Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game usually consists of eight or ten ends.
The curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms who accompany it as it slides down the sheet, using the brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. A great deal of strategy and teamwork go into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. This gives curling its nickname of “chess on ice”.
Curling in Ontario
The sport of curling in Ontario is delivered by three organizations: the Ontario Curling Council (OCC); the Northern Ontario Curling Association (NOCA); and the Ontario Curling Association (OCA). While each organization is a separate, not-for-profit corporation, they are all interconnected and work together to govern the sport in Ontario.
Ontario Curling Council
- Recognized by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports (MTCS), Curling Canada (National Sport Organization (NSO)), the OCA and the NOCA as the official Provincial Sport Organization (PSO).
- has two members; OCA and NOCA
- is an affiliate member of Curling Canada
- acts as a liaison between its members and the MTCS
- provides province-wide programs and services
Ontario Curling Association
- is a member of the OCC
- is a member of Curling Canada, and is recognized as a sport governing body for Southern Ontario
- provides programs and services to curlers in Southern Ontario on behalf of the Ontario Curling Council.
Northern Ontario Curling Association
- is a member of the OCC
- is a member of Curling Canada, and is recognized as a sport governing body for Northern Ontario
- provides programs and services to curlers in Northern Ontario on behalf of the Ontario Curling Council.
The OCC, NOCA, and OCA work closely to deliver programs and services, to deliver on their common mission of promoting, developing and growing curling as a recreational and competitive sport in Ontario. Each organization has an important role to play and are accountable to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for the delivery of safe, quality programming.
Together, the OCC, NOCA and OCA service approximately 240 clubs, 55,000 recreational and competitive curlers. They sanction and operate nearly 50 provincial curling championships servicing all ages, stages and abilities of the Long Term Athlete Development Model.