curling basics - FM Curling Club

curling basics - FM Curling Club
Curling Basics
6 feet
Tee Line
6 feet
Back Line
Curling is a sport in which two teams of four players each
slide 40-pound granite rocks (also called stones) down a
sheet of ice toward a target (house) at the other end. Each
team tries to get more of its stones closer to the center of
the target than the other team.
Delivery - The process of sliding a stone down the sheet
is known as the delivery.
21 feet
The skip will call the required weight, turn and line of the
The weight of the stone is its velocity, which depends on
the leg drive of the delivery rather than the arm.
The turn, handle, or curl is the rotation of the stone,
which gives it a curved trajectory.
Hog Line
72 feet
138 feet
Centre Line
The line is the direction of the throw ignoring the effect
of the turn.
The stone is placed in front of the foot now in the hack.
Rising slightly from the hack the thrower pulls the stone
back then lunges smoothly out from the hack aiming
the stone at the skip’s broom. The thrust from this lunge
determines the weight. Balance may be assisted by a
broom or delivery aid held in the free hand.
6 feet
6 feet
21 feet
“The House”
14 feet 2 inches
The thrower’s gripper shoe (with the non-slippery sole) is
positioned against one of the hacks. The thrower, now in
the hack, lines his/her body to where the skip’s broom is
placed at the far end for line.
When the stone is released the thrower gives the rock a
slight clockwise or counter-clockwise twist of the handle
from around the two or ten o’clock position to the 12
o’clock on release. A typical rate of turn is about 2½
rotations before coming to a rest.
The stone must be released before its front edge crosses
the near hog line and it must clear the far hog line or the
rock must be removed from play (hogged).
Sweeping - Sweeping is done for two reasons:
to reduce friction underneath the stone, and to
decrease the amount of curl. When the ice in front
of the stone is swept, a stone will usually travel
both farther and straighter.
Much of the yelling that goes on during a curling
game is the skip calling the line of the shot and the
sweepers calling the weight.
Sweeping is allowed anywhere on the ice up to the
tee line, as long as it is only for one’s own team
stones. Additionally, when a stone crosses the tee
line, the opposing skip is allowed to sweep it. This
is the only case that a stone may be swept by an
opposing team member.
Keeping score - Once all 16 rocks have been
thrown, the score for that end is counted based on
the final positions of the stones in the house. Only
one team can score in an end. A team scores one
point for every rock that it has closer to the center
of the house than the other team.
Types of Shots
Many different types of shots are used to carefully
place stones for strategic or tactical reasons; they
fall into three fundamental categories as follows:
Guards are thrown in front of the house in the free
guard zone, usually to protect the shot-rock (the
stone closest to the button at the time) or to make
the opposing team’s shot difficult.
Draws are thrown only to reach the house. Draw
shots include raise and angle-raise, come-around,
and freeze shots.
Takeouts are intended to remove stones from play
and include the peel, hit-and-roll and double shots.
The Members of a Curling Team
A team is made up of four players: the lead, the
second, the third (also called the vice, vice-skip,
or mate), and the skip. Each player has specific
Lead - The lead throws the first two rocks of the
end and then sweeps the next six. The lead must
be very good at throwing guards and a strong
Second - The second throws the third and fourth
stones of the end and should be strong at playing
takeouts. The second sweeps the first two stones
and then the final four of the end. The second
and the lead need to be in sync when sweeping
Third - The third (or mate or vice), who throws the
fifth and sixth rocks of the end, must be good at
all shots, but especially draws. It is the third’s job
to set up the shots that will be thrown by the skip,
and to help the skip discuss the strategy of the
final two stones of the end. The third also posts the
score at the conclusion of the end.
Skip - The skip is the captain of the team and
decides the strategy. It’s the skip’s job to tell the
other players where to throw their shots and when
to sweep. The skip also delivers the last two shots
of the end. The skip must be good at all types of
Important Rules
A moving stone cannot be touched by any part
of the sweeper’s broom or body or by other team
members. If so, the stone must be removed from
the ice by the playing side.
Score one point for every stone which is nearer the
button than any stone of the opposing team. Any
stone touching the outer circle is eligible. Disputed
shots must be settled by the vice-skips. No
measuring is allowed until after the end is over
When a stone passes the back line it is
automatically out of play
A stone must pass the hog line to stay in play,
unless it strikes another stone first
All curlers must start their delivery from the hack.
Should any part of the body pass the hog line
during delivery, the stone must removed from play.
Curling Etiquette
Curling has often been referred to as a
‘Gentlemen’s Sport’, quite like golf, as there are
more courtesies to the game than actual rules.
Start and finish with a handshake. At the beginning
of the game, greet the members of the opposing
team with a handshake, tell them your name, and
wish them “Good Curling”. When the game is over,
offer each of the players a handshake and move off
the ice. The winning curlers traditionally offer their
counterparts some refreshments.
Opposing vice-skips will toss a coin at the start of
the game to determine last stone advantage.
Keep the ice clean. Change your shoes. Sand, grit
and dirt are the ice’s worst enemy. The shoes you
wear should only be used for curling. Keep them
Compliment good shots, no matter which team
makes them. Respect your opponent.
Be ready. Take your position in the hack as soon as
your opponent has delivered his/her stone. Keep
the game moving; delays detract from the sport.
Be prepared to sweep as soon as your teammate
releases the rock.
When your opponents are preparing for delivery,
stand to the side of the sheet, single file and
between the hog lines. Move only after the stone
has been released.
If you are throwing next you may stand on the
backboard, but remain quiet and out of sight of the
opposition thrower.
Only skips and thirds may congregate behind the
tee line. They do not move or hold their brooms on
the ice while the opposition is preparing to deliver a
Be courteous. Don’t distract your opponent in
the hack. Sweepers should stay on the sidelines
between the hog lines when not sweeping.
Place your skip’s rock in front of the hack to help
speed up the game.
At the conclusion of an end, all players remain
outside the rings until the opposing thirds have
agreed on the score.
All games on the ice should run approximately the
same time. Therefore, if your game is an end or
two behind all other games you should pick up the
pace. Each player should be ready to deliver their
rock when their skip puts down the broom.
What to wear?
Dress in layers. The arena temperature is about
45-50 degrees. You’ll be standing on ice for two
hours. If you normally wear a hat outside, you’ll
probably want to wear one while curling as well.
Clothing should allow freedom of movement. You
need to be able to squat and lunge (blue jeans
are not recommended since your movement is
Lightweight gloves keep your hands warm while
still allowing you to feel the stone.
If your feet tend to get cold, consider wearing two
pairs of socks.
The club will supply any other equipment
necessary and has curling shoes available to rent.
Curling Glossary
Biter - A rock barely touching the house
Blank end - An end where no points are scored.
Bonspiel - A tournament in which curlers
Burned Rock - A moving stone touched by
sweeper’s broom
Button - The very centre of the target rings or
House - Also known as the rings, this is the name
of the giant bull’s eye at either end of the sheet of
ice. It consists of a set of concentric circles, called
the 12-foot, 8-foot, 4-foot, and the Button
Hurry hard - A directive given to sweepers by the
skip or third, to begin sweeping
Narrow - Stone played “off the broom” on side
between the skip’s broom and the objective
Centre Line - Line drawn on ice from hack to hog
Off the Broom - Stone not thrown toward the
skip’s broom
Delivery - The action of throwing a stone to the
other end of the playing surface
On the Broom - Stone thrown directly at skip’s
Draw Weight - A delivery of sufficient weight or
put the rock in the house
Pebble - Droplets of water applied to the playing
Freeze - Two stationary stones touching each
Raise - The movement of one stone by another in
the same direction
Eight-ender - A perfect end where every one of
the team’s stones scores a point
Rink - A curling team; also the name of a curling
End - The way a curling game is divided. An end
is like an inning in a baseball game. A curling game
has either eight or ten ends
Rock - Also known as a stone, a curler delivers.
Regular-sized rocks weigh approximately 44
Freeze - When a stone has just enough
momentum to stop when touching another stone
Sheet - The frozen playing surface on which the
game is played
Gripper - The sole of one of your curling shoes. It
helps you keep your footing on the ice. See slider
Shot Rock - The stone nearest the centre of the
Guard - One stone protecting another from
removal by opposing rock
Slider - The sole of one of your curling shoes. It
helps you move or slide along the ice.
Hammer - The last rock of the end
Take Out - Removing an opposing stone from play
by striking it with your own
Hack - The foothold in the ice you use to push off
from when you deliver the stone
Heavy Ice - Ice that, due to water, frost or too
much pebble, requires rocks to be thrown extra
hard to reach the rings
Tee line - The line on the playing surface that runs
through the middle of the house
Weight - The amount of force used to deliver a
Hog - when a rock fails to clear the “hog line”
Wick - Striking the side of another stone
Hog Line - Line in front of house a rock must
cross to be in play
Wide - Stone played “off the broom”, outside of
the skip’s broom away from objective
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