Curling game rules – how to curl

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

CURLING

When it comes to winter Olympic sports, curling stands out. It may seem a bit peculiar, with all the sweeping, sliding on ice, and bowling. But don’t let that fool you, it’s actually one of the most strategic sports out there. While skiing, ice hockey, and figure skating often steal the spotlight, curling has been gaining popularity in recent years.

GETTING STARTED

The Rink

Curling is a game that takes place on a long strip of ice known as the “rink.” The rink is quite spacious, measuring about 15 feet wide and 145 feet long. Its surface is covered in frozen water droplets known as pebbles, which provide texture and grip to the ice. The rink has two targets on each end called the “houses,” and they are a whopping 114 feet away from each other.

If you take a closer look, you’ll notice a vertical center line running across the rink. On either side, 21 feet away from the center of the house, are the hog lines. And right through the center of the houses, you’ll find the tee line.

The Players

In a game of curling, there are two key roles that players take turns fulfilling. These roles include throwing the rocks and sweeping in front of them. Each team has four players, and everyone on the team gets a chance to throw at least one rock per round.

The Game in Action

Curling game rules - how to curl

When it comes to curling, the game is divided into ten ends. In each end, both teams take turns throwing eight rocks towards the house from the opposite end of the sheet. Once an end is finished, the teams switch sides and aim at the house on the other side of the sheet.

Throwing

During an end, players on a team alternate throwing rocks at the house. The objective is to get the rock as close to the center of the house as possible. There are various strategic approaches to throwing the rock, such as knocking the opponent’s rock out of the way, blocking the house with their own rock, or simply aiming for the center of the house.

Sweeping

When it comes to curling, the most fascinating element is definitely the sweeping. By sweeping the ice, players have the power to control the speed and direction of the rock. The pebbled surface of the ice is what makes sweeping so influential on the rock’s movement. You can have one to three players sweeping at the same time, either to slow down the rock or to make slight adjustments to its path.

SCORING

During each round, only one team has the opportunity to score. The team that has their stone closest to the center, also known as the “button,” receives one point. In addition, the winning team earns extra points for every rock they have in the house that is closer to the button than the opposing team’s closest rock. If none of the rocks end up inside the house, no team scores any points.

THE HAMMER

When it comes to curling, the hammer is a crucial element. It’s like the final throw of each round, and it gives your team a great advantage. You see, the team that wins a round doesn’t get the hammer in the next one – it goes to the other team. In simpler terms, if a team fails to score in a round, they get the hammer in the following round. But there’s one exception: if both teams fail to score, the team that had the hammer last gets to keep it.

The End of the Game

Once ten rounds have been played, the team with the highest overall score wins. In curling, there are no ties. So, if the game is tied after ten rounds, the teams will keep playing until one team manages to score more points than the other.

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