BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Olympic fever is 'sweeping' the States. While you know the staples like skiing and ice hockey, one 'unique' event gets its due every four years. There's only one place to try it out between Detroit and Columbus.
The gurus at the Black Swamp Curling Center plan on teaching 925 new people the sport in the next two weeks. This ain't grandpa's shuffleboard.
"Sweeeep, sweeep! Come on," the skip on lane 2 yells.
"It is way more addicting to play than it is to watch," head instructor Scott Piroth said.
The fun all happens off of Route 25 in a friendly atmosphere. Trash talk is mild.
"It doesn't matter if you're tall or short, you're young or old, fast or slow, strong or weak," Scott Helle said. He's been curling 12 years!.
The Scotts - Helle and Piroth teach beginners and play in their own leagues like this one. Piroth has been sweeping the rock for roughly 16 years.
"You can get about 80% good pretty quickly. And then the last 20% will take you a lifetime," Helle said.
"You're not going to be in the olympics - sorry - but you can pick it up reasonably well, be throwing the rocks all the way down the other end to the sheet and have a great time," Piroth told us.
You'll learn the lingo too... Hog line, the house, skip, button, and the biggie...
"SWEEEEEEEEP come on!" That's the skipper, or captain, of Lane 4's league team. Unlike Olympics curling, which plays ten ends (like an inning in baseball), these teams play eight ends.
The stone might be heavy...
"So you're basically looking at 40-42 pounds of solid granite," Piroth said.
Despite that, the club had an 85-year-old member and hopes to start a wheelchair league. Anyone can do it, after the waiver gets signed.
"Nice shot... YEAH!"
"People love to watch it, even though most of them don't understand what might be happening," Helle said.
The 110-member club thinks it could double its membership after the Olympics, once people "do" find out what's happening on the ice.
"More and more people do know about it now."
The Black Swamp Curling Center is the only place in northwest Ohio where you can try this sport. It's actually been around in Bowling Green for 50 years, but a brand new facility opened just a year ago.