Curling 101


  1. Pre-game
    1. The team should identify who’s going to play 1st,2nd, 3rd, & Skip
    2. It’s good to introduce yourself to the other team, shake hands, say “good curling” or something (tickle them? Probably not)
    3. The 3rd will flip a coin with the other team – whoever wins will typically choose the hammer in the first end, the other team gets to pick the color of their stones
  2. General in-game
    1. Be prepared to throw your stone – if you’re next to throw, gather your stone, be ready to throw asap when it’s your turn (goal is 15 minute ends = just under 2 minutes per stone)
    2. To help keep the game moving, it’s polite to get the next player’s stone ready to go too
  3. Sweeping
    1. Sweepers are in charge of calling the speed – the skip and the thrower are in charge of watching the line (trajectory)
    2. Good for both sweepers to agree who will be sweeping closer to the stone
    3. Walking out with the stone when it’s delivered, from around the tee-line (center of the house) isn’t a terrible idea as long as you can keep up, it gives you an extra second to gauge how fast it’s going. Some folks await the stone at the Hog Line (the front of the box). Some folks use a timer … cool.
    4. If you touch the stone while sweeping, stop the stone, look embarrassed and apologize to your team for “burning” the stone – it happens. If, after you burn the stone, it hits something, try to replace the moved stone/s as best you can with agreement from the other team
    5. Understand your signals – it’s loud on the ice
    6. SWEEP
      1. HARD – sweep harder and faster
      2. OFF (off, off, off, off, off) – stop sweeping
      3. NEVER – don’t even think about sweeping
      4. Hand signal from the skip (If you look) – horizontal hand wave – stop sweeping
      5. SWEEP FOR LINE – it’s on line, keep sweeping hard to try and keep the stone going straight, don’t worry about speed (sort of)
      6. LET IT CURL – don’t sweep, the stone needs to curl
  4. Throwing (delivering the stone)
    1. At its simplest, it’s about three things:
      1. Aim – where you throw
      2. Speed – how hard you throw
      3. Curl – which way you curl (spin the stone)
    2. Process
      1. Be ready – get stone, slider and stabilizer ready to roll
      2. Ground yourself with your backfoot on the hack, get the slider and stabilizer in place
      3. Clean the bottom of the stone, away from where you’re going to deliver it from so the mung doesn’t end up back on the bottom of the stone (clean shoes – less mung)
      4. AIM – point foot on hack at the skip’s broom (probably put foot higher on the hack too), line up stone with your hack-foot big toe, EYES UP
      5. SPEED – push off the hack, stay long and low (lower = less tippy, long = more accurate, faster) – don’t contract your body until after you’ve released the stone – stay long and low, try to keep your ice contact as your slider foot with the majority of your weight, a bit of balance on your back foot toe and the stabilizer (barely). How hard to push off the hack? You’ll likely end up being too slow on the first throws, push off harder, release the stone earlier. Eventually, you’ll start to be able to release later and have more speed control
      6. CURL – know which way you’re curling the stone before you push off, gentle spin of stone while releasing from hand (no curl = a stone that will curl one way or another, later – not controlled). See the hand signals.
    3. Signals
      1. Stirring the pot – skip shows about where they want the stone to end up
      2. Broom lined up with skip – where to aim the stone, hopefully, with the curl, it’ll end up where the pot was stirred
      3. Arm out to one side or another – curl it the way of the signal (clockwise - it’ll go right, counter-clockwise – it’ll go left) – note that some Canadians’ signals are reversed.
      4. Hammering, throwing the hair back – throw it hard!
      5. Hand at chest or neck – throw pretty hard, get the stone to lay in the back of the house
      6. Hand at middle (or Tee line mentioned) – middle of the house
      7. Hand at knees or lower – throw lightly – high house, guard
      8. Arms crossed = blocker
      9. On the broom, sliding the two hands together = freeze, get the stone to almost or just barely hit the target stone, snuggle up to the stone
  5. Scoring
    1. The Thirds (Vice-skips) are in charge of scoring – everyone else should clear out of the house and let the Thirds decide the score for the end
    2. Options if the thirds can’t decide
      1. Get a bystander to make the call
      2. Get the measuring device
        1. Agree the center hole where the measurer is placed (ideally this is drilled out before the game starts
        2. Position the sensor, touching one of the stones, with some pressure on it – 1?
        3. Move the sensor to the other stone and see if it’s closer or not, if the pressure sensor is higher …
  6. Post Game
    1. Shake hands, good curling …
    2. Help clean up, put stones away, ...