'Curling' enjoying unexpected popularity in Prince William County

Curling stones. (Photo: Clément Bucco-Lechat/WikiMedia Commons)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WJLA) - It starts with a smooth surface.

A distilled water spray causes "pebbling." The pebbles are "nipped" by gliding stones.

Then, our frosty Woodbridge Warriors, brooms in hand, take to the ice.

"Curling" is based on an ancient Scottish tradition, made popular by peculiar-looking Olympians.

The game definitely has some unique terms - "hog line," "slider" - but it is played much like slippery shuffleboard.

"I step onto the slider, and I crouch down," explains Mike Dobbs, a curling instructor.

Then, once the stone is delivered toward the scoring area, two "sweeps" glide it along the way.

The "skip," who serves as the team's captain, offers shouts of encouragement and direction along the way.

Zack Frazier from the Woodbridge team says he got turned on to the unique sport after seeing it in the Olympics.

"That got me originally interested, like most people," he said.

Bill Hutzler, general manager of the Woodbridge Warriors, says most people were a little skeptical when the team was first forming.

"They didn't know if it was going to take off," he said.

But, demo sessions at the Prince William Ice Center are filling up fast, and the first county league is forming for next month in May.

It's proving to be fun, and competitive for all ages and skill levels.

If you want to grab a broom and learn how to curl for yourself, they're offering more demos coming up this Saturday, and on Tuesday the 22nd.