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Curling is alive and well in Oregon

Curling on a recent weekday night at the Evergreen Curling Club. (KATU Photo)

The sport of curling goes back to the 1500s in Scotland, but it’s alive and well at the Evergreen Curling Club, which is the only dedicated curling facility in the state.

A curling team consists of four players, and they all deliver two stones a piece across ice. The idea is to get your stones closest to a bull’s-eye.

“The closest to the center gets a point. If your stone is the next closest, you get two points. But if the opponent’s stone is the second closest, it’s just one point,” said curler Jim Smoltz. “Curling is a social sport, but very competitive, and it also has a lot of strategy to it.”

Participants use brooms to sweep the ice in front of the stone, which can affect its speed. Barbara Feist, who met her husband while curling, explained how it works.

“You’re creating friction with the ice, warming it. And as it warms, it will reduce friction with the stone, and the stone will travel farther,” she said.

A curling season starts around Oct. 1 and goes through the end of April or beginning of May.

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