Curling has a long and rich history. While its origins are lost in the mists of time, Scottish curlers already were playing the game by the beginning of the 16th century on frozen ponds and lochs. Their earliest equipment included stones formed by nature, each one unique. Some were small (to be able to slide between two other stones) while others were huge 80 lb plus behemoths creating formidable guards. In addition to brooms or twigs, snow-shovels were standard fare as the frozen ponds often needed to be cleared of snow prior to the game.
Today, curling is a game of strategy, finesse and strength, contested by teams generally comprised of four players all using the same standardized equipment. The principle of curling is simple – get your stone closer the center of the target circles, called the “house,” than your opponent. Players of all skill levels can participate and compete even at older ages than most sports allow.
Respect, honor and tradition are core elements of the game. Curlers are close knit and you can rely on a warm welcome in curling clubs throughout the world. Camaraderie among players is inherent in the sport and tradition calls for both teams to sit together after a game, discussing what was and what might have been.
- Start with a handshake. At the beginning of the game, greet the members of the opposing team with a handshake, tell them your name, and wish them “Good Curling”.
- Finish with a handshake. When the game is over, offer each of the players a hearty handshake and move off the ice. The winning curlers traditionally offer their counterparts some refreshments.
- Keep the ice clean. The shoes you wear during the game should only be used for curling. Keep them clean.
- Compliment good shots, no matter which team makes them. Respect your opponent.
KEEP THE GAME MOVING -- DELAYS DETRACT FROM THE SPORT
- Be ready. Take your position in the hack as soon as your opponent has delivered his/her stone and clean your rock. Await for the skips' call.
- Be prepared to sweep as soon as your teammate releases the rock and be aware of the call made by your skip.
- After delivering your stone, move to the side of the sheet between the “hog “ lines, unless you are the skip. Leads and seconds are not permitted in “house” or “rings”, except when sweeping or to remove the stones after the score has been determined by the vices.
- Don’t distract your opponent in the hack. Sweepers should stay on the sidelines between the hog lines when not sweeping.
- Place your skip’s rock in front of the hack to help speed up the game.
All games on the ice should run approximately the same time. It should only take two hours to play an eight-end game. If your game is an end or two behind all other games you should pick up the pace.