19. Februar 2023
The legendary pre-ice-shooting in the Seegasse
A smoothly polished ice rink in the centre of Zell am See.
Two teams. One goal:
"The game of honour"
Once again this year, the Seegasse, directly in front of our Grüner Baum restaurant, was transformed into an "ice stadium" with hundreds of spectators. More than 30 years ago, the legendary Zell am See vs. Schüttdorf pre-ice curling tournament took place for the first time and even today, this extraordinary curling tournament is still held every year, more precisely always on the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday. It is a long-standing tradition between the teams of Zell am See and Schüttdorf, where honour, a certain degree of skill and, above all, the preservation of an old custom are at stake. Back then, pre-ice shooting was often held in the communities and Gauen for weddings or anniversary events.
But before a curling tournament can even take place, it needs temperatures below freezing, enough snow, the right amount of water and many hard-working helpers from the municipality of Zell am See. In painstaking manual work, piece by piece and over a period of days, a smoothly polished curling rink is created that is definitely worth seeing. You can't help but be amazed when you discover this work of art. The special thing about the curling rink is that it has the same slope as the Seegasse itself. The highlight of the curling tournament is that you shoot from the bottom up, which makes it really exciting.
The Moar, the Stave and a Popsicle Stick
Curling itself is deeply rooted in Salzburger Land, but especially in Pinzgau. The first curling clubs were founded here in the surrounding communities as early as 1900. Curling itself is a team game where two teams compete against each other. The players try to shoot as close as possible to the "stave" with the stick, using optimal strength and the necessary instinct. This is located at the end of the curling rink in the middle of the target area. The "Moa" is the respective team leader and usually also a respected personality in the respective communities of Zell am See and Schüttdorf. Even in pre-ice shooting there are certain rules that have to be followed. The interesting thing is that these are only set up directly on site by the two "Moa players".
A glass of target water and off you go!
Now it's once again full concentration and off we go: According to the old custom, the two teams play each other for the "Kehr" in three rounds*. The first round is played for the beer "Kehr". After it has been decided who has to pay for the drinks at the end of the day, the second round is for the roast pork "Kehr". In the third and final round of pre-ice shooting, the game is traditionally played for honour and recognition of the respective team.
After the "honour", food and drinks have been played out, everyone is looking forward to ending the day together in our cosy guest room.
*A passage/round is also colloquially called a "Kehr".