We’ve saved the best for last. That’s right, the go-to for the answer of “what’s the most obscure Winter Olympic sport?”

We’ll now dive into the obscurity that is the rock throwing, fast sweeping, shuffleboard-on-ice sport of curling.

According to the official Winter Olympic website, curling was first played in Scotland during the 1500s. The sport has been a formal part of the winter games since 1998, even though it was around as a demonstration sport for many years before. Each team has four players and they each take turns launching eight “stones” down the ice per “end.” The stones are actually stone – they are made of granite with an artificial handle added in production.

Curling is a head-to-head sport, so every end (an end is equivalent to an inning in baseball) has 16 stones being thrown. The teams alternate launching the stones, with the objective of placing their stone closest to the center of the “house” about 150 feet down the ice.

Only one team may score in each of a match’s 10 ends. It is possible to score more than one point, as the points equate to the total number of a team’s stones which lie between the center of the house and the closest stone of the opponent. Since only one team may score, it is possible to defensively place a stone so that a team can be limited to one point. Even if a team has its stone closest to the house, one opponent stone and then all seven other stones before another opponent stone, the scoring team will only earn one point.

The team with the most points at the conclusion of ten ends wins the match.

Now, onto everyone’s favorite part of curling – the brooms. Just why do curlers sweep the ice? Here’s your basic answer: to speed up the stone, which in turn makes it go straighter. The sweeping action, performed by two curlers on either side of the stone’s path, melts the ice ever so slightly. This melting reduces the friction that slows down the stone and makes it curve, or curl – where the sport’s name comes from.

Curling is played by both genders at the Winter Olympics, with 10 teams each qualifying for the tournaments. The United States has qualified for both tournaments in the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. Seven other countries will also participate in both tournaments – Canada, China, Denmark, Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. Germany and Norway will compete in the men’s tournament only, and Japan and South Korea will only compete in the women’s tournament.

In 2010, Canada won the men’s gold medal and Sweden won the women’s gold. The United States has only won one medal ever in the sport – a men’s bronze in the 2006 event in Turin, Italy.

The 2014 United States team captains are John Shuster of Duluth, Minn., for the men and Erika Brown of Madison, Wis., for the women. Curling will be featured prominently on NBC throughout the 2014 games, giving casual Olympic fans many chances to check out this unique sport.