I have never curled. I taught myself everything I know about curling from watching TSN when I was home from school during March Break. When I heard that the Scott’s Tournament of Hearts was coming to Montreal, I had to check it out to see what it was like in person.
The Scotties, as they are known, are the Canadian women’s national curling championships. The winner goes on to represent Canada at the world championships later this year. Each province has a team, which includes one combined team from the Territories and the defending champions as Team Canada.
I attended a weekend draw which saw the host Team Quebec face off against Team Canada among the four games. The hardest part of watching curling without announcers or one focus game is that it’s hard to follow every game. You get drawn to the games with a lot of rocks in play, but don’t know how they got there.
I’m sure with practice, you get accustomed to the authentic feel of curling in person as opposed to following one game with the benefit of announcers on television. As a first-timer, it was pretty overwhelming. Some people could tell whether the rock was heavy or wide as it was thrown. That’s above my level of curling expertise.
What I did enjoy was the sense of community at these events. Everyone seemed to know each other. Almost everyone around us knew one other person at the event.
It reminded me a lot of attending university hockey games when I was at Concordia University. Small but passionate and there was a nice feel to it and as an “outsider” I felt like I wanted more. I felt like if you buy packages to go to multiple draws you get a chance to know everyone.
I have a lot to learn about watching curling without help from an announcer but I did enjoy myself and would go back with this experience in my pocket. If you watch it on television and are intrigued, you have until Sunday’s final to check it out.