Curling 101

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.

Come join us.

A 2 Minute Guide to Curling


Curling Etiquette


Start with a handshake. At the beginning of the game, greet the members of the opposing team with a handshake, tell them your name, and wish them “Good Curling”.

Finish with a handshake. When the game is over, offer each of the players a hearty handshake and move off the ice. The winning curlers traditionally offer their counterparts some refreshments.

Keep the ice clean. Change your shoes. Sand, grit and dirt are the ice’s worst enemy. The shoes you wear should only be used for curling. Keep them clean.

Compliment good shots, no matter which team makes them. Respect your opponent.

Be ready. Take your position in the hack as soon as your opponent has delivered his/her stone. Keep the game moving; delays detract from the sport.

Be prepared to sweep as soon as your teammate releases the rock.

After delivering your stone, move to the side of the sheet between the “hog “ lines, unless you are the skip. Leads and seconds are not permitted in “house” or “rings”, except when sweeping or to remove the stones after the count has been determined by the vices.

Be courteous. Don’t distract your opponent in the hack. Sweepers should stay on the sidelines between the hog lines when not sweeping.

Place your skip’s rock in front of the hack to help speed up the game.

All games on the ice should run approximately the same time. Therefore, if your game is an end or two behind all other games you should pick up the pace. Each player should be ready to deliver their rock when their skip puts down the broom.



January 8, 2020 - PCC Wed Afternoon Ladies Curling Presentation – Team Dynamics, Etiquette and Basic Strategy

Team Positions/Dynamics:

  • Lead – Sets up the End; Outcome of Leads rocks determine End; Supportive teammate; Core Sweeper
  • Second – Variety of Shots; More Aggressive Shots; Clean-up Person; Heavier Take-outs; Core Sweeper
  • Third – Skills to throw every Shot; Good Strategy; House management; Anticipate Line Calls; Well-rounded player
  • Skip – Calm Leadership; Strategic direction of Team ability; Shots under Pressure; Maybe not best shooter
  • Communication: ALL members advise weight of rock for Skip; In fact – a Skip should have at least five shots in their head per Rock being thrown (actual shot, weight light, weight heavy, inside target, outside target).
    Skip will indicate Preferred Shot but could also offer “back up shot” i.e. (light, heavy, inside, outside)
  • Players Ability: Skips should adjust to their players preferred take out weight (can’t throw heavy weight, then avoid calling). Throwers avoid changing take-out weight unless Skip advises. Team with All Players throwing “same take out weight” a huge advantage. All Players try other positions  – great way to learn the ice, learn the game, know ability under pressure.
  • Sweeping: Stronger sweeper next to rock (80/20); Sweep in front of Rock; Skips stay in house for line calls-don’t sweep! Third sweeper does nothing to help the rock. Both Sweepers talk about weight and outside Sweeper relay to Skip. Directional.
    Only ONE player per team can sweep behind T-Line (decide own rock or opposition rock). When Opposition Throwing - Only Skip/Vice-Skip can sweep opposition rock behind the T-Line. Delivering Team has “first right” to sweep own rock behind T-line.

Basic Key Etiquette:

  • 1) Be ready to throw. 2) Leads do not put rocks away. 3) Skips ready to call shot. 4)When Team ready to throw - Opposition players remain quiet, single file, side of the sheet and between Hog lines until rock released. 5) All players remain outside the house until the Thirds agree on score. 6) Can only measure with a Measuring Device and no brooms. 7) Clean grippers/brooms.
    8) Burnt Rocks – between Hoglines, the Rock is removed. AFTER Hogline, offending team advises burnt, let rock continue and the non-offending team determines where to place rock  e. removed/rocks replaced OR place where rock may have finished OR leave as is.

Basic Strategy:

  • Four Types of Shots – Draw, Hit, In-turn and Out-turn.
  • Major Factors for strategy and shot selection –End of Play; Score; Who has Last Rock Advantage; Teammates and Opponents Abilities; Free Guard Zone Rule; Ice conditions; Number of Rocks already played.
  • Team’s Ability - Only as good as the shots that can or are made; Also other Team’s ability.
  • Offensive - Encourages rocks in play – Guards, Draws behind guards and Freezes. Trying to score points. Can give up points.
  • Defensive – Discourages rocks in front of the house - Draws into the house, tap backs, takeouts – trying to prevent opponent from scoring points but can also limit own team scoring.
  • With Last Rock/Hammer - Keep Rocks away from Centre; direct play to sides of sheet; go around Guards
  • Without Last Rock/Don’t have Hammer - Rocks towards Centre, blocking path to button 
  • Leading in the Game - Rocks in the House or through (Guards become “Friends” for Opposition)
  • Behind in the Game - Guards, Freezes (Open Rocks in the House can be removed)
  • Free Guard Zone – Five-rock rule - can MOVE opponents rock just not out-of-play. Can REMOVE your own rock from play.
  • Ice Conditions – What is the ice telling you? Is ice heavy, keen, curling, straight? If curling, go around guards. If not, bump up guards. Ice might be heavy if sections of the sheet haven’t been used – teammates to remind. End of game or other games finished, ice might get heavier due to frost build-up or pebble breaking down.
  • Ice Reading - Players to their best ability “Hit the Broom and Throw the Weight”. Easier for Skip to adjust future shots. Might be wrong ice, wrong shot but don’t know until thrown and seen.

All Players should watch their shot from start to finish but move immediately to the sideboards. You learn the ice too and how did your rock react to the Skip’s call. Avoid watching Opposition rocks, as too time consuming. Avoid Opposition gets same shot.


Link for the 83-page Discover Curling downloadable manual

Link to download the Discover Curling – Getting Started in Curling for Adults Instruction Videos

Link for Stick Curling video



Here are some basic curling tips for curlers of all skill levels courtesy of; Curl up With Jamie Sinclair

Tip #1 Balance

Tip #2 Sweeping

Tip #3 Broom Position

Tip #4 How to Score

Tip #5 Reading the Scoreboard

Tip #6 Stance in the Hack

Tip #7 The Slide

Tip #8 Grip and Release

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04 Aug 2020;
08:00AM - 05:00PM
Bottle Drive
26 Aug 2020;
06:00PM - 09:00PM

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