rock as close to the center of the “house,” which is a target at the other end of the ice.
A typical curling game consists of eight or ten “ends”, or rounds, with each team throwing eight stones per end. At the end of each “end” the team with the stone closest to the center of the house gets a point. If the second closest is still that team’s then they get two points, and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
The Finlandia Curling Club curls with the Copper Country Curling Club at the Drill House in Calumet. The Drill House is the nation’s only all natural indoor ice for curling, which means it has to be cold outside for the ice to work the way you want it to.
“We’re at the will of the weather,” Schmidt said. “This year we weren’t able to curl until January when we would’ve liked to start in December or November.”
“I like how unpredictable curling can be,” said Liz Gundlach, a sophomore who is in her second year on the Finlandia curling team. “Since I started learning to become a skip, or captain, I’ve begun to realize how much strategy goes into each shot.”
This season, the Finlandia Curling Club has gone to three events, Kettle Moraine, Upper Peninsula College Curling Classic, and “The Final Roar.” They placed first, third, and fourth at both the Upper Peninsula College Curling Classic, and the Finlandia hosted event, “The Final Roar.”
On Tuesday, February 1, the Finlandia Curling Club accepted their invitation to the College Curling Nationals to be held between March 8-10 in Duluth, Minnesota, where they are positioned in the 7th seed out of 16. Since the Finlandia Curling Club is not a varsity sport, they have to do all of the fundraising for their events by themselves without receiving help from the university. The Finlandia Curling Club has enough people to make three full teams that they can put on the ice this year, but there’s always room for more.
“Curling is a sport anyone can do,” said Gundlach, “Just try it once, it’s worth it. There really is nothing else like throwing the perfect stone and making the exact shot your skip was looking for.”
If you want to give curling a try or you want to learn more about it you can contact Soren Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“People can join anytime,” Schmidt said. “We accept everybody.”
Donations made out to Finlandia Curling Club can be sent to Soren Schmidt at Finlandia University, Hancock, Michigan, 49930