Curling: Rules of the Game

Curling: Rules of the Game

Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 17, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; The USA team competes in men's curling round robin session 12 during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Ice Cube Curling Center. Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


by USA TODAY Sports

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 17 at 2:41 PM

Winter Olympics Rules of the Game: Curling

After being an event in the 1924 Olympics, it took 74 years for the sport of curling to finally gain acceptance again at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan.

Here is a quick guide to help you understand the rules.

  • The rink can be a maximum of 150 feet long by 16.5 feet wide with a house on each end.
  • There are four athletes on the team - a lead, second, vice and skip. And, each team member throws 2 stones per end.
  • Team members have to release the stone before the hog line. Then, two team members use brooms to sweep the ice in front of the stone. That sweeping motion heats the ice and helps control the speed and the direction of the stone...the skip directs the action from behind the house.
  • The stone is quarried from solid granite found in Scotland. It's circumference is 36 inches, a minimum height of 4 and 1/2 inches and weighs between 38 and 44 pounds.

Now, let's take a look at how the team scores points:

  • There are 10 "ends" which are similar to sets in tennis or innings in baseball
  • Each of the 4 team members throws 2 stones a total of 8
  • The team with the stone or stones closest to the center gets points

For example, here the red team is awarded only one point for being closest to the house because the next closest stone to the house is their opponents. The team with the most points wins.

And that's your look at the rules of the game.

Source: USA TODAY Sports Media Group