Ninh explains: The Rules of Curling
Curling is a Scottish sport that is now played internationally and at the Winter Olympics. The game is played with two teams with 4 players taking to the ice at any one time. There is one reserve player in case of injury. The object of the game is for your team to score more points than the opposing team. To score, a player will push a 44lb granite stone (otherwise known as a curling rock) down a sheet of pebbled ice towards a circular target known as a ‘house’. The middle of the house is known as the ‘button’. The ice is 46m long and 5m wide and each house is roughly 34m apart. Hoglines are 21ft away from the button and the hacks are 12 feet behind the button. The ice surface is not smooth – it has a pebbled surface that is created to enable the stones to curl. Each player is given two stones and players from both teams take it in turns to push their stones down the ice towards the button. They start from the hack and methodically push the stones in a controlled manner. Players must let go of the stones before reaching the hog line.
Any stones that touch the sides or goes past the house are disqualified from play. To score in curling, your stones need to be in the house and only the team closest to the button actually scores. They get one point for being the closest to the button, and they score one additional point for every stone that is closer to the center of the button than any opponent stone. In this example, red scores 3 points as three of their stones are closer than the nearest yellow stone. In this example, red only scores 1 point as only one of their stones is closer to the button than the nearest yellow stone. Curling is referred to as ‘chess on ice’ and there’s a lot of strategy involved. The players must throw the stones in a specific order. The first two stones are thrown by the Lead (or the first). These players usually have perfect weight and can place a stone exactly where they want them in the house The second two stones are thrown by the second These players usually throw stones short of the house to get in the way of the opponent and causing blocks to guard their own stones.The third two stones are thrown by the thirds These players are highly skilled in removing (or taking out) opponent’s stones whilst trying to leave their own stones in play. The last two stones are usually thrown by the four otherwise
known as the skip or skipper. The skip is the captain of the team and is generally the best overall player. They are responsible for playing the last two stones and for trying to score as many points as possible. So erm … what’s with all the sweeping? As earlier mentioned, the ice surface is not smooth. The surface is covered with frozen water droplets known as pebbles. You can affect the speed and direction of the curling rocks by sweeping the pebbles on the ice surface. Without going into too much detail, this means that you can effectively steer a 44lb block of granite down a sheet of ice to land on an area the size of a toilet. Up to three players can sweep the ice in front of a curling rock, but it must not be touched by the broom or by their feet. The skip generally shout instructions to other team mates as to how hard to sweep the ice in order to get the shot required. Once all eight stones have been thrown, this is known as an end. A new end then begins play from the other side of the ice. A curling game is played over 10 ends. Highest score after 10 ends, wins. There are no ties in Curling, so if the scores are tied after 10 ends extra ends will be played to determine the winner. That’s basically curling in a nutshell but there’s a few other things you’ll need to understand before playing or watching a game. For example: The Hammer. As you can probably tell, it’s an advantage to throw the last stone in curling. This last stone is known as The Hammer and is usually thrown by the skip. Once a team scores the hammer will go to the other team in the next end. If there is no score at the end of an end, the Hammers is retained by the same team. Strategically some players will intentionally not score in order to retain the hammer. Burning a stone, or burnt rock. As earlier mentioned, you are not allowed to touch a rock with your broom or your feet. If this happens, the opposing skip can decide whether or not to to disqualify the stone and remove it from play, leave the stones as they are or reset the stones and make them play that shot again. It is considered good sportsmanship to admit to any burnt rock and extremely bad sportsmanship to burn a rock and not admit to it. Conceding If a team believes they have no realistic chance of winning, they can concede the game and end the game early. A team may concede any time after the 6th end. Measure. If there is a dispute between teams as to who is closest to the button either team can request a measure. An official will come out with a measuring device and find out for sure which stone is closest to the button. The official will usually push away the stone that is not closest to the button, leaving the closest stone on the ice. Time Clock. In the sport of Curling you only have
seventy three minutes in which to complete all your shots If you have not started your final shot by
the times 73 minutes has expired you automatically lose the game. Now that’s a lot to take in, but as you watch or play curling the rules become clear. If you found this
video helpful please like, comment, share and subscribe. It takes me ages to make one of these things and good karma is very much appreciated. Be sure to follow me on twitter also – but in the meantime, enjoy Curling. Ninh Ly, www.ninh.co.uk, @NinhLyUK