CURLING (so called from the twisting mo tion of the curling-stones). This has the unique distinction of being the only ancient game about which there is no ambiguity as to its place of origin; it is purely a Scottish game, and wher ever Scotehmen have gone, there the game flourishes. Associated with the parent body to day, 'The Royal Curling Club of Scotland,' are clubs in England. Ireland, Canada, Newfound land, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, the United States, Russia, and Switzerland.
There are two curling games—the rink play and 'playing for points.' The rink game is played on any piece of ice, upon which may he plotted out a rink 42 yards long (occasionally 32 yards) and 10 yards wide. There are four players on each side, each using two stones of circular shape, not heavier than 44 pounds, and not of greater circumference than 36 inches, though in Canada, where iron has to he used in stead of stone, they weigh from 60 to 70 pounds. Each player in turn takes his position on the crumpet or iron foothold at one end of the rink, and propels his stone as near to the tee, 38 yards off, as he can. The next man of the opposite side then projects one of his stones still nearer, if possible, and so the game proceeds until each has cast his two stones, after which the end, or `head,' is counted. A stone is of no use unless it reaches the mark called the `hog score.' and of no value if it passes out of the parish, which is a seven foot ring drawn round the tee. All the stones that stay within the parish are counted, and that side wins which has the greatest number of stones nearest the tee.
It is permitted during the game for one side to aim at its opponents' stones, and to knock them out of the circle if possible. The sweeping of the ice, an important feature of the game, is under the di rection of one player of each side called the 'skip.'
The player's party may sweep the ice from the hog score next the player to the tee; but when snow is fall ing the ice may be swept from tee to tee. In the `point' game there are no sides: each player has two stones to throw, and other stones are placed round the tee for him to make his points by placing his ball, or displacing the other balls from the positions in which they have been placed. Originally, the stones were simply rounded stones, taken from the channel of a river: but about the middle of the eighteenth century they were improved by chiseling, and later han dles were introduced. Now each stone has usually two sides: one so curved that it runs as on a pivot and highly polished for use on dull ice, and the other less polished, but with a larger. concave or hollow, to give it a better catch or hold on keen, clean ice. A set of matches is called a 'bonspiel.' There are international bonspiels between the Uni ted States and Canada, and interstate matches yearly at :Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, Chicago, Buffalo, and Hoboken, N. J.
Numerous trophies are contested for, among which are the International Trophy, the Quebec Challenge Cup, the Grand Challenge Cup of :Manitoba, the Caledonian Tankard, the Vice regal Tankard, the Merrian Trophy, and the Gordon-Slitchell and Smith medals. Consult: Ramsay, An Account of the Game of Curling (the earliest history of the game, Edinburgh, 1811 ) ; Taylor. Curling. the Ancicnt Home (Edinburgh, 1877) ; Kerr, History of Curling (Edinburgh, 1800).