Curling Info

Ice etiquette

Curling has always been known for the prevalence of good sportsmanship among its members as well as for the friendly courteous rivalry that exists on the ice. While most of the courtesies suggested below will not be found in rule books, they are practiced by all curlers who understand the true spirit and traditions of curling.

  1. It is imperative that you be ready to go on the ice prior to your scheduled game time. Remember, seven others are waiting on you.
  2. Never go onto the ice without first cleaning your boots on the mats provided for this purpose. Dirt tracked onto the ice by players impedes the running of the stones.
  3. It is everyone's responsibility to keep their sheet of ice clean and free of loose broom straws, lint, etc. However, it is unlawful to remove any foreign object from beneath a moving stone or from one that has come to rest.
  4. Begin and end every curling game with a hearty handshake of friendship and goodwill to both teammates and opponents.
  5. Be ready to throw your stone immediately after your opponents stone has been delivered, making sure it has been wiped clean.
  6. Do not move about or talk while anyone else is delivering their stone.
  7. Each Skip should let the other three members of his/her team know what he/she is planning to do prior to delivering stones. In other words, let them in on the strategy.
  8. Sweepers should be on the sidelines - alert and ready to sweep immediately, if called upon; and they must stay with the stone all the way to the house sweeping or not. They must return to the area between the two hog lines and remain on the sidelines until a member of their rink is again ready to throw.
  9. The expression of "Ice!" is similar to "Fore!" in golf and means you are blocking the path of a stone or view of a curler and you should move to the side of the ice.
  10. No food or beverages are allowed on the ice.
  11. Skips and Thirds should keep their brooms behind them in the house and stand still while opponents are throwing.
  12. No one should deliberately delay the game.
  13. If you have personally fouled a moving stone, be the first one to so declare and it will be removed from the ice immediately.
  14. If you have personally moved a stationary stone, say so immediately so that it may be replaced (put into original position) to the satisfaction of the opposing Skip.
  15. Please review and learn all the current Curling Rules, paying particular attention to the specific duties of your position.
  16. Skips should stress to their team constant instruction throughout the season, including the points of ice etiquette.
  17. Congratulate opposing players, as well as members or your own rink, when they have made a good shot. Never, by word or deed, be guilty of any action that would embarrass a player who has missed a shot.


BACK LINE The line across the back of the house. Stones that completely cross this line are not in play.

BITER A stone touching, but not fully in the house.

BLANK END A scoreless end- no stones resting in the house.

BONSPIEL A tournament among a number of curling teams.

BROOM A sweeping devise made of corn straw, animal hair, or synthetic material used in a swinging or scrubbing motion.

BURNED STONE A stone that is touched by a player or his equipment, usually during sweeping. Players touching a stone must notify skips immediately.

BUTTON The scoring circle in the exact center of the house, measuring one foot in diameter.

CENTER LINE A line running down the middle of the sheet of ice.

CURLING GLOVES Gloves designed specifically for curling to keep hands warm while providing maximum sensitivity. May be insulated or not.

CURLING SHOES Insulated shoes designed to keep feet warm while providing a smooth, even contact surface between a curler’s feet and ice. Most have the slider built into the shoe.

DRAW 1. A played stone which comes to rest in the house 2. a schedule of curling games to be played (draw sheet/draw time)

EIGHT FOOT The scoring circle in the house, which is 8 feet in diameter

END The alternate playing of 16 stones in one direction by opposing teams; a game consists of 8 or 10 ends.

FALL Slanted ice that causes a stone to move in a sideways direction opposite to the thrown turn.

FOUR FOOT The scoring circle in the house, which is 4 feet in diameter.

FREE GUARD ZONE The area from hog line to tee line excluding the house. No stones in this area may be removed from play until after the fourth stone of the end comes to rest.

FREEZE A played stone which stops against the face of another stone.

GUARD A stone positioned in such a manner as to protect another stone, or potentially provide protection for a stone played later in the end.

HACK A foot hold in the ice from which the person delivering the stone pushes off.

HAMMER Slang term for last rock advantage in an end.

HEAVY A stone delivered with more than the desired weight (traveling too quickly).

HEAVY ICE An ice condition where more effort is required to move the stone down the ice. Also referred to as "slow ice".

HOG LINE A line on the ice 33 feet from the back line.

HOGGED STONE A delivered stone that does not completely cross the farther hog line - it must be removed from play, unless it has made contact with a stone already in play.

HOUSE The scoring area of concentric circles, the outermost being 12 feet in diameter. There is one house at each end of the sheet of ice.

IN-TURN The hand and arm action which causes the stone to rotate - for a stone delivered by a right-handed player, a clockwise spin is imparted to the stone; a left-handed player imparts a counter clock-wise spin.

KEEN ICE An ice condition where the stone draws to the tee line with less effort by the player. Also referred to as "fast ice".

LAST ROCK The advantage gained by the team throwing the last stone in an end. Determined in the first end by a coin toss, or predetermined in the draw. In later ends, the team that scored in one end throws the first stone in the next end, giving the opponents the last rock advantage.

LEAD The player who throws the first two stones for his/her team each end.

LIGHT A stone delivered with less than the desired weight (traveling too slowly).

NARROW A delivered stone that is thrown "inside" the target line from the hack area to the skip's broom.

OUT-TURN The hand and arm action which causes a stone to rotate - for a stone delivered by a right-handed player, a counter clock-wise spin is imparted; a left handed player imparts a clock-wise spin.

PEBBLE Water droplet sprinkled on the ice surface prior to the game. Once frozen, they become the surface over which the stones glide.

SLIDER A slick piece of Teflon or metal worn underneath the sliding foot while delivering a stone.

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