Story: Ice sports

An indoor curling sheet

An indoor curling sheet

This diagram shows an indoor curling sheet. The target (called the house) is circular, surrounded by three coloured rings, which are known as the 4-foot, 8-foot and 12-foot rings because of their diameters. Throwers push against the hack (a rubber-lined hole) when lunging forward to deliver a curling stone. The thrower usually slides forward across the ice, still holding the handle of the stone. The stone must be released before its front edge crosses the near hog line, and must clear the far hog line, but needs to come to rest before the back line behind the rings.

Sweeping in front of the stone decreases friction under the stone and limits the 'curl' (rotation) of the stone, so the stone will travel further and straighter. Two of the thrower's teammates are allowed to sweep anywhere on the ice up to the far tee line. Beyond that point, one player from the thrower's team and one from the opposite team are allowed to sweep the stone.

Stones are placed carefully for strategic reasons and there are different types of shots. 'Draws' are thrown to reach the house. 'Guards' are placed in front of the house in the free-guard zone, often to protect the stone closest to the house. 'Takeouts' are thrown to hit and remove stones from play.

Points are scored for each end according to the closeness of stones to the centre of the house. The eventual winner of the game is the team with most points.

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Source: World Curling Federation

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Ice sports - Curling', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 12 August 2022)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Jan 2016