Curling is not a dangerous sport but serious injuries can occur if you’re not careful. The beginning of the season is when the majority of injuries happen. Ice is very hard and very slippery. It is easy to forget this as we get more comfortable. This is when mistakes happen and injuries can occur. Here are a few suggestions to make this season a safer one:
- Wear grippers at all times except when throwing rocks. Learning to sweep with two grippers is safe and easy.
- When you step on the ice to throw be sure to get on with your gripper foot first and not your slider. When you get off the ice after throwing the reverse is true, step off with your slider foot first.
- Ensure your grippers fit snugly and aren’t going to fall off.
- Look out for other players when moving rocks around on the ice. Also be aware if rocks are being moved near you, be ready to get out of the way if you need to.
- While it is important to stop rocks from running into the hacks do not put yourself at risk to do so.
- Take things slow. While it is important to keep a game moving along at a nice clip, if everyone is where they’re supposed to be, it doesn’t have to be a race. Move on the ice at a safe pace.
- Never get rocks out for the opposition. It may seem like a polite and helpful thing to do but it is actually quite dangerous as it creates a tripping hazard.
- Make sure your shoes have good grip. If they don’t invest in a gripper to ensure stability.
- If you have bags and/or extra equipment you plan to store at the home end of your sheet make sure you store it snugly up against the wall so nobody walking by trips on it.
- Be aware of emergency procedures at your club. It’s good to know if there’s an emergency phone on the ice, where the first aid kit is, etc. It never hurts to ask the club manager for this information.
- If you do happen to fall make sure you get up with your gripper foot first. Trying to get up on your slider leg will make you look just like bambi!
Injuries will occur but by following these simple suggestions most can be prevented. Watch next week for more beginner tips.