Curling 101

February 11, 2020

Curling has a rich history in Canada, and in Saskatchewan, but it can seem a bit intimidating if you aren’t familiar with the sport, the rules, or the players. If you want to show up to the arena looking like a pro, follow these tips and you’ll be an expert in no time!

Curling rock in the house
  1. Know the ice!
    • The length of curling ice is called a sheet.
    • The bull’s eye target is called the house. There is one at either end of a sheet.
    • Each ring in the house has a name: the button (the smallest inner circle), the 4-foot, 8-foot, and 12-foot. The button is in the center and the team with rocks closest to the button score points when an end is over.
    • There are lots of lines on the ice, but the most important is the thick line about 15 feet in front of each house. This is called the Hog line. Players needs to release the rock they are throwing before they cross the one at the near end, and the rock needs to pass it at the far end to be in play.
  2. Know your curling lingo! Curlers have a lot of unique language. Here are some of the basics:
    • End – Like an inning in baseball, when both teams have thrown all their rocks the end is over. Competitive games, like the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, have 10 ends.
    • Draw – throw a shot that ends up in the house.
    • Take Out/Hit – throw a shot that removes an opponent stone from play.
    • Hard/Hurry Hard – called to let the sweepers know they need to sweep a rock.
    • Woah/Right Off – called to let the sweepers know to stop sweeping a rock.
    • Hammer – the team who gets to throw the last rock of the end has the hammer.
    • Blank End – this is what happens when neither team scores a point in an end.
  3. Know the team! There are 4 positions on a curling team, each with its own responsibilities.
    • The Lead – throws 1st and 2nd rocks for the team, then sweeps the rest.
    • The Second – sweeps Lead stones, throws 3rd and 4th rocks for the team, then sweeps the rest.
    • The Third – sweeps Lead and Second stones, throws 5th and 6th rocks for the team, then holds the broom at the far end while the skip throws.
    • The Skip –the Skip calls the shots for each player to throw, and throws the 7th and 8th rocks for the team.

Now that you’ve got a handle on the basics, head to Moose Jaw Ford Curling Center and check out the Scotties Tournament of Hearts February 15 – 23.

Still at the rink and looking for a great meal after the game? Use the Mysask411 App to find the best places to eat in Moose Jaw!

-Joanne Thompson is a Business Requirements & Process Planner at Directwest.