2013-2014 Handbook
The Vikingland Curling Club Handbook has been developed to meet two primary
 To document club policies and procedures and make them available to members.
 To provide additional information to members about the nature of the sport of curling, its
rules and etiquette.
Therefore, the Handbook serves as both a policy manual and an instructional tool for the club’s
members. Because the Vikingland Curling Club is so young, and curling so complex in its
traditions and etiquette, the more information the club provides, the quicker VCC can orientate
new members to the game and to our organization.
The Spirit of Curling & Curler’s Code of Ethics
Curling Etiquette
Safety Tips
League Administration
Rink (Team) Composition
Rinks with Three Curlers
Spares (Substitutes)
Make-Up Games and Forfeits
Late Curlers
Sheet Identification
Curling Rules
Player Eligibility for Club Championship
Cancellation of a Curling Night
Cancellation Notification
League Structure
End of Season Standings Tie-Breakers
Score Board Use & Understanding
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The heart of curling is in its incomparable spirit. Without that spirit, curling is just
another pastime. Played in that spirit, it is the king of all games.
Curling is a game of skill and traditions. A shot well executed is a delight to see and so, too, it is
a fine thing to observe and apply the time-honored traditions in the true spirit of the game.
“Curlers play to win but never to humble their opponents.” Every game ends with a hearty
handshake and good will to both teammates and opponents.
“A true curler would prefer to lose rather than win unfairly.”
“A good curler never attempts to distract an opponent or otherwise prevent another curler from
playing his or her best.”
“No curler ever deliberately breaks a rule of the game or any of its traditions. But, if a curler
should do so inadvertently and be aware of it, he or she is the first to divulge the breach.”
While the objective of the game is to determine the relative skills of the players, the spirit of the
game demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honorable conduct. This spirit should
influence both the interpretation and application of the rules of the game and also the conduct of
all participants on and off the ice.”
Only by strict observance of these time-honored traditions can curling be kept as a game that is
played for love of the sport alone.
I will play the game with a spirit of good sportsmanship.
I will conduct myself in an honorable manner both on and off the ice.
I will never knowingly break a rule or any of its traditions, but if I do, I will immediately divulge
the breach when witnessed or brought to my attention.
I will take no action that could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate or demean my
opponents, teammates or officials.
I will interpret the rules in an impartial manner, always keeping in mind that the purpose of the
rules is to ensure that the game is played in an orderly and fair manner.
I will humbly accept any penalty that the governing body at any level of curling deems
appropriate, if I am found in violation of the Code of Ethics or rules of the game.
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The following section contains both official USCA rules and accepted curling
etiquette or rule clarification. Official USCA rules are identified as such.
 Always know the date and time of your game. Inform your Skip if you are unable to play,
so there is time to find a spare to play for you.
 Offer to help any new curler or member with information about curling or the Club. If you
are not sure, then guide them to someone [a board member] who might know.
 Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before scheduled available ice time. Volunteer to help
the Ice Maintenance/Equipment Committee or the Social Committee as they greatly
appreciate any help.
Before the Match:
 Wipe your footwear thoroughly before stepping on the ice.
 Shake hands with your opponents, introduce yourself and wish them Good Curling.
 USCA Rule – If you are the Third, be ready to toss a coin to determine who throws the
first stone. The winner shall have the choice of choosing last stone or stone color.
During the Match:
 USCA Rule – Each player shall be ready to deliver his/her stone when his/her turn
comes, and shall not take an unreasonable time to play.
 USCA Rule – The rotation of play established in the first end shall be observed
throughout the game.
 Teams may rotate positions only if a skip has conceded the game and teams are just
playing for practice.
 Some clubs bring the opposition’s next stone out to the hack as a form of etiquette.
 Be quiet and do not move when your opponent is about to deliver a rock.
 USCA Rule – The players, other than the Skip and Acting Skip, shall not stand behind the
house, but must stand along the side of the rink between the hog lines, except when
sweeping or about to deliver a stone.
 The next player to throw should wait quietly off to the side behind the delivering hack
area, and be ready to throw as soon as the previous player has completed their
 Skips should stand still behind the end line and hold their broom (horizontal) off the ice
when it is your opponent’s turn.
 Never walk across the sheet (ice) when a player is delivering a stone.
 Pay attention to what is going on in your game. Use the opportunity to learn when a rock
needs brushing or to learn game strategy. Someday you may be a Skip!!
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During the Match (continued):
 USCA Rule – Only the Skip or Acting Skip for the time being may stand within the house .
 USCA Rule – Only the Skip or Acting Skip may stand behind the house.
 USCA Rule – The Skip or “player in charge of the house” from the non-playing team may
not start sweeping an opponent’s stone until it reaches the tee line. Behind the tee, if
the delivering team’s choice is not to sweep, they shall not obstruct or prevent the
opponent from sweeping the stone.
 USCA Rule – Behind the tee line, only one player from each team may sweep at any one
time. It may be any one player from the playing team, but only the “player in charge
of the house” from the non-playing team. NOTE: Normally the Skip is in charge of
the house until he/she goes to throw his/her first stone, when the house is left in the
charge of the Acting Skip for the remainder of the end. However, there are times
when both the Skip and Acting Skip are behind the house (as the non-playing team)
but the player “in charge of the house” (the Acting Skip) is not in the best position to
sweep behind the tee line. In these instances, the “player in charge of the house”
from the non-playing team can mean either the Acting Skip OR the Skip as long as
the Skip tells the Acting Skip, or one of the two says they “have it” or some such
communication happens so that it is understood who is “in charge”. END RESULT:
One player from the non-playing team can sweep behind the tee.
 Clarification of “one” player sweeping behind the tee – the playing team shall have first
choice to sweep their stone. The “player in charge of the house” from the non-playing
team may also sweep the same stone. This is the only instance that there would be
two sweepers on the same stone behind the tee line.
 Strategy discussions on the odd individual shot are necessary in curling. Excessive
discussion on several shots can result in fewer ends completed. Try to keep efficient
use of time with careful use of strategy discussions. To avoid prolonged discussions,
only skips and thirds should actively participate in strategic decision making. Also,
think through several probable scenarios so the next shot is already determined.
 Compliment any player on a good shot. Do not show your frustration at an opponent’s
lucky shot or a teammate’s poor shot.
 USCA Rule – If you touch a moving rock while you are brushing, tell your skip
immediately and remove the stone from play. If the infraction occurred inside the hog
line at the playing end, the opposing skip may place the stone as nearly as possible to
the position where he/she considers it would have come to rest had it not been
touched. He/she may also reposition any stone or stones that would have been
displaced had the running stone not been touched and been allowed to continue.
 Etiquette discussion regarding previous rule – It is unusual for the opposing Skip to
remove or reposition stones that MAY have been touched if a burned stone had been
allowed to continue.
 After the last stone of an end has been delivered, the thirds agree on the score. It is the
Vice Skips’ responsibility to update their team’s scores on the score board. This
should be done when it is convenient and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the game.
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During the Match (continued):
 Scoreboard etiquette: While spectators enjoy having the score posted quickly after the
completion of an end, curling etiquette does exist in certain situations where delaying
or even not posting the score would be considered a sportsmanlike gesture. For
example, if after 3 or 4 ends, a team is leading by 7 or more (for example), then
further scoring should be postponed until the trailing rink counts an end – please use
your judgment. In these situations, it can be considered unsportsmanlike to rush and
immediately post the results of an end.
 The etiquette of conceding a game: After the completion of any end, a team may
concede a game by the conceding skip offering to shake hands with the skip of the
winning team. After a team has conceded, they may still play for fun if time allows (no
score). If time is short, good etiquette is to concede a game when all chances of
winning the game are gone. This will allow the ice crew time to prepare the sheet for
the next game to start on time. E.g. If a team needs 4 to tie the game on the 8th end,
and by their third’s first stone is not laying at least one, then there is no hope and a
skip’s handshake is proper etiquette.
After the Match:
 Give each of your teammates and opponents a handshake and thank them for the game
before leaving the ice.
 Assist Ice Crew by helping to put away stones and other equipment in designated
storage areas. Thank you for your help!
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Curlers get their “ice legs” on the sheet after their first several games. It is
normally not difficult to get around on the ice. However, if a curler is careless, a fall can result in
a serious injury.
New curlers are cautioned to be very careful while moving or standing on the ice.
 For newer curlers, sliders should only be worn when delivering or waiting to deliver a
 Step on to the ice with your “gripper” shoe first and be careful! Never use your slider foot
for your first step on the ice.
 Sliders should be removed (or covered with a gripper for curling shoes) after a player’s
turn to deliver is over or when one is leaving the ice.
 Never stop a rock with your hand. Your fingers can be crushed, especially if the rock hits
another rock while you’re trying to stop it! Never use your feet to stop a rock as you
can lose your balance and fall. Use a broom or brush to stop a rock.
 Always carry a broom or brush with the broom head down, which you can use to avoid or
break a fall in case you lose your balance.
 While sweeping, if you can’t keep up with a fast shot, back off. Don’t risk a fall on the ice.
 Before you step on the ice, take note of the ice conditions. Sometimes the ice is wet from
the cleaning and will be more slippery than normal.
 Never go on the ice when your balance is impaired from sickness, medication or alcohol.
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Heavy Ice:
Hog Line:
Keen Ice:
Curling Tournaments.
The horizontal distance a rock travels from the thrower’s release point until the
rock’s resting point or point of contact with another stone.
The forward body motion of a curler as the rock is being shot. It is the act of a
thrower to propel the rock down the ice.
The complete schedule for a league of rinks (teams).
One end is the delivery of all 16 rocks (eight per team) to the far house and the
agreement of any stones counting by the thirds.
A rock that finishes in front of and next to another rock.
A rock that finishes between the hog line and the house to prevent the opposition
from directly hitting a rock that is some distance behind it.
A rubber foothold from which curlers push off to gain speed for the delivery of the
The last rock in an end or the last stone delivered in an end.
When the ice is slow and the rocks have to be thrown with more effort. An ice
condition where the thrower must use more speed, hence throw harder, to
deliver the rock to the opposite end of the sheet.
A throwing foul line located 21 feet from the center of the house. To remain in
play, a rock must be released before the near hog line and travel beyond the
further hog line.
A term given to a delivered rock that did not reach the opposite end’s Hog Line.
The scoring area, 12 feet in diameter, with concentric circles of four and eight
feet diameter.
A command shouted by the Skip or Shooter to tell the sweepers to broom.
The clockwise turn that a thrower initiates on a rock during delivery.
When the ice is “fast” and the rocks have to be thrown with less effort. An ice
condition where the thrower must use less speed, hence throw softer, to deliver
the rock to the opposite end of the sheet.
The player who delivers the first set of two rocks, alternating with the opponent’s
The counter- clockwise turn a thrower initiates on a rock during delivery.
The preparation of the ice surface for curling by applying hot water droplets. As
the droplets freeze they form small bumps that allow the rocks to slide easily.
A delivery of one stone to tap or move another stone to a different spot on the
A curling team, which consists of four members: lead, second, third (or vice skip)
and the skip. All players are involved in every shot with one delivering, two
sweeping and one calling the strategy.
Also known as stones and are the playing pieces of curling. Sixteen (eight for
each team) are used in playing the game. They weigh about 42 pounds and are
made of rare, dense and polished granite quarried only on Ailsa Craig, an island
off Scotland’s coast.
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The player who delivers the second set of two rocks, alternating
with the opponent’s second.
The playing surface for curling.
The captain of the rink (team). The player who normally calls the play of the
team and delivers the last set of two rocks, alternating with the opponent’s skip.
Straight Ice: An ice condition where the rocks do not curl very much, or run straight.
Swingy Ice: An ice condition where the rocks curl more than expected and is partially due to
sloped ice.
A type of shot that requires enough speed to travel to the other end of the sheet
and hit another rock hard enough to remove it from play.
The center of the house, also referred to as the button.
The twist of the stone’s handle upon release that makes the rock curve as it
travels down the ice. The rock curls in the direction of the turn.
Vice Skip:
The player, also known as the Third, who normally delivers the third set of two
rocks, alternating with the opponent’s third.
Weight (s):
The amount of speed that a thrower gives to a curling stone to achieve the Skip’s
call. There are several types of weights:
 Draw:
The speed (slower) of a delivered stone so that the stone will stop where
the Skip wants it, somewhere beyond the hog and in front of the back line.
 Takeout: The speed (faster) of a delivered stone so that the stone will have enough
energy to remove another stone upon impact.
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Rink (Team) Composition:
 May curl with a minimum of 3 curlers.
 Must have at least 2 of their roster curlers present.
 Can have up to 2 spares.
 Spares can replace the position of the absent player or below, they can not replace a
higher position (See Spares (Substitutes)).
 Any rink in the Vikingland Curling Club may obtain a sponsor to help them with their ice
fees and therefore, take on the team name of that particular sponsor (i.e.) Ted’s Bar &
Grill. Rinks not taking on a specific name will be identified by the skip’s last name
(John Smith is the skip, the team name is referred to as the Smith Rink.) or a team
name chosen by the team.
 Team apparel, such as matching shirts, hats, or jackets is allowed.
Rinks with Three Curlers:
The lead and second shall play three stones each in proper rotation.
Spares (Substitutes):
 Spares must be in good standing with the VCC i.e. this means the spare (alternate) paid
his/her $60 membership fee for the season. A spare is any paid member($60) on the
Alternate Member list or any regular curler from a club league. New curlers using
their “two visits” may also be considered as spares and will pay $10 per game played.
The Draw Master will endeavor to keep a “spare list” of people that may be able to
curl for any regular players that may be absent. Teams are encouraged to call people
from the spare list, although they may call whomever they want to spare. Spares who
have NOT paid a $60 alternate fee for the season MUST pay $10 per game – this
may be paid by the individual spare or by the team needing the spare. The Skip is
responsible to turn in Spare $$ collected to the Draw Master.
 Curlers are also encouraged to notify the Draw Master if they are available and want to
curl as a spare that week or for a particular draw. NOTE: Any member that has paid
their season’s dues or the alternate fee may be a spare for another team at any time
with no additional fees.
 SPARE RULE: Spares can replace the position of the absent player or below, they can
not replace a higher position, i.e. teams may not move players down. If a team is
missing their lead, then the spare must play lead. If a team is missing their skip, then
they may replace him/her with another skip, HOWEVER teams are encouraged to
move their own players up if the players are comfortable doing so. For example, if a
skip were missing, then the third would move up, etc. When the lead and the second
are new curlers who have curled for fewer than two seasons in regular league play, it
is permissible to recruit a substitute skip and/or vice-skip in case of absence of the
regular skip and/or vice-skip.
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Make-Up Games and Forfeits:
Please! Forfeits hurt our league. Try to avoid forfeits.
 Skips should exchange email addresses and telephone numbers with all their players.
 All players should notify their skip if they expect to miss a game – the more notice the
better!! (See also Cancellation of a curling night).
 If a team knows in advance that they will have less than 2 roster members for a certain
regularly scheduled game, then they MUST contact the opposition skip to give notice
that they are unable to field a team and, if possible, arrange a make-up game. Teams
should contact the Draw Master to INFORM him/her of the make-up and to
REQUEST available ice times to schedule the make-up game. It is preferable to play
make-up games in advance but they may also be played after the regular scheduled
game date (as close as possible). Teams must then inform the Draw Master as soon
as the make-up date is arranged so that ice time may be booked. Without this notice,
the team requesting the change will forfeit the match. Please note: It is the teams’
(skips’) responsibility to schedule the make-up games.
 Teams that show up that with less than the accepted Rink (team) composition as stated
above shall forfeit their game.
Late curlers:
If a team does not meet the definition of “rink composition” at 15 minutes past the scheduled
starting time, then the opposing team will receive one point for the first end. The opposing
team will receive an additional point and play one less end for the next 15 minutes in
lateness. After 30 minutes, the team is deemed to have defaulted. A team may curl “for fun”
if they want to. Curlers in attendance may 1) curl for “fun” or practice on their sheet or 2)
enter other games as substitutes.
Sheet Identification:
The sheets are lettered from left to right while facing north. The sheet to the west is A, the
middle sheets are #B and #C and the eastern sheet is #D.
The VCC is in the process of purchasing our 64 rocks. PLEASE DO NOT LIFT THE
ROCKS! (The only time the rocks are to be lifted is when you are putting the rocks away at the end of league play – the rocks must be lifted
off the ice and placed on the ice behind the northern boards) Always slide the rocks. Please take care of our rocks!
Curling Rules:
Any question about the Rules of Curling shall be resolved through the current USCA
Championships Rules Booklet. The decision of the Ice & Draws Committee on any rule or
interpretation is final and cannot be appealed.
If for any reason, a game is postponed to another time, or a game is suspended, the game
will continue at the point of suspension. If suspension occurs in the middle of an end, that
end shall be restarted.
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Player Eligibility for Club Championship:
Spares are needed and welcome to participate in Club Championships and Club Playoffs.
(See Spares (Substitutes)). However, in order to receive recognition as a member of a
Championship or Playoff team, players must also belong in one of the following categories.
 A full member of the VCC having participated in at least three league nights with their
 Any Alternate Member that has curled on at least three league nights with the same
Cancellation of a Curling Night:
If at all possible, Curling will proceed. Possible reasons that Curling would be completely
cancelled include the following:
 Extreme weather conditions.
 Road closures due to extreme weather conditions.
 Closure or loss of ice at the Runestone Community Center.
 Requests for make-ups, due to weather conditions, by a large percentage of scheduled
games (e.g. more than 75% of the matches). (See Make-Up Games and Forfeits).
It is not the responsibility of the Vikingland Curling Club to determine what constitutes safe
driving conditions for any curler. Any curlers deciding not to attend curling due to weather
conditions must contact their Skip as soon as possible so the skip may determine if he/she
can still field a team or whether a make-up game should be requested. Skips must
communicate with their players and with their opposing skips in these situations. If a team
has less than 2 roster players, the procedure for requesting a make-up game must be
followed. (See “Make-up Games and Forfeits”). Although it may be difficult to do, curlers
should try to give as much notice as possible that they have decided not to “venture out” so
opposing players don’t have to make unnecessary trips. (This goes in all instances where
curlers are not able to make it due to circumstances that occur on any particular game day –
please be considerate).
Cancellation Notification:
The Board will implement the following processes to inform the membership.
 The President makes the determination in consultation with the Board Members and
RCC staff.
 Local media (KXRA AM 1490 radio & KXRA TV-UHF Ch. 42) will also be notified of any
cancellations if time allows.
 A notice shall be sent by email to the Skips’ roster (and the general email roster if
possible). The email will announce the cancellation and ask skips to contact their
curlers (and vice versa) via email and/or telephone to acknowledge the cancellation.
 The President, with help from the Board Members, will get in contact with all of the Skips
by phone. Known scheduled spares will then be contacted by phone.
 It will be up to the skips to contact their team members by phone if necessary. If a skip is
not available, the third shall be contacted, etc.
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 The schedule is as generated by the Draw Master & League Committee. It is subject to
change as circumstances warrant.
 The arrangement of teams within the random scheduling matrix is by draw. The sheets
of ice for each game are also by random.
 All games are comprised of an eight end match or less, with a minimum of six complete
ends. A rink may concede defeat during or after any end starting with the 4th.
Games not completing four ends will be considered a tie, regardless of the score. A
buzzer will sound at 8:45 p.m. – this means players will finish the end they are
currently playing. An additional end MAY NOT be started after the buzzer is sounded.
 A win is worth three points.
 A tie is worth one & a half points.
 A loss is worth one point.
 A forfeit is worth zero points. A forfeit is defined as a team failing to attend a scheduled
night of curling without notifying the opposing skip and the Draw Master. A forfeit is
also defined by a team having less than the legal amount of curlers. (See Rink
Composition and Late Curlers). Finally, a forfeit is any match not played before the
first night of the playoffs.
End of Season Standings Tiebreakers:
1. At the end of the season, the Draw Master and League Committee will determine
procedure to break any ties.
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 The hanger-type hooks are used to hang the scoreboards on the glass on the north side
of the rink. They are stored on the north end of the rink behind the boards. The
scoreboards are rolled up.
 The “end” numbers & team colors are in envelopes. Reverse the procedure before
storing the scoreboards. Please remove all numbers and color strips carefully, before
rolling up scoreboards and placing them behind the boards.
10 11 12
Shots Scored:
The center numbers on the score board represent the score of the match.
Ends Played:
A card, bearing the number of the end played is placed above or below the center numerals
to represent the total points scored by the team up to and including that end. For instance,
in the 6th end, the red team scored two points, bringing their total score up to 9. The yellow
team had previously scored four points in the 2nd end and 2 more points in the 3rd end, giving
them a total of 6 points.
Blank End:
If neither rink scores, then the end number is hung with the team that scored last, to the right
of the number 12.
Sample Game:
[1] Red scores 3 points in the first end. [Red leads 3-0]
[2] Yellow scores 4 points in the second end. [Yellow leads 4-3]
[3] Yellow scores 2 points in the third end. [Yellow leads 6-3]
[4] Red scores 4 points in the fourth end. [Red leads 7-6]
[5] No points were scored (blank end) in the fifth end. The card is hung at the far right side
of the board on the same team as the previous end. [Red leads 7-6]
[6] Red scores 2 points in the sixth end. [Red leads 9-6]
[7] Red scores 4 points in the seventh end. For a score that is higher than the
scoreboard’s center numbers, the end number is posted using a “wrap around”.
This indicates the score is twelve higher than the center number. [Red leads 13-6]
[8] The eighth end is in progress – not yet visible on the scoreboard – OR – if the game is
over, the yellow team conceded before the eighth end was completed.
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