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Curling Equipment
Fouls and misconduct Glossary

Curling area

The curling area


Objective: Two teams of four players deliver round stones across a length of ice to a marked target area (house). One point is scored for each stone inside the house and closer to the centre (tee) than the opponent's stone.

A match is usually played for ten ends. An end is where each team has delivered all their stones from one end of the ice. Both teams deliver from the other direction for the next end. If there is a tie, another end is played to decide a winner.



Each team has four members. The lead, number two, number three, and the skip (captain). The skips agree by lot which team will deliver the first stone. Each team member has two stones, which are delivered alternately with the opponents.

For example, Lead on Team A delivers a stone, then lead on Team B, then Team A.

The skips decide the order that their team plays in, and the team plays in this order for the entire match. After each end, the team winning the previous end will start the next one.

An end is started when the first player is on the hack and the skip is in position. Behind the circles are hacks (or crampits), which are rubber or metal covered footholds from which players deliver their stones.

Curling area diagram

A - Foot line
B - Back line
C - Sweeping line
D - Hog line

Each player must deliver the stone from the hack and release it before they cross the hog line.

After a stone is delivered the delivering side may sweep the ice up to the sweeping line at the end the stone is going to. Opposing skips may sweep behind the sweeping line. Sweeping is directed by the skips and is always side to side.

No swept ice should be left in the path of a moving stone. Any stone that does not pass the hog line is removed, unless it has struck another stone. A team may to knock or push opposing stones aside with their own stones; in fact this is part of the skill of curling.

The purpose of sweeping the ice is to remove any frost or moisture from the path of the stone. This makes the stone move straighter and further.

Stone rules

- No stone may be substituted for another once the match has started, unless broken.

- If a stone breaks, play continues with the largest piece. Another stone would be used for the remainder of the match.

- Any stone that finishes on its side or upside down is removed from the ice.

- If the handle comes out of a stone during delivery, the shot may be replayed.

Fouls and misconduct

There is an umpire to oversee the measuring after each end, and to see that the rules are kept to. Dress for the players is usually fairly informal, although rubber soled shoes or boots are usually worn. Gloves are optional. Spiked shoes, or footwear which could damage the ice, are not allowed, as players will slide along the ice when they sweep.

Any team not having four players is disqualified. If there is illness or an accident during a match, the lead will play the extra stones.

If a stone is played from the wrong hack, it is removed from the ice.

If a player delivers out of turn, the stone is stopped and returned to that player.

If a player touches a moving stone of their own team, the stone is removed from the ice. If a stone is touched by a member of the opposing team, it is placed in a position decided by the non-offending teams skip.


The ice

The ice area for curling is 42 metres (46 yards) long, with the two houses (targets) being 34 meters (38 yards) apart. The area is 4.27 metres (4.6 yards) wide. The houses are a total of 3.66 metres (12 feet) across at the blue circle, with the outer white circle 2.44 metres (8 feet) across, and the red circle 1.22 metres (4 feet) across.

The stones

The stones are rounded and no more than 91 centimetres (3 feet) in circumference, and at least 11.5 centimetres (4.5 inches) high. They should not weigh more than 20 kilograms (44 pounds) including the handle and bolt. They are concave on the top and underneath. The handle is on the top and goes through the centre hole with the bolt.

The brushes or brooms are made of corn straw, nylon, flagged polypropylene, or horsehair.


Dolly - a kind of wooden post, like a skittle, used in some countries to mark the tee.

Hacks - the footholds behind the circles the players stand in to deliver their stones.

House - the target at each end of the ice.

Rink - the name for a curling team. For example, the winning rink.

Tee - the centre of the house.

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