Curling is, arguably, the only sport in the world that includes elements of hockey, bowling, chess, darts, shuffleboard and brushing your teeth. Does this distinction alone make curling the single greatest sport at the Winter Olympics? In our opinion, it is certainly the best one to drink along with.
So let’s not let these so-called “Olympians” have all the fun. It’s time to put the fates of our livers into the hands of athletes we’ve never met! Back the right curlers, and you could be holding gold; back the wrong ones, and you might instead be holding porcelain.
Below are the simple (and not-so-simple) rules that will have you slamming Rolling Rocks as your favorite team is rolling rocks. Good for groups, mixed doubles or solo (but, like…maybe try to find a double? Or at least just drink double: who cares? You’re by yourself anyway).
KEY CURLING TERMS
If you’re a curling expert and don’t wish to feel spoken down to, go ahead and skip ahead to the next section where alcohol becomes involved (hooray!). But for the curling novices out there, here’s a mini-glossary of terms you might find helpful:
Stone – The thing that looks like a granite Dutch oven with an ironing handle on top of it. Also referred to as a ‘rock,’ which I guess checks out. Eight of these are used per team, per end. What’s an end, you ask? That’s so weird, it’s coincidentally up next in this glossary of terms.
End – The ‘inning’-equivalent in curling. There are up to 10 ends per match, though teams have been put out of their misery earlier than that if it’s a trouncing. Used in a sentence: There are several ends in a curling match before the match actually ends.
Button – The bullseye. The thing you’re aiming at. What all that ice-scrubbing is for. There are three circles around the button on a curling sheet’s house (or, the ‘dartboard’), where each team tries to score by being the closest to the button. If a team has multiple stones closest to the button, that’s how many points they score on that end (e.g., if four yellow stones are closer to the button’s center than any opposing red stone, then the yellow team scores four points for that end. This is called…wait for it…a four-ender. I know, I can’t imagine how they come up with this stuff).
Hogline – The line in front of the house that a stone must cross in order for it to stay in place. This is dubbed a hogline to separate the ‘runt’ tosses from the real porkers. Kinda makes you hungry, doesn’t it?
Rank each of the following qualifying Olympic curling teams from 1-12 (1 being the highest), according to your preferences. This can be as random or as sophisticated of a ranking system as you like. Your future hangover rides on your answers, but otherwise don’t sweat it too much:
_____ Great Britain
_____ OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia)
That wasn’t so bad! Now, in all future curling matches, you’ll know who to drink along with based on who is ranked higher on your list.
SCOUT YOUR OLYMPIC MATCHUPS
Check your schedules, and plan your sick days accordingly.
Want to make it a theme night? How about some Ramen and Moscow Mules for Japan vs. OAR on the 17th? Or how about a domestic flight and some homemade pizza for the United States / Italy double-header in Round Robin session 8? Possibilities abound.
TAKE A DRINK During Each End:
- Any time a stone completely enters the button.
- Any time an opposing stone knocks one of your stones out of the house.
- Any time your team’s players yell at their sweeper.
- Any time your team’s stone completely misses the house.
- Any time visible sweat is seen on your team’s player.
FINISH YOUR DRINK During Each End:
- If your team calls a timeout.
- If your team’s stone fails to make it past the hogline.
- If a player on your team falls down.
TAKE A DRINK After Each End:
- For every point your team scored during that end.
- For every point the opposing team has scored in the match.
- For every point difference between the opposing team and yours (losing team only).
FINISH YOUR DRINK After Each End:
- If your team concedes the match before the eighth end.
- If the opposing team scores a four-ender or above.
Additional Drinking In MEDAL ROUNDS
If For Gold:
- Winner Finishes Their Drink.
If For Bronze:
- Loser Finishes Their Drink.
OPTIONAL EXPANSION PACKS:
- Drink every time announcer name-drops a celebrity or mentions Twitter.
- Drink every time an announcer says the word ‘curl’ or ‘skip.’
- Drink every time an announcer says the name of your team’s country.
RED VS. YELLOW PACK
- Drink for every point scored by a red colored stone in an odd-numbered end.
- Drink for every point scored by a yellow colored stone in an even-numbered end.
- Finish your drink after any end in which no points are scored.
It is customary in curling sportsmanship for the winner of a match to buy the loser a round of drinks. Wouldn’t it be so much cooler to make the beer yourself? Or monogram their glass with a victorious humblebrag?
Regardless of how you decide to light your victory cigar, the fact is that you are a winner. Which almost makes you, by the blurriest of unsubstantiated technicalities, a true Olympian.
TREATING YOUR OLYMPIC HANGOVER
Proper recovery is an essential part of any Olympian’s regimen. That’s why we recommend you have plenty of caffeine and a hearty breakfast waiting for you the morning after your sloppy, heroic triumph. Or for the real competitors out there, perhaps a little hair of the dog to get you ready for a new day of curling?
Keep that streak alive, curling champion. Here’s to a clean sweep!