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Published on February 24th, 2014 | by BU News


Curling catches on as friendly competition

BU: Although curling has been around since the 16th century, it wasn’t included in the winter Olympics until 1998.  Since then, however, it’s grown in popularity—including at BU, which launched a curling club in 2006.

The game is both baffling and fascinating to viewers. Two teams of four players—a lead, a second, a vice, and a skip—take turns sliding their eight stones across the ice to a designated target. Points are given for the stones closest to the button’s center.

The BU Curling Club (BUCC) remains small—approximately 15 members. But, that’s not unusual for college curling clubs. So each Friday Engineering freshman Scott Nickelsberg and his teammates travel 20 minutes by bus with curlers from MIT and Harvard to Broomstones Curling Club, where they hold informal scrimmages.

“It’s been really nice, because we’ve gotten to know the players from those schools, and they’re all really great people,” says BUCC secretary Matt Huse, a junior in the School of Management.

Too friendly for rivals?

As a member of the USA Curling College Championship, BUCC also competes at least twice a semester against curling teams from Rochester Institute of Technology, Colgate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and MIT. The club will travel to Minnesota for the US College Curling National Championship, being held March 14 to 16 (the team placed fourth last year).

“The college community is just growing year by year,” says curler Rahat Bathija, a management senior. Yale, MIT, Emerson, and Boston College have formed curling clubs, although a rivalry has yet to develop among them—because of the friendly nature of the sport, the students insist.

“Anyone can join in,” says Huse. You don’t have to be in prime physical shape to play, but a good sense of balance, strong knees, and physical endurance are a plus. “Your arms can get tired sweeping the stone.”

Bathija offers this challenge to curling skeptics: “To those who think that it’s not a sport, come try it and tell me what you think after you play.”

via Joe Chan/BU Today | Image of senior Mayer Liang by Cydney Scott/BU Photography

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