The sport of Rutabaga Curling was born on a cold December 1996 Market day, the last market day of the season. The few vendors present (perhaps 25 or so this time of year and point in our history) huddled together for warmth and camraderie waiting for an occasional customer. Talk at some point in the day turned to unusual winter sports. Curling of course came up in conversation. None of us knew the rules; but before we knew it vendors’ wares were being “hurled” or “curled” down the market’s wooden floor. Potatoes, cinnamon rolls, cabbages, loaves of bread, and even frozen chickens were fair game in this impromptu outburst. There were no particular rules this day; we were going for style, distance, and laughs. But one of the vendors, Steve Sierigk (a middle-aged notecard vendor with a sly smile) and currently the self-proclaimed “Most Esteemed Grand Commissioner of the International Rutabaga Curl”, saw potential in the innocent play.
The next market season Commissioner Steve codified rules and designed a court of play using market’s wooden floor. In 1997 an early form of our sport was born which allowed contestants to throw most any projectile available at market, although rutabagas were supplied. Commissioner Steve astutely recognized the inequities of this first year of organized sport; to level the playing field the Commissioner declared “any projectile besides a rutabaga illegal”. Hence the first official Rutabaga Curl was held in 1998.
A separate Turnip Toss is held for athletes 8 years and younger. Many young people are attracted to our sport but are unable to handle the demands of the heftier Rutabaga. The Turnip Toss offers a smaller more delicate projectile, the throwing distance is significantly shorter than the 79 foot Rutabaga Curling distance; pitching distance is a function of contestants age.
All you need is a rutabaga and a dream.
2013 Archive: Dec 21
It is with great pride — and a little bit of jealousy, let’s be honest — that we announce the winners of our 2013 Rutabaga Curl:
1st Place: Matt Christian! (Only 50 inches from the target!)
2nd Place: Tom McCulloch (nice jacket!)
3rd Place: Thomas Carter Nicholson (one of the Nicholson Dynasty, a famed rutabaga power family)
December 20, 2014 - December 20, 2014
Registration starts at 10:30 a.m., games start at High Noon.
$5 gets you a rutabaga and signed up to curl.
Ithaca Farmers' Market
545 3rd St
Ithaca, NY 14851
Rose Ryan, Market Manager