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DEBATE: is Curling a sport?

March 4, 2010

I tweeted this comment last week that sparked both intellectual and emotional debate…

If you can compete in it at an Olympic level while 5 months pregnant, it’s not a sport. #Curling

I say the fact that there was woman that is 5 months pregnant on the Canadian curling team is definitive evidence that Curling is not a sport.  Some responded that you could compete at a world-class level in either golf or bowling while being 5 months pregnant, but I’ve played competitive golf and there’s no way.

So let the games (not “sport”) begin: Is Curling a sport?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Perkins permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:13 am

    No!! I can do that with my eyes closed.

    • anonymous permalink
      April 9, 2010 10:51 pm

      Good luck making your shot then…or not tripping over any rocks. Have you actually ever tried playing the game?!?

  2. Joshua Hoots permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:14 am

    Just because one sport may be more vigorous in an athletic sense than another does not make one thing any more or less defined as a type of sport – it’s a different kind of sport, yes, but still a sport. Athleticism and sports are not synonymous. And just because you are competing doesn’t mean you are competing well or the condition is not a hindrance – even if she was doing well we do not know that she would not have even done better without the impairment of being pregnant. Someone could technically try competing at anything while five months pregnant and we wouldn’t be able to disqualify the definition of something just because someone pregnant chose to do it.

  3. Joshua Hoots permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:14 am

    Curious – what would you categorize it as if not a sport?

  4. Bryan Burroughs permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:15 am

    If I could figure out the strategy that takes place would make it more sensible. I don’t know how many ends i watched, yes I said ends, and still have not idea why the teams did what they did. But to answer the question, i would say it is a sport, not an Olympic sport, but a sport none less.

  5. Adam Winters permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:15 am

    I would also add that if crowd noise distracts you to the point of making you cry, then it isn’t a sport.

  6. John Howard permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:09 am

    The pregnant participant was confused when she joined the team. She thought it was “hurling”

  7. Mary Bea permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:11 am

    Ummmm, I just want to point out that you’ve also never been 5 months pregnant…so how you know what you could do? ;-)…and I think as long as you are not beginning a NEW activity you can do whatever activity you did before be it golf, or curling while preggers…honestly, I think it’s fun to watch, but would say it’s a game like shuffleboard or croquet…makes you wonder what criteria they have for picking olympic events…why was curling picked and shuffleboard left to the cruise ships?

  8. cks permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:35 am

    According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of sport is “to mock or ridicule something”. So… I suppose blogging is a sport then. Hmmm I wonder what pregnant curlers think about that?

  9. shelley permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:43 am

    Two questions come to mind:

    1) does this say something about canadian women?

    2) is beach volleyball really a “sport”??

  10. shelley permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:46 am

    p.s. my guess is that she wasn’t a pregnant athlete when she began training for the curling competition! I didn’t watch this event — how’d she/they do?

  11. Susan Howerton permalink
    March 5, 2010 2:17 pm

    I definitely think CORN HOLE should be an olympic sport!

  12. March 5, 2010 2:46 pm

    Interesting that no one, not even our esteemed blogger, has offered to define what IS a sport. How can we determine that curling isn’t a sport until we have a determined set of criteria upon which to judge?

    I’ve heard some people say that a sport should lead to the improvement of the physique. With a shorter life expectancy than the average American, that would disqualify NFL players from having participated in a sport.

    Josh: What is a sport?

  13. Sue permalink
    March 5, 2010 4:45 pm

    Hey Dan – they have the national spelling bee on ESPN. Is that a sport?

  14. March 6, 2010 2:53 pm

    Are they officially listed as “Olympic EVENTS”, or “Olympic SPORTS”???

    One could conclude that if they are indeed listed as “events”, the validity of the question posed might could be called into question. 😉

  15. Mike permalink
    March 9, 2010 5:46 pm

    sport   /spɔrt, spoʊrt/ Show Spelled[spawrt, spohrt] Show IPA
    –noun athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

    Based on that definition, Curling is a sport (unfortunately, lol).

  16. March 10, 2010 7:36 pm

    Preganant or not you can still play online curling games. This is my review:

  17. March 20, 2010 5:10 pm

    Responding to an earlier post from Mike (definition) I had a curling lesson recently and discovered there is some physical prowess required. Stretching prior to any curling activity is essential. If you model your form from the pros, you’ll need to stretch or you’ll definitely be sore the next couple of days. I was cynical regarding stretching so I avoided it. I paid for it in the end. That’s the truth! I also have something else to say…read my blog below:

  18. anonymous permalink
    April 9, 2010 10:57 pm

    Definition of sport: “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.”

    First of all let’s assume we are referring to competitive curling.

    1) “An activity involving … skill”
    Delivering the stone – with proper technique – requires balance and flexibility. One steps into the hack aligning himself to the target (skip’s broom), making sure his feet, knees, hips and shoulders are square. Then he will squat down using only his hamstrings to support all of his bodyweight, all while remaining square to the broom. Now comes the fun part. He will elevate his hips, without changing the height of his shoulders, move his foot with the slider to behind his foot in the hack, transfer all his weight onto said foot (with slider), bring said foot back in front of his foot in the hack, transfer his weight back to the foot in the hack and push with his quad, driving out of the hack and lowering into the delivery position – still remaining square to the broom. The delivery position requires one to place his slider foot flat on the ice under his sternum, which he will use to balance his entire body weight. Zero percent of the curlers bodyweight should be on the broom, even though it is held during delivery. His arm with the rock should be extended in front of him with only a slight bend, and form a straight line with his siding foot, trailing leg and broom/target at the other end of the sheet. Now he will release the rock, turning it in the correct direction. (This is still over-simplified – there are entire books on how to deliver a curling rock.)Still not satisfied? Imagine the skill required to make the shots you see on television. The average curling rink is 146-150’ long, 126’ of which a stone will travel during a typical draw. Thus, a “simple” draw to the pin requires the curler to slide out with the precise amount of force required to make 36” in diameter piece of granite travel 126’, accounting for the amount of curl in the ice so the rock will come to a stop on a section of ice no larger than the eraser at the end of a pencil. Nevermind, the skill necessary to visualize – and then make – the shots such as runbacks, double/triple/quadruple takeouts, etc. that require much greater precision.

    2) “An activity involving physical exertion”
    Only people who have never played the game before will say there is no physical exertion involved. Each team is given 73 minutes to play all ten ends, with a typical game lasting from two and a half to three hours. Therefore stamina and endurance are essential. Sweeping – once again with proper form and technique – dramatically increases your heart rate, second only to the sport of tennis, pushing you to your anaerobic threshold. Basically, if you’re not breathing heavily after you have swept a rock, you are not doing your job. Now, times this by six rocks and end (obviously you will not sweep your own rocks) and ten ends a game – equals sweeping up and down the ice 60 times. In most major competitions one to two games are played a day (sometimes three or more, depending on the level of competitive play) with the events lasting anywhere from a weekend to a week or more. Rarely, if ever, in major curling bonspiels/tournaments will curlers get a day or two’s break between games. Thus, athletic ability and endurance is obvious.

    3) “ … that is governed by a set of rules or customs”
    There are more rules to curling than almost any other sport, not including the ‘unwritten rules’. After all, curlers pride themselves on sportsmanship and fair play.

    4) “ … and often undertaken competitively”
    Play on the ‘competitive circuit’ (where you will find Kevin Martin, Glen Howard, Jennifer Jones, Brad Gushue … competing) has become so exclusive that the ‘weekend warrior’ no longer has hope of being included. The top curlers from many Asian and European countries are paid salaries by their governments to compete in world championships – it is their job. Canada and the United States have yet to adopt such a policy even though our North American Curlers dedicate an equivalent amount of time to the sport.

    Thus, curling is a sport by definition. Only those who are ignorant or uneducated will state otherwise.

  19. kevin tinks permalink
    March 7, 2011 11:09 pm


  20. May 13, 2015 1:10 pm

    Some of those do not have any thing to do with the sport curling like their is on in their about volliy ball

  21. May 13, 2015 1:17 pm

    Ass holes

  22. May 15, 2015 10:22 am

    Yes it is a sport

  23. May 15, 2015 10:23 am

    It is a sport because their is equine the for it

  24. Jeff Smith permalink
    January 26, 2016 12:18 pm

    Why is curling even a sport? When Shuffleboard and Botchy Ball are added to the Summer games then maybe I will consider Curling a sport.

  25. February 13, 2016 2:41 pm

    Curling is a rediculous “sport” there’s no question.. But you’re argument is just as rediculous

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