SWCA Intermediate Guide to Wheelchair Curling

SWCA Intermediate Guide to Wheelchair Curling
SWCA Intermediate Guide to
Wheelchair Curling
Curling is an enjoyable sport, which combines physical
fitness with a social aspect. It is a sport that you can
play just for fun or you can become highly competitive
– you could even aspire to the Olympics.
A Sport for All Ages
A Sport for Life
Curling is a game requiring hand/eye co-ordination – a game of skill,
strategy and luck but above all, it is a
game of fun.
It is a game that can be played by both
males and females from the age of 8 to 88. It can be
recreational or competitive depending on how much
time you have to devote to the sport.
External Wheelchair Competitions
National Pairs
The only personal equipment required is your wheelchair, a curling
cue/stick and warm, comfortable clothing.
British Open
Scottish Championships
Each team has 4 players, called Skip, Third, Second
and Lead.
The Skip is the captain or the leader of the team. The Skip plans the
strategy for the team and stands in the far house holding his/her brush
to tell the team where to aim their stones.
The Lead throws his/her stones first, then the Second throws his/her
stones. The Third throws his/her stones next and holds the brush when
the Skip is throwing stones.
It is the responsibility of the Thirds to settle on the
score at the completion of each end by looking at
where the stones are lying and to mark it on the
Curling is played on a sheet of ice by sliding stones
from one end to a target, called the house, at the far
end. Alternating between the two teams, each player, beginning with
the Lead, delivers two stones.. When all 16 stones have been
delivered, 8 by each team, an end is complete.
Friendship Trophy
This has developed rapidly to allow wheelchair users to participate in
this exciting sport.
Curling is now a world and paralympic sport and offers ambitious
players the opportunity to progress to world ranking level.
Qualified coaches will deliver the skills required to play the game for all
levels of participation.
Give it a Go
Once an end has been played the teams turn around and deliver the
stones back – and keep doing this until all the ends have been played.
The number of ends varies depending upon the amount of available
time and the level of competition – most games have either 8 or 10 ends and take
between 2
and 2½ hours.
The curling rink is long and narrow with a house at
each end. The ice is special pebbled ice, which makes it easier for the stones to slide.
Have a teammate or helper brace your chair when
throwing. When the target is placed by your skip, move
your chair to the stone, always keeping your wheels in
the same position relative to the stone for every throw.
A totally different game
The stones are made of granite and weigh approx. 44 lbs. but with the
cue delivery, they are not difficult to throw.
Little stones weighing half as much are available for
young children. The stones used during a game have two different
colours of handles to allow each team to know which are theirs.
The house has four different sized circles – the 12’
circle, the 8’ circle, the 4’ circle and the button,
which is the small circle in the middle. Sometimes the house is also
called the rings.
In order to score points, your stones must be all the way in or just
touching the house, which is called biting. Stones that go over the back
line are removed from play as are stones that don’t go over the hog
Wheelchair curling is not regular curling without the
sweeping; it is a completely different game. Excellent
wheelchair curlers will shoot around 70%. If you can
ignore your inevitable misses, consistently draw into
the rings, make the occasional up-weight hit and have
a little luck, you too can succeed.
To score points, each team tries to get its stones
closer to the centre of the house than the opposing
team. Only one team can score in any end.
You score one point for every stone closer to the centre than the
closest opposition stones
To score the stones must be on or inside the circles. If there are no
stones on or inside the circles, no one scores and that is called a blank
The team that wins the end delivers the
first stone in the next end. When an end is blanked,
then the same order of play is kept as in the previous end.
The team with last stone has the advantage and
this is referred to as having the hammer. Curling stones don’t travel in
straight lines, but curl or bend as they travel down the ice.
In order to make the stones curl in the right direction, you must put a
turn on the stone, either a clockwise turn or a
Anti-clockwise turn.
When the Skip indicates where the stone you are about to deliver is to
go, he/she will also indicate which turn you must put on the stone.
The Skip will also indicate to you how hard you are to throw the stone
You may be asked for takeout weight in order to remove an opposition
stone(s) or for draw weight if the Skip wants you to put the stone gently
into a particular spot.
Learning to curl from a chair
Once you deliver your stone towards the Skip, one player on your
team will hold and anchor your wheelchair. This is known as the
Budding System.
Sometimes frost, dirt or hairs can cause a stone to go off course so the
any debri on the ice should be cleared immediately.
The area between the hogline and the rings at each
end is called the Free Guard Zone. If a stone lands in
this area it cannot be removed from play by the
opposition until the fifth stone of the end is thrown.
It can be moved within that area or moved into the
house but if removed from play, it has to be returned to its original
On the fifth stone, any stone can be removed from play.
This rule makes the game more interesting and stops teams from just
peeling/hitting out the other teams stones off for the whole game.
Develop a repeatable delivery that can be made with
different levels of force. Find a motion that works for
you: pendulum, piston, three-quarters, side, front.
There are no right and wrong ways to push a stone. Choose the one
that works best for you.
Try different lengths of delivery stick and different chair positions in
relation to the stone.
Start by throwing 20 feet from the target and as you become more
accurate, gradually move back.
Stone Rotation
This is what makes stones curl, clockwise for left to right, and anticlockwise for right to left. Putting rotation on the stone takes practice
and is best learned when not throwing hard.
Weight Control
This is the toughest skill to master. A repeatable delivery motion is key
to weight control.
Throwing a particular weight relies on muscle memory and takes lots of
practice, so always have a plan when you throw a stone. Don’t throw a
stone, throw a particular shot. That way you’ll know whether the weight
you threw was too light for your plan, or too heavy, or just right.
Every stone thrown with a purpose adds to that memory bank and will
help you know how hard to throw the next stone.
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