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History of Curling

Curling is a 500+ year old sport. The first specific references to the game appear in Scottish writings and Flemish paintings from the 1500’s. In the early days, rocks came in different shapes and sizes and each curler brought their own to games.

Curling became extremely popular in Scotland and it was the Scots who developed the modern game. They created the first rules and organized the sport’s first governing body, the Grand Caledonian Curling Club, in the early 1800’s.

Scottish immigrants brought curling to the US at about the same time. The first US club, the Orchard Lake Curling Club, was founded near Detroit in 1832. By the late 1800’s there were thriving curling communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and New York.

The US Women’s Curling Association (USWCA) was founded in 1948, and the US Men’s Curling Association (USMCA) in 1958. In the beginning, each group organized separate national championships, but that changed in the 1980’s, as curling was once again becoming an Olympic sport. At that time, the men’s organization became the gender-neutral US Curling Association (USCA) and took charge of the selection process for all the national teams. The USWCA continues to exist and holds events to promote women’s, juniors’ and grassroots curling.

Online history resources (and our source material for the above section):