Curling is a team sport in which stones are slid across a sheet of ice towards a target area. Teams of four compete to accumulate the most points, scored by sliding granite stones across the length of the ice and positioning them closest to the center of a painted target (the "house"). The trajectory and speed of the stone's movement is influenced by teammates sweeping the ice surface ahead of the stone with curling brooms. Curling involves a great deal of strategy in terms of selecting the right types of shots to make in order to outmaneuver the opposing team. The sport has been an official part of the Winter Olympics since 1998.

1,086 Questions

What do you put on your foot in curling?

You wear a "slider" made of teflon (or sometimes anodized metal). If you are right-handed, the slider goes on your left foot, or vice versa. Sliders come in a few different thicknesses of teflon. The thicker the teflon, the more slippery the slider, in general. A metall slider will also be very slippery, but these are not too common. Sliders are held onto the foot using an elastic band. Folks who choose curling as a serious hobby usually buy a pair of curling shoes, which has the slider built into the sole of the shoe, but comes with a rubber "gripper" that covers the slider and provides grip when the player wants grip.

How heavy are the curling stones?

Curling stones weigh between 38 and 44 pounds (17-20kg).

~Usually 42 lbs

How long is a curling court?

between 146-150 feet (45-46 m) in length by 14.5-16.5 feet (4.4-5.0 m) in width. The proper name for the playing surface is a curling "sheet." Also, the term "rink" actually refers to a curling team (for example, the Pete Fenson rink).

How many ends are played in curling?

It depends. In most league play and bonspiels (tournaments), games are 8 ends (which takes about two hours). In state/regional, national, and international championships (including the Olympics), games are 10 ends, with a 5-minutes breaker after the 5th end (these games take 2.5 to 2.75 hours).

What is the hammer in Olympic curling?

the last shot in an end

Having the last shot in an "end" (like curling's version of an inning) is an obvious advantage. Before a game starts, the teams flip a coin to see which team gets the hammer for the first end. After that, possession of the hammer is determined by scoring. The team that does not score in an end gets the hammer for the next end. If no one scores (this is called a "blank end"), then the hammer stays with whichever team currently has it. Having the hammer vs. not having the hammer is one of the largest deciding factors in strategy.

Is curling a team sport or an individual sport?

Curling is a team sport. It is played by 2 teams of 4 people each. See the link for more information:

What is the person that throws the stone in curling called?

All members of the curling team throw stones. Every end, they take turns throwing 2 stones each in the order of: Lead, Second, Third/Vice/Mate, Skip.

The person who is currently delivering their stone could be called the thrower.

How much does a granite curling stone weigh?

Most weigh around 42 lbs. They must be between 38 and 44 lbs per World Curling Federation rules.

When the skip throws does the lead hold the broom?

Usually the third holds the broom while the skip throws. That's why the third is also called the "vice skip." The third holds the broom because he or she is usually the next most experienced person on the team, after the skip.

Really, though, there aren't any rules about who must hold the broom, when. The lead could hold the broom the whole game (except when he's shooting, of course) if that's what the team wanted.

On some teams, the third might actually be better at "calling ice" (showing where to aim) or making sweeping calls, so they might have the third hold the broom throughout the game, instead of the skip.

What is the scoring area in curling called?

The rings at each end of the rink are called the "House".

Each ring has its own name too, referring to its width - the 12-foot, 8-foot, and 4-foot. At the center of the rings is a round circle called the "Button," and the point at the very center is called the pin.

One team scores in each end--the team with a rock closest to the pin. One point is scored for each rock the scoring team has in the house (or touching any part of it) that is closer than the other team's closest rock. For example, imagine that the red ream has four rocks in the 12-foot (the outmost ring) and yellow team has one rock on in the 4-foot and one rock in the 8-foot. Yellow scores two points, because they have the closest rock to the pin, and both of their two rocks are closer than the red team's nearest rock.

The rings are not like archery rings, where which ring you're in determines points values. They are simply there as a visual aid to help players judge which rocks are closer to the pin than others, which is all that matters for scoring. If it is difficult to tell which of two rocks is closer, a special measuring tool can be used to provide a ruling.

When the last rock has been thrown in an end, the "thirds" on each team agree on the score, then clear the rocks from the house.

If no team scores, it's called a "blank end."

What is the difference between a rock and a stone in curling?

No difference - just different names for the same thing. It's not uncommon to hear people switch between referring to them as either stones or rocks, since both terms are widely-used and interchangeable.

"Rock" is probably the more popular term in the U.S., while "stone" is probably more popular in Canada.

"Broom" and "brush" are also interchangeable. "Brush" is not used much in the U.S., more so in Canada. Neither term is really too fitting anymore, though, since most curling brooms are now made with a rough synthetic fabric covering a foam pad, rather than the more traditional horse hair or straw bristles.

Why do they sweep the ice in curling?

Sweeping the ice quickly can warm up the ice and create a thin film of water, which helps the rock to go farther and into the house (a.k.a. target). Sweeping also makes the rock curl less as it travels down the ice, allowing you to help a rock travel straighter if it looks like it will curl too much for the result you wanted.

How many people play curling?

Two teams of four players each. The positions are called lead, second, third (or vice skip), and skip. Each player throws two rocks.

In curling what is a bye?

1: see you later

2: Or more accurately...

It is just like a bye in any other sport. To create a 'standard' tournament without a bye you need a specific number of teams (think 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64...). When there is any other number of teams the chart or draw won't be able to "branch off" equally, resulting in some teams playing fewer games than others. When a team advances without having to play another team it is considered a 'bye'.

Why does Jennifer Jones switch jackets at world's curling championship?

That's easy. She, like any athlete, will change her normal team jacket to the Canadian Jacket. It is an honor to wear the maple leaf and represent Canada.

What does the hammer mean in curling?

it means that you throw your rock last in the end.

Where do they make curling stones?

Curling stones are made by two companies.

Kays of Scotland uses granite mined from Ailsa Craig, a small island off the west coast of Scotland.

Canadian Curling Stone Co. uses granite from Trefor quarry in Wales, U.K.

What are the positions in curling?





The lead throws the first two stones of an end.

The second throws the 3rd and 4th stones.

The vice skip (or "third") throws the 5th and 6th stones.

The skip throws the last two stones.

In addition, the skip acts as the team "captain" and strategist. The skip stands in the house (scoring) area and signals/tells the other players what shot should be thrown, and holds his broom where the shooter should aim.

While the skip is shooting his/her stones, the vice holds the broom in the house, hence the term "vice skip."

How do you figure winning percentage?

(number of wins) / (total number of games) = winning percentage. It is typically represented by three decimal places.

For example, if a team is 8-3, they have 8 wins in 11 (8+3) games. 8 / 11 = .727

In curling where the term hammer originate?

The word hammer comes from the Old English word hamor which in Germanic means "stone"

Where can you buy the norwegian Olympic curling team pants?

The pants are made by a company called Loudmouth Golf based out of Britain.

Here's a link to the red/blue/white pants:

Here's the more subdued red/white/grey pants they've worn in other games:

Both of those sites are for shipping to Europe, but you can go back to the main Loudmouth site for shipping to North America.

What do you call people who play curling?

People who play curling are known as 'curlers'.