The science behind the perfectly delivered curling rock

Jan 19, 2010

The centuries old game of curling is being put under the scrutiny of 21st century technology in a bid to help Canada's best curlers throw their way to gold at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

University of Alberta researchers, Pierre Baudin and Rob Krepps, are analyzing the technical aspects of the game to determine the best way to deliver a curling stone. The research goal is to ensure optimum performance from Canada's curlers at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games.

Krepps, who is head coach for the Saville Centre's National Training Centre (Edmonton) at the U of A, takes this research seriously, but especially so since he was recently appointed as a member of the coaching staff for Canada's women's Olympic curling team.

Baudin and Krepps have transformed a curling sheet at the National Training Centre (Edmonton) into a state-of-the-art research lab, fully equipped with eight cameras and 12 strategically-placed video cameras.

By having a curler wear reflective markers that capture physical performance digitally on a computer, Baudin and Krepps are able to take a highly detailed look at the biomechanics of a curling stone's delivery.

They have concluded that there are no secret movements when delivering a curling stone. What really matters is what's happening with the line, weight and rotation of the rock. With their high-tech approach, Baudin and Krepps say they have been able to help athletes understand critical cause-and-effect principles that can be incorporated into the actual game.

Another significant finding involves the way wheelchair curlers deliver the stone; research that has never been done until now.

One of the biggest issues faced by wheelchair curlers is the friction between the stone and the ice. Baudin and Krepps say they have been able to modify the delivery so wheelchair curlers are better able to overcome the friction that a stationery rock produces.

Explore further: Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Megalithic rock art discovered in Anglesey

May 10, 2006

Spectacular megalithic rock-art has been discovered within one of Britain’s most important Neolithic monuments and recorded by a team of archaeologists from the University of Bristol.

Recommended for you

Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

14 hours ago

Aiming to transform their concept into a real success, the Faradair team behind a six-seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) have taken this hybrid aircraft project into a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. ...

How polymer banknotes were invented

Nov 26, 2014

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and CSIRO's 20-year "bank project" resulted in the introduction of the polymer banknote – the first ever of its kind, and the most secure form of currency in the world. ...

Enabling the hearing impaired to locate human speakers

Nov 26, 2014

New wireless microphones systems developed at EPFL should allow the hearing impaired to aurally identify, even with closed eyes, the location of the person speaking. This new technology will be used in classrooms ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
1 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2010
Curling is not a sport - it is a game - little more than lawn bowling on ice - great to see osentibly useful scientists engage thier time and research facilities for a sport for the aged and obese.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.