- How To Play
Curling is a fun and challenging game combining physical and mental skill. It is one of the few sports where all ages, genders and abilities can play together and against each other. Two teams take turns to deliver stones down the ice attempting to get closer to the centre of the target or ‘house’, than their opponents. Each team consists of four players called the lead, second, third and skip, who each deliver two stones in that order. The skips are the team captains and direct their team on which shots to play.
When all sixteen stones have been played, an ‘end’ of curling is complete. A team scores one point for each stone which is closer to the centre of the house than any of the opposition’s stones. Only stones touching the house can be counted.
The team that scores in the previous end plays first in the next end. This means that the non-scoring team gets the advantage of having the last stone. Games are played to a time limit usually between 2-2 ½ hours or until an agreed maximum number of ends are complete. The winner is the team with the most points at the end of the game.
Curling is played on a ‘sheet’ of ice approximately 45 metres long by 5 metres wide with a target, the ‘house’, marked at each end. The house consists of three rings which are generally coloured red, white and blue and act as a visual aid for aiming and judging which stone is closer to the centre. The smallest circle in the house is called the button.Blocks or ‘Hacks’ are fixed at each end of the sheet to give the person delivering the stone something to push against.
The two lines between the houses are called the hog lines. The players must release the stone before they reach the first hog line and the stone must cross the far hog line to be in play. The line behind the house is called the back line. Once a stone fully crosses this line it is out of play.
The line in the middle of the rink is called the centre line and is used by the players to line up their shots.
Curling stones are made from granite and weigh around 20kg. The handle allows the stone to be gripped and rotated upon release. ‘Hacks’ are rubber blocks that are fixed at each end of the sheet to give the person delivering the stone something to push against. Stones are provided at all curling rinks.
Curlers ‘sweep’ the ice in front of their team’s stones to melt the ice slightly using a curling brush. This helps the stone to travel further and can influence the direction. Sweeping also helps to clear any debris from the path of the stone. Brushes are available at curling rinks for general use.
Curling Delivery Stick
Delivery sticks allow stones to be delivered from a standing position or wheelchair and are available for those with mobility issues.
Curlers wear special shoes with one sliding sole to allow them to slide down the ice when delivering the stone. Flat rubber soled shoes or trainers are ideal for beginners as step on sliders are available at the curling rink.
To find the widest range of quality curling equipment and receive professional advice on what you need to get started, call British Curling Supplies on 01796 483750 or visit www.britishcurlingsupplies.co.uk
Curling is a game of skill and traditions that upholds the highest standards of sportsmanship.
A shot well played is a delight to see as is a game played in the true spirit of curling. Curlers play to win but never to humble their opponents.
Curling has always relied on the common sense, honesty and the good manners of the players and a sporting approach to the game.
While the main object of the game of curling is to determine the relative skill of the players, the spirit of curling demands good sportsmanship and honourable conduct.