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Curling: official game rules briefly

Curling is a team sport that takes place on an ice field. Two teams compete in the duel, the participants of which must launch special heavy granite shells along the ice path towards the marked target. The curling shell is called a “stone”, and the marked target area is called a “home”.

The main governing organization in this sport is the World Curling Federation (WCF), which is headquartered in the Scottish city of Perth. The WCF includes more than 60 national associations, as well as regional associations, such as the European (ECF) and Pacific Asia (PACF) federations. The countries of the Americas are members of the WCF directly.

Playground and equipment

The curling ice field is a rectangle from 44.5 to 45.7 m long and 4.4 to 5 m wide. The target has a diameter of 3.66 m (there are two at the site). The distance between the centers of the targets is 34.75 m. On both sides of the track are the sides, which are the boundaries of the playing area. The temperature of the ice should be around -5 C.

The curling shell weighs 20 kg and is made from a special type of granite, mined in the halls of the Scottish island of Isles Craig. The “stone” has a cylindrical shape and a sliding annular surface. There is a special handle on top of the projectile, which the athlete holds on to. It is intended for the implementation of a push and the transfer of the desired direction to the “stone”.

Each team member has a special brush with a long handle that resembles a mop. With its help, they can rub ice in front of the “stone” to adjust the direction and speed of its movement.

The throwing player must have a teflon slider that provides optimal glide on the ice. In order to avoid injuries, it is recommended to use knee pads. There are no special requirements for clothing, but the equipment should have identification marks (numbers, flags of countries, etc.) to facilitate the work of judges.

The panel of judges at official curling competitions includes:

  • head referee and his deputy;
  • secretary and his assistant;
  • judges for holding separate rounds (assistants to the chief judge).

Competition Rules

The game involves 2 teams of 4 people. The fight consists of 10 periods, which are called endos. For one end, the team must release 8 “stones”. The “stone” drawing consists of pushing the player away from the launch pad, dispersing the projectile on ice and launching it towards the target. In this case, the athlete’s task is to launch the “stone” in such a way that it takes a place as close as possible to the center of the target, knocks someone else’s shell out of the target zone, or interferes with the opponent’s future productive actions.

The remaining players of the team at the moment of the projectile movement have the right to correct its trajectory by wiping the ice with special brushes. Such manipulations are called sweeps.

After drawing 16 “stones”, the current end score is scored. Only shells that are located inside the “house” are taken into account. A team whose projectile is closer to the center of the target is declared the winner of the end. In addition, she receives one point for the “stone”, which turned out to be closer to the center of the “house” than the nearest “stone” of the opponent.

The order of the teams in the first end is determined using test shots. Team captains must fire one projectile at an empty target. Whose “stone” in the end will be closer to the center, that team receives the right of the last throw. In the future, the right of the last throw passes to the team that lost the previous end. A period ends in a draw if, at its end, not a single shell was in the “house”. That is why the last throw is so important in curling.

The throwing player must release the handle of the “stone” before he crosses the throw line. Otherwise, the attempt will not be counted, and the shell itself is removed from the site. Experts note the complexity of the technique of throwing, as well as many ways to achieve the goal in curling. Some players throw “stones” at the target along an arcuate trajectory, while others prefer strong, straight-line shots, knocking out all the shells in their path, while others resort to defensive tactics of covering the target.

For the first four throws of each end, the rule of “free defenders” applies. According to him, opponents are prohibited from knocking out other people’s “stones” from the game, which are located between the center line of the “house” and the test line, but are not in the target itself. If this rule is violated, the position of the downed “stone” is restored, and the violator’s shell is removed from the game.

The winner of the match is determined by the end account. If after 10 periods there is a draw, an extra-end is announced.

Largest tournaments

The most rated international curling competitions, which attract the attention of millions of spectators, are:

  • Olympic Games.

The curling tournament first entered the list of demonstration sports at the Olympic Games in 1924. Demonstrations were successful, but it was decided not to include discipline in the program of the next Winter Olympics. For many decades, the World Curling Federation struggled to return curling as the main sport at the Olympic Games, but the Olympic Committee occasionally allowed only demonstrations.

Curling was recognized as the Olympic discipline in 1998. At the first official tournament, the Swiss turned out to be the strongest, while the women – the Canadian team. Today in curling at the Olympics 3 sets of awards are played: one at a time for men, women and mixed.


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