Curling Knowledge Base

Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area.

Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game, points being scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends.

The curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brushes who accompany it as it slides down the sheet, using the brushes to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. A great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve.

About the Sport

Curling has a long and rich history. While its origins are lost in the mists of time, Scottish curlers already were playing the game by the beginning of the 16th century on frozen ponds and lochs.

Their earliest equipment included stones formed by nature, each one unique. These stones often curved, or "curled," as they slid down the ice, and the players used besoms or brooms to clear snow and debris from the path of the stones.

Today, curling is a game of strategy, finesse and strength, contested by teams generally comprised of four players. The principle of curling is simple - get your stone closer the center of the target circles, called the "house," than your opponent. Players of all skill levels can participate and compete even at older ages than most sports allow.

Respect, honor and tradition are core elements of the game. Curlers are close knit and you can rely on a warm welcome in curling clubs throughout the world. Camaraderie among players is inherent in the sport and tradition calls for both teams to sit together after a game, discussing what was and what might have been.

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Curling Etiquette

  1. The game begins and ends with a handshake.
  2. The thirds decide who has hammer usually by flipping a coin.
  3. It is courtesy for non-throwing players to remain outside the hog line while the throwing player delivers.
  4. It is courtesy for non-throwing players not to congregate behind the opposing player who is holding the broom.
  5. Sweepers returning to the opposite end should walk single file rather than 2 by 2 so as not to block the view of the throwing players.
  6. It is polite to stop moving while a player is set to throw.
  7. Etiquette directs players to delay walking by another sheet until the throwing player facing you has released his/her rock.
  8. It is important to both call and furnish the opposing skip with plenty of notice if your team cannot make a game.
  9. The club should also be informed so free ice can be re-apportioned.
  10. A game can be played with 3 players each side. The club maintains a Spare List to make it easier to find a player.

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