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Curling, an intriguing winter sport with a rich past, has captured the attention of audiences worldwide.

Immerse yourself in Curling History as we explore its origins, development, and enduring appeal.

Let’s get started!

Learn about the origins of curling and who invented this intriguing sport by visiting our article on who invented curling.

Curling History Summary

  • ⏳ Origins and Evolution: Curling traces its roots back to 16th-century Scotland, where players used stones and brooms on frozen lakes and ponds. The sport evolved through time, with standardized rules and specialized equipment shaping the game we know today.
  • πŸš€ Rise to Prominence: Curling gained international recognition in the 20th century, thanks to its inclusion in the Winter Olympics in 1924. The sport’s unique blend of strategy, teamwork, and athleticism attracted attention and participation from around the world.
  • πŸ₯‡ Noteworthy Growth and Adaptation: Over the years, curling has embraced technological innovations, such as digital scoreboards and advanced ice-making techniques. The sport’s adaptability and dedication to both player development and fan engagement have ensured its enduring appeal and significance in global sports.

Curling History Timeline

16th century

The origins of curling can be traced back to medieval Scotland, where the game was played on frozen lakes and ponds using shaped stones as curling stones. The first recorded curling game took place in 1511 in Paisley Abbey, where curling enthusiasts John Sclater and Gavin Hamilton competed. This century saw the formation of the basic gameplay structure that still remains at the core of curling today.

In 1541, a Scottish notary recorded the purchase of curling stones, providing significant evidence of the sport’s early existence. The Scots also began using brooms, made from birch twigs, to manipulate the icy playing surface and alter the stones’ trajectory.


In the early 19th century, curling clubs started to form in Scotland and began to standardize the game’s rules. The Grand Caledonian Curling Club, now known as the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, was established in 1838 and played a significant role in promoting the sport. The first official curling rule book, titled “Rules of the Game,” was published in 1843. Curling subsequently spread to other icy regions, such as Canada and the United States, where it garnered a substantial following.

In 1890, the first World Curling Championships took place in Paisley, Scotland. This event brought international exposure to the sport and painted curling as a serious competition.


In 1924, curling debuted at the inaugural Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France. This marked a significant turning point for the sport’s international reputation, as the Olympic stage brought curling to a wider audience. Despite being a highly popular event in the 1924 Winter Olympics, curling did not become a permanent fixture until several decades later.


The Scotch Cup, the predecessor of today’s World Curling Championships, was established in 1959. This annual competition between the Canadian and Scottish teams cultivated an intense and engaging rivalry that further propelled curling’s popularity.

By the 1960s, the Scotch Cup expanded to include other countries, marking the start of global participation and engagement in curling events. Teams from countries like Switzerland, Germany, and the United States joined the competition, solidifying curling as an internationally renowned sport.

1988 & 1998

In 1988, curling made a return to the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary as a demonstration sport. A decade later, curling officially became a full-medal sport in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, boosting its international prominence and appeal.

With curling’s Olympic inclusion came increased funding and support for professional curlers. This development allowed talented athletes to dedicate more time and resources to honing their skills, significantly raising the standard of play across the globe.


Throughout the 2000s, technology played a more prominent role in curling, with innovations like digital scoreboards, video analysis, and advanced ice-making techniques refining the sport. The World Curling Federation, established in 1966, introduced the “Free Guard Zone” rule in the late 1990s, which revolutionized game strategy and increased the sport’s strategic depth.

This era also saw the introduction of mixed curling events, featuring both men and women on the same team. In 2008, the first World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship took place in VierumΓ€ki, Finland. This championship further demonstrated curling’s commitment to inclusivity and adaptability in the modern era.

2010 & 2018

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics saw the sport’s popularity surge, particularly in the host nation of Canada. With the home crowd’s support, Canadian curlers claimed gold in both the men’s and women’s events.

In the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, mixed doubles curling was introduced as an Olympic event for the first time. This addition showcased the sport’s continued growth, adaptability, and commitment to celebrating a diverse array of athletes and playing styles.


Who invented Curling?

Curling was not invented by a specific person. However, it was first played in Scotland during the early 16th century.

How did Curling become so popular?

Curling gained popularity via its inclusion in the Winter Olympics and television exposure, which expanded people’s familiarity with the strategic and compelling sport.

Where did Curling originate?

Curling originated in Scotland, especially in regions with frozen lakes and ponds, during the early part of the 16th century.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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