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Why Do Athletes Have Stopwatches For Curling?

Gabriella Ferlita

| Last updated 

Why Do Athletes Have Stopwatches For Curling?

​​The Winter Olympic Games 2022 have recently begun in Beijing, and onlookers have become engrossed in curling.

The competitive game sees athletes using brooms to propel large puck-like objects across the ice, while the sport is dominating the Olympics with a whopping 19 days on the schedule. 

Curling itself has been a part of the official list of winter sports since 1998, when the International Olympic Committee added the game prior to the Winter Games that year.

However, some viewers can’t seem to wrap their head around why the athletes have stopwatches for the game. 

So, here’s all the info you need to know.

Why do curlers have stopwatches?

In curling, stopwatches serve three main functions.

The first function of the stopwatch is to anticipate how far a rock will go based on the time it takes between the Backline to the Hogline, which is generally 3.4-3.9 seconds, according to a guest on CurlingZone.

Another purpose for the stopwatch is to determine how fast the ice is while the rock is in motion. This is generally between 22-26 seconds, the expert on the site revealed.

The third purpose for the stopwatch is to keep consistency between teammates on how much weight to throw on hits. An average weight is generally 9-10 seconds, with a control weight being 10-11 seconds, the guest explained on the website.

However, for non-competitive curlers, you’ll unlikely benefit from the use of a stopwatch. The guest commentator noted that beginners to the game should “be focussing first on balance, then on hitting the broom and establishing a feel for the weight”, rather than on timings.

Featured Image Credit: Robert F Bukaty/AP/Shutterstock

Topics: Olympics, Ice Hockey

Gabriella Ferlita
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