Curling Tips

Vikingland Curling Club Handbook at: Click Here:

As you know curling is a gentlemen and ladies sport for gracious but serious competitors, as “curlers play to win, but never to humble their opponents”. Another well practiced tradition is called Broomstacking!
One of the greatest traditions in curling is broomstacking. The term refers to the social get-together after each game. Originally, curlers, after completing a curling game on the pond, would stack their brooms in front of the fire and enjoy beverages with the opponent. This tradition is still alive today and it is expected that you partake in broomstacking after every game. The custom dictates that the winners buy the losers the first round of drinks with each winner teammate member buying their counterpart the round.

Broomstacking and the Competitive Spirit –
There is also broomstacking at all competitive levels such as, national, and world championships. Although the focus of these competitive curling events is on determining a champion, the social expectation is still there. Even at the most competitive levels, teams will get together after the game for friendly discussion.

Make sure that your footwear is absolutely clean before stepping onto the ice. Bring a second clean pair of shoes with you. Again, think safety, wear shoes with soft rubber soles for maximum grip.

Always arrive at the ice on time and be prepared to start curling when the ice is ready.  Be ready to deliver your stone when your turn comes.  Never cross in front of another player when they are in the hack and about to play, or in front of a running stone.  Always stand still, at the side of the sheet, when an opponent is in the hack.  Do not move into the centre of the ice before or after the opposition stone has been played.  Allow the player and his team to see the shot.  Do not stand behind the house or inside the house unless you are the skip or acting skip.
Skips should stand behind the house when the opposition is delivering.  Never do anything, such as moving behind the opposition skip or talking across the hack, which might distract the opposition (or your own) player on the hack.
Do not damage the ice surface by banging your brush or resting your hand on the ice after your delivery.  If you are a sweeper and one of your team is in the hack then you should position yourself back in line with the player and to the side.  When your player begins his downswing you should start to move up the ice and be ready to sweep when necessary.  On the ice your skip is in charge – do not argue (at least until after the game!).  Curling games are traditionally started and finished by shaking hands.

Shot              Indicated by …
In-turn:          The clockwise turn that a thrower initiates on a rock during delivery.
Out-turn:       The counter-clockwise turn a thrower initiates on a rock during delivery.
Draw:            The Skip pointing with the brush to where your stone is to come to rest.
Takeout:        The Skip pointing with the brush to the stone to be removed.
Guard:           The Skip holding the brush shoulder-high and parallel to the ice.
Freeze:          This is similar to a draw with the stone coming to rest in front of and next to another rock.
Raise:            The Skip pointing with the brush to the stone to be moved, then to the spot it is to be moved to.
Hit & Roll:     The Skip pointing with the brush to the stone to be removed, then to the spot to which your stone is to run.
Sweeping:     The Skip’s call for sweeping is SWEEP or HURRY or YES or ON.  The Skip’s call to stop sweeping is WHOA or NO or OFF.
Weight:         The Skip will point to the back line if your stone is to be played at a weight to reach the back of the house, to the hack if it should be faster and the barrier for faster still.  Barrier weight shots may also be signalled by drawing a hand across the waist and a strike weight shot by touching the shoulder.
Stones in play: For an opponent’s stone the Skip will point to the stone with the brush and then will point outwards with the hand.  For your own stones the Skip will point inwards towards the chest.

1. ARRIVE ON TIME / START ON TIME. You should be on the ice, waiting at your assigned hack, minutes before your scheduled start time to flip a coin and shake hands.
2. Pay attention to the order of play. Known when your turn to throw is coming up!
3. When it is your turn to throw, get ready (put on your slider, pull out your rock, grab a stabilizer) while the person in front you is throwing their rock. As soon as the rock in front you has left the hack, you can get yourself situated and ready to throw. Aim to be ready to throw your rock before the rock in front of you has stopped moving.
4. Keep track of your slider! If you are using a slip-on slider, wear it on your arm or carry it in a pocket when not in use, rather than setting it on the ice.
5. The leads and seconds especially should play fairly quickly. Usually their shots are straightforward and don’t require a lot of strategy consideration. This leaves a bit more time to think about the potentially more difficult shots being called in the second half of the end.
6. Watch the clock. You should be playing one end approximately every 15 minutes.
7. SKIPS: think about and plan your next shot while the opposing skip has control of the house. When you take control of the house, pick a shot and call it decisively.
8. Resetting the rocks between ends takes a lot of time. It is not critical that they be lined up neatly in numerical order! If you are a team that likes to play this way, the leads should NOT HELP organize rocks. They should be getting ready to throw! There is much time wasted between ends on this activity and it really adds up.
9. SKIPS: make sure you call a mix of draws and takeouts, as appropriate to the strategic development of the end. If you call all draws all the time, your game will run slower than normal since draws take longer to travel down the ice than takeouts. This may not seem like it could make a big enough difference, but believe me it can!
10. Keep in mind that it is the Skip’s job to call the game. It is not necessary (and often considered bad etiquette) for all four players to congregate in the house to discuss every shot. Most Skips will engage their Thirds in strategy discussion at key points in the game, and every team should develop a communication style that works for them. Teams that fall into the habit of “strategy by full team consensus” are often known as slow playing teams since it takes a long time for all four players to be in agreement!

Warm-up properly before a game of curling, as this greatly reduces the risk of strain or stretch injury. Try to complete five warm-up slides prior to every game or practice.

Delivery Basics: ABC’s – Alignment, Balance and Curl. A balanced delivery will increase the curler’s alignment accuracy and give them more time determine weight of the stone’s delivery.

Progressive: Slide to Back line, Tee line, Top 12, Half with between top of house and hog line and then to the hog line. At the end of each slide, hold position for a count of three. Your Line of Delivery point your hack toe down the LOD. Step your slider foot into the line, slightly wide okay. Always keep your eyes on the LOD target.
Power: The ball of you hack foot should be high in the hack. Lift hips, bring hips back, keep hips lower than head.

Grip: High wrist with gentle 2nd knuckle hold.


1.    Be sure to bring your stone straight back to your hack foot toe, to aid in your line of delivery to aim directly at the broom.
2.    Keep your stone at the 10:00 o’clock or 2:00 o’clock position (depending on the turn called) until the last 3 feet of your slide, this is when you put the turn on your stone and bring the handle to the 12:00 o’clock position for your release.
3.    D0 NOT leave your hands or knees or any part of your body on the ice for an extended period of time. This causes a flat spot on the ice that will affect the rocks as they cross that area.

4. Ask questions: All experienced members of the club will be happy to answer any curling questions you may have.
5. Sweepers should judge the speed of the stone, the Skip should judge the line, communication of both speed and line is the KEY to executing a great shot.
6. Sweeping must be a back and forth motion (no snowplowing), and you cannot just lift your broom off the ice in front of the rock, this can drop debris in the rocks path. Lift to one side or the other when completing the sweeping motion. A stationary stone must be set in motion before any sweeping may occur.

7. It is a good habit to head out into the rink area at 15 minutes prior to game time to do your practice slides, the coin toss and shake hands so that the first rock can be thrown as soon as the ice is ready. This increases the chances you will finish 8 ends in the allotted time.

8. Always cool your slider down by sliding back and forth behind the hack prior to taking a practice slide out of the hack. This prevents wearing the pebble down in the house with a warm slider.

9. Behind the Tee line at the playing end, only one player from each team may sweep at any one time. If it is your own stone it can be any player, if it is an oppositions stone only the skip or vice skip may sweep. The front edge of the Stone must reach the Tee line before any sweeping can take place.

10. To pick up the speed of play, curlers should always be ready to throw when it is their turn to deliver and ready to sweep when another member of their team is delivering.

11. Only Skips and Thirds are allowed to stand in the house area, they should stand still, well back of the house, and ensure their brooms are held off the ice while their opposition is preparing to throw. Leads and Seconds should position themselves between the hog lines well to the side of the playing surface when their team is not delivering.

12. All curlers should remain outside the house area until the Thirds have agreed on the score. The Third on the scoring team is responsible for posting the score. The Lead on the scoring team should get prepared for their delivery while the remaining Lead, Seconds and Thirds push the rocks into the corners.

Vikingland Curling Club Handbook at: Click Here:

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