Winter Games

There’s a blizzard outside right now, and it’s dumping snow at a rate of like 4” an hour, and with the wind the temperature feels like it’s below 0. Not exactly great backyard BBQ weather, and if you’re trying to play cornhole today you’re gonna be doing it inside for sure.

This got me thinking about what winter sports you can play that are similar to cornhole and I was coming up blank. Any of the mountain sports don’t really share any crossover skills. Skiing and snowboarding has nothing to do with throwing bags into holes, You COULD stretch and say that hockey is just putting something into a goal, which is true, but you’re not on ice when you play cornhole and you don’t have huge Eastern European men slamming into you at 40 MPH when you play cornhole either. So that doesn’t really work.

Then I thought about the Winter Olympics. This brought so many sports to mind, but many of them aren’t really cornhole-y either…until I remember CURLING!

Curling is the best Olympic sport, hands down. I discovered it when I was just a kid but I really got into watching it in college. My roommate at the time also loved watching curling and we made it our mission to support the US team through the Olympics. We were watching every match, yelling at the tv, drinking beer, cheering, jumping, etc. It was the best. Now, years and years later, it remains one of my favorite Olympic sports to watch and I'll keep it on the TV anytime I come across it.

I’ve never played it though. It’s not exactly the easiest rec league sport to find, at least not in the areas where I’ve lived in the last 15 years. Which is a shame really, because I bet it’s super fun to play, although I feel like it would be a sport that would be difficult to learn. Not the rules really, but just how to curl those 40 lb. stones from so many feet away, how hard to sweep the ice, all of it!

I suppose it’s not too different from cornhole because you have to learn “your throw” for the game. Everyone throws a little differently, but everyone who plays has to cover the same distance with the same sized object, aiming for the same size board and hole. The same is true for curling. So if someone can dial in their throw for cornhole maybe it’s not too much more complicated to dial in your throw in curling? One day I hope to find out!

Curling is great because just like cornhole, there is strategy beyond “get all your bags in the hole” or “get all your rocks in the house.” You can set up blockers to prevent your opponents from getting the shot they want when it’s their turn. You can hit their bags (or rocks) out of the way and change the whole look of the board. Scoring can change drastically on the last throw with both games. That’s all the stuff that I love about both these sports. You’re truly not out of it until the last bag/rock is thrown, and your ability to stay calm and deliver a clutch shot can make all the difference.

So if you find yourself in a blizzard, or snowed in, or really just in a situation where it’s cold and you don’t want to put on a hat, jacket, and gloves to play cornhole outside, maybe you can look for an ice rink open that has a curling set up and explore the coolest winter Olympic sport in existence. Let’s go curling!