Terms & Play

Games begin with a coin toss to determine which team will throw first the first end, after which, the winner of the preceding end will shoot first. Each player shoots or delivers two stones each end alternately with his or her counterpart on the opposing team.

A twist of the handle on release makes the stone curl. All four team members shoot two stones an end and sweep for their teammates' shots. While one player shoots, two sweep as needed. The skip plans the strategy for the game.

The object of shooting is to get the stone to come to rest at a predetermined place or to move a rock from the opposing team. The score is determined after each end. To score, stones must be closer to the tee or center than the opposing stone. The team with the most points after 10 ends wins.

Curling Equipment and Language

Bonspiel: A curling tournament.
Broom: It is specially designed for use on ice. The broom is used by the sweepers to sweep the ice in front of the rock as it is traveling. The faster the sweepers sweep the ice in front of the rock, the less the rock will curl. A broom is also used by the skip to give directions to the thrower.
Button: The mouse inside circle in the house.
Curl: The curve the stone makes as it travels the ice.
End: During each end, or inning, all 16 rocks must be thrown. The score is tallied after each end.
Hack: The starting block.
Hammer: The last stone to be thrown in each end.
Hog Line: The thrower must release the rock before he or she reaches the hog line when delivering. The rock must cross the hog line at the other end of the ice in order to stay in play.
House: The circular scoring area, made of four circles within each other. It is shaped like a bull’s-eye. There is one on both ends of the ice.
Pebble: Water droplets applied to the ice to reduce the resistance between the ice and the stone.
Rock or Stone: It’s shaped like a tea kettle, weighs 38.2 pounds and is made from granite quarried on Ailsa Craig Island in Scotland. Each team has eight.
Slider: Synthetic material put on a shoe in order to make it slide during delivery.
Tee: The center of the bull’s-eye. The team with the rock closest to the tee is the team that scores during the end.

The Team

Lead: The first player to deliver.
Second: The second player to deliver.
Vice Skip: The third player to deliver and he or she holds the broom as a target when the skip throws.
Skip: The team leader. He or she delivers the last two stones and calls all the shots for his or her team.

Curling - International History

The tradition of curling began in 16th century Scotland when the Scots played outdoors on frozen ponds and lochs. Early curling equipment included curling stones formed by nature and each one was different. The stones often curved or curled as they slid across the ice, which led to the name curling. Brooms were used to clear snow from the path of the stones.

Scottish immigrants brought the game to North America in the 18th century and by 1955 there were clubs throughout Canada and the Northern United States. With standardized equipment and modern refrigeration, the game evolved into what it is now: a game of finesse and precision.

The curling season runs through March. The game is played in most European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States. Curling is also an Olympic sport.