Is that a bar fight? A Nascar race? An unusually aggressive pep rally?
No — It’s Olympic curling! And there is screaming. So much screaming. Why? Well, it’s simply how teammates communicate with each other as they guide the stones, sweep by sweep, to the bulls-eye.
But, for some, that's not immediately apparent:
How do people understand curling? Like actually... What is it? Why are they screaming? Are those swiffers? Aren't they cold in tshirts?— Jennie McGowan (@jenniemac44) February 16, 2014
To understand the method behind the mayhem, one must first know the rules of curling. For starters, players aim to direct heavy, granite stones across a sheet of textured ice toward a target area called the house. (Consider curling a distant cousin of shuffleboard.) Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding the stones — also called “rocks” —toward the target. Each team has eight stones per end, which is curling's version of, say, a baseball inning. There are 10 ends in a tournament-style game.
That makes for about an hour of screaming. (Learn more with our viewers' guide.)
Usually, the team captain — known in the curling world as the skip — is calling the shots, yelling the commands. They must project to be heard down the ice.
The U.S. women’s team made a handy explainer video that parodies the popular Ylvis song and answers the age-old question: What does the skip say?