“Sweeping can also keep the stone on a straighter trajectory.” Throws can be used for defense, called a guard, or for offense, a softer throw aimed right at the center. And there is plenty of action in terms of stones colliding to push other stones out of scoring positions. When City Paper visited, the ice rink at the RMU sports complex was ﬁlled with the satisfying sounds of sliding stones, followed by loud cracks as the stones collided. Bufﬁngton says that curling is equal parts skill and strategy, and the best teams excel at both. Craig Micklethwaite, an engineer from Moon Township, has been playing with the Pittsburgh Curling Club for two years. He told CP that he was intrigued by curling after watching it on TV and was excited to try it because it was “something unique and different.” He said he has enjoyed playing, and is still learning the complexities of curling. “The hardest part is keeping your balance,” says Micklethwaite, referring to the sliding that comes when players throw the stone down the ice. “There are a lot of things to think about.” And Bufﬁngton wants to calm any anxieties potential curlers might have about trying a sport played on ice. He says curling ice is covered in water droplets before play. These drops freeze and give the ice texture,
which makes it easy to walk on, in addition to making the stone slide better. (Players actually wear a plastic slider on one shoe, so they can slide on the ice before releasing their throw.) Bufﬁngton also says players who are unable or uncomfortable performing a slide throw can use a throwing stick, like in shufﬂeboard. Bufﬁngton also wants to ease concerns people may have about frigid playing conditions. The rink at the RMU facility can get cold in the winter months, but the club is close to securing ﬁnancing for a new, indoor curling facility in nearby Stowe Township. Bufﬁngton says the new facility will be open all week, and will be kept at comfortable temperatures, on and off the ice. He says construction for the new facility could start in the spring, with an anticipated opening in the fall. Bufﬁngton is also excited about the improved ice conditions of the new facility. Currently, the RMU curling rink is shared with recreational ice hockey, so the ice can be slanted in some spots. “Sometimes, the ice here can be extra curly,” says Bufﬁngton. “Curling should be like playing pool — you want it to be dead ﬂat.”
G et C h ee ky H City Paper A Night Witneh d PGParenthood and Plan tern pa oof wes
Last Call to #GetCheeky! Pittsburgh City Paper’s Get Cheeky event is almost here! Don’t miss out on on a night of fun, games, and prizes.
RYAND ETO @PGH C IT YPAPE R . C O M
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ic from live mus g in r u t Fea HE AND T E S A H C S. BARON
Wednesday, February 14 Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square 8-11 pm, 21+ event $5 online / $10 at the door
Tickets available at cooltix.com
Volume 28 Issue 6