CEDARBURG -- Some say it doesn't make sense, but others think watching and playing the sport of curling is fascinating. A touring Scottish curling team was in the Milwaukee area Tuesday, January 17th -- competing for a coveted trophy.
The Scottish curling team was at the Milwaukee Curling Club on Tuesday morning.
Curlers are a different lot. Instead of psyching themselves up to beat the competition on Tuesday, opposing team members chatted before the game or "draw," as they call it. Then, the processional began, led by a bag piper -- fitting, since curling originated in Scotland.
Before the draw began there was another tradition -- gulping a shot of whiskey!
Curling is recognized by many as one of the world's oldest team sports. The competition has added significance because every five years, the United States and Scottish curlers compete against one another for the Herries Maxwell Trophy -- alternating countries.
Twenty members are on the 2017 Scots Tour of the USA.
"For the next three weeks, they are touring the United States, playing just about every day at a different curling club," Barrett Straub said.
The Scottish curlers will play 149 games in 10 states! The three-week accumulative score determines the winner of the coveted trophy.
A draw Tuesday was against curlers from Milwaukee and Wauwatosa curling clubs.
The game is like chess on ice, as granite rocks slide down the ice.
"There's a skip on the opposing side, calling the game, calling the strategy," Straub said.
Russ Brown, the man who helps the Scottish team stay on schedule said the camaraderie is just as important as the competition.
"Non-stop hospitality and a lot of fun curling, great friendships to meet," Brown said.
In five years, the United States will send 20 male curlers to Scotland to do the same thing.
Currently, the United States' female curling team is in Scotland -- so in five years, a female Scottish team will be here.