Curling is an ice game where the objective is to place a stone in a circle at the opposite end of the curling sheet. The team that is closest to the center of the circle after all stones have been played scores points. When the stone is played by the curler, its trajectory can be further changed by the players by swiping. It is also allowed to push /take out others team stones outside the circle called “house”.
The curling field (called sheet) is a flat, smooth area of ice 45-46 m long and 4.4-5 m wide. There is a “house” at each end of the sheet – a circular target consisting of several circles, an outer circle with a radius of 1.83 m , a center circle with a radius of 1.22 m and an inner circle with a radius of 0.61 m.
Curling is played with sixteen stones, eight for each team. The stones weigh between 17.24 and 19.96 kg, are at least 11 cm high with a maximum circumference of 91 cm, and have a handle attached to the top. They are made of granite and the handles are usually red and yellow.
Sweepers, who follow a stone across the ice, use brushes – usually made of carbon, fiberglass or wood (there is no limit upon the material it is made of). The brush is finished with a head made of synthetic material or horsehair.
Players wear curling shoes, which are basically similar to standard athletic shoes, except that the sole of one of the shoes is coated with a thin layer of Teflon or other smooth surface material to allow for sliding. Left-handed players wear a slippery sole on their right shoe, and right-handed wear a slippery sole on their left shoe. The bottom of the second shoe is covered with a thin layer of rubber to increase traction. In addition, a rubber shoe cover with a smooth surface is used to help the player maintain balance on the ice. This is recommended during brushing, where the player must stand firmly on both feet.
A curling team consists of four people: the first (lead), the second, the third, and the fourth who is usually the captain of the team (skip) – this is not the rule though. Skip, decides on strategy being played during the game. He is the only one who can stay inside the house and sweep the opponent’s stones. While the skip is delivering his stones, his duties are taken over by the vice-ski, who is usually third.
Curling game (match) consists of 8 or 10 single games (called ends). Each player delivers two stones, alternately with members of the opposing team. In the event of a tie, further ends are played until a winner is determined.
Playing a stone means releasing a stone before it passes a so called hog line. The release of the stone is made during a slide. The player pushes himself off from a special rubber block that is a support for the foot. Once the stone is released, its movement cannot be interfered, only sweeping is possible. A stone must cross the second offside line (hog line on the other side of the curling sheet) to be counted as in play. Otherwise, it is removed from the playing field.
Free Guard Zone
This is the zone between the offside line (hog line) and the house. Any stone placed in this area cannot be knocked out of play until the first 5 stones have been played.
Sweeping is important for two reasons. First, it allows the stone to travel a greater distance and, secondly, its path is less curved. Any stone moving to the house may be swept by one or more players of the team, to which the stone belongs. When the stone passes the center of the house, only one player from the team is entitled to sweep, in addition, a skip or vice-ski of the opposing team can sweep the stone.
A team scores one point for each of its stones that is closer to the center of the house than the closest to the center opponent’s stone. Only stones within a house can score. Only one team scores. In the event that at the end of the round it is impossible to determine which team’s stone is closer to the center of the house, or no stone is within the house area, then the round ends in a 0-0 draw.
spirit of curling
Curling is a game of skill and of traditions. A shot well executed is a delight to see and so, too, it is a fine thing to observe the time-honoured traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game. Curlers play to win but never to humble their opponents. A true curler would prefer to lose rather than win unfairly.
A good curler never attempts to distract an opponent or otherwise prevent him from playing his best. No curler ever deliberately breaks a rule of the game or any of its traditions. But, if he should do so inadvertently and be aware of it, he is the first to divulge the breach.
While the main object of the game of curling is to determine the relative skill of the players, the spirit of the game demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honourable 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.
The above rules apply to the basic version for teams of four.
For mixed pairs, wheelchair curling, and more detailed curling rules, see the link below.