Curling

Curling

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Encyclopedia
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is related to bowls
Bowls
Bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a pitch which may be flat or convex or uneven...

, boule
Boules
Boules is a collective name for games played with metal balls.Two of the most played boule games are pétanque and boule lyonnaise. The aim of the game is to get large, heavy balls as close to the 'jack' as you can. It is very popular especially in France, but also Italy, where it may often be seen...

 and shuffleboard
Shuffleboard
Shuffleboard, more precisely deck shuffleboard, and also known as shuffle-board, shovelboard, shovel-board and shove-board [archaic], is a game in which players use broom-shaped paddles to push weighted pucks, sending them gliding down a narrow and elongated court, with the purpose of...

. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends.

The curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms who accompany it as it slides down the sheet, using the brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. A great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. This gives curling its nickname of "Chess On Ice".

Origins and history



Curling is thought to have been invented in medieval Scotland, with the first written reference to a contest using stones on ice coming from the records of Paisley Abbey
Paisley Abbey
Paisley Abbey is a former Cluniac monastery, and current Church of Scotland parish kirk, located on the east bank of the White Cart Water in the centre of the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, in west central Scotland.-History:...

, Renfrewshire
Renfrewshire
Renfrewshire is one of 32 council areas used for local government in Scotland. Located in the west central Lowlands, it is one of three council areas contained within the boundaries of the historic county of Renfrewshire, the others being Inverclyde to the west and East Renfrewshire to the east...

, in February 1541. Two paintings (both dated 1565) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Pieter Bruegel the Elder was a Flemish renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes . He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel" to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but he is also the one generally meant when the context does...

 depict Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s curling—Scotland and the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 had strong trading and cultural links during this period, which is also evident in the history of golf
History of golf
The origins of golf are unclear and much debated. However it is clearly one of a family of similar and possibly related club and ball games that were recorded across medieval Europe, and many of the unique elements of golf evolved in the port towns around the Firth of Forth in eastern Scotland from...

.


Evidence that curling existed in Scotland in the early 16th century includes a curling stone inscribed with the date 1511 (uncovered along with another bearing the date 1551) when an old pond was drained at Dunblane, Scotland. Kilsyth
Kilsyth
Kilsyth is a town of 10,100 roughly halfway between Glasgow and Stirling in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.-Location:...

 Curling Club claims to be the first club in the world, having been formally constituted in 1716; it is still in existence today. Kilsyth also claims the oldest purpose-built curling pond in the world at Colzium
Colzium
Colzium House and Estate is about 500 metres to the north-east of Kilsyth, North Lanarkshire, Scotland...

, in the form of a low dam creating a shallow pool some 100 × 250 metres in size, though this is now very seldom in condition for curling because of warmer winters.

The word curling first appears in print in 1620 in Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

, in the preface
Preface
A preface is an introduction to a book or other literary work written by the work's author. An introductory essay written by a different person is a foreword and precedes an author's preface...

 and the verses of a poem by Henry Adamson
Henry Adamson
Henry Adamson , was a Scottish poet and historian.Henry was the son of James Adamson, Dean of the Merchant Guildry and Provost of Perth...

. The game was (and still is, in Scotland and Scottish-settled regions like southern New Zealand) also known as "the roaring game" because of the sound the stones make while traveling over the pebble (droplets of water applied to the playing surface). The verbal noun curling is formed from the Scots
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

 (and English) verb curl, which describes the motion of the stone.

In the early history of curling, the playing stones (or rocks) were simply flat-bottomed river stones that were sometimes notched or shaped; the thrower, unlike those of today, had little control over the stone, and relied more on luck than on skill and strategy.

It is recorded that in Darvel
Darvel
Darvel is a small town in East Ayrshire, Scotland, located at the eastern end of the Irvine Valley and is sometimes referred to as "The Lang Toon" due to its quaint appearance on Ordnance Survey maps....

, East Ayrshire
East Ayrshire
East Ayrshire is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders on to North Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway...

, the weavers relaxed by playing curling matches. The stones they used were the heavy stone weights from the weavers' "warp beams," fitted with a detachable handle for the purpose. Many a wife would keep her husband's brass curling stone handle on the mantelpiece, brightly polished until the next time it was needed.

Outdoor curling was very popular in Scotland between the 16th and 19th centuries, as the climates provided good ice conditions every winter. Scotland is home to the international governing body for curling, the World Curling Federation
World Curling Federation
The World Curling Federation is the world governing body for curling accreditation, with offices in Perth, Scotland. It was formed out of the International Curling Federation , when the push for Olympic Winter Sport status was made...

, Perth, which originated as a committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club
Royal Caledonian Curling Club
The Royal Caledonian Curling Club is the mother club of the sport of curling, and the governing body of curling in Scotland. The RCCC was founded on 25 July 1838 in Edinburgh, and granted its royal charter by Queen Victoria in 1843, after she had witnessed a demonstration of the sport played on...

, the mother club of curling.


Today, the game is most firmly established in Canada, having been taken there by Scottish emigrants. The Royal Montreal Curling Club, the oldest established sports club still active in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, was established in 1807. The first curling club in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 began in 1830, and the game was introduced to Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 before the end of the 19th century, also by Scots. Today, curling is played all over Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and has spread to Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

.

The first world curling championship in the sport was limited to men and was known as the "Scotch Cup", held in Falkirk
Falkirk
Falkirk is a town in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies in the Forth Valley, almost midway between the two most populous cities of Scotland; north-west of Edinburgh and north-east of Glasgow....

 and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, in 1959. The first world title was won by the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 team from Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province and a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan. It is governed by Regina City Council. Regina is the cathedral city of the Roman Catholic and Romanian Orthodox...

, skipped by Ernie Richardson
Ernie Richardson
Ernest M. Richardson, CM is a Canadian and world curling champion.Ernie Richardson was the skip of the Regina-based team made up of his brother Garnet and cousins Arnold, Wes Richardson, and Mel Perry who replaced Wes in 1963 due to back issues...

. (The skip is the team member who calls the shots; see below.)

The first curling club in the United States was organized in 1830 only 30 miles from Detroit, at Orchard Lake, Michigan. Called the Orchard Lake Curling Club, the club used hickory block "stones". The Detroit Curling Club was started in 1840 when Michigan only had a population of 212,000 and had only been in the Union for three years. About this time, an organization called the "Thistle Club" was founded and, curling being a winter sport, was played when the ice was suitable on the Detroit River at the foot of Joseph Campau; on the bay; and at the old Recreation Park. These clubs became the Granite Club, and in 1885, the present Detroit Curling Club
Detroit Curling Club
The Detroit Curling Club is an organization that promotes the sport of curling in the Detroit area. Its home is a four-sheet facility located in Ferndale, Michigan. It is one of the oldest curling clubs in the United States, originally founded in 1840...

 was organized.

Olympic curling


Curling has been an official sport in the Winter Olympic Games
Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic Games is a sporting event, which occurs every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating...

 since the 1998 Winter Olympics
1998 Winter Olympics
The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 7 to 22 February 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Seventy-two nations and 2,176 participans contested in seven sports and 72 events at 15 venues. The games saw the introduction of Women's ice...

. In February 2002, the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 retroactively decided that the curling competition from the 1924 Winter Olympics
1924 Winter Olympics
The 1924 Winter Olympics, officially known as the I Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France...

 (originally called Semaine des Sports d'Hiver, or International Winter Sports Week) would be considered official Olympic events and no longer be considered demonstration events. Thus, the first Olympic medals in curling, which at the time was played outside, were awarded for the 1924 Winter Games, with the gold medal won by Great Britain and Ireland, two silver medals by Sweden, and the bronze by France. A demonstration tournament was also held during the 1932 Winter Olympic Games between four teams from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and four teams from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, with Canada winning 12 games to 4.

Equipment



The curling sheet


The playing surface or curling sheet is defined by the World Curling Federation
World Curling Federation
The World Curling Federation is the world governing body for curling accreditation, with offices in Perth, Scotland. It was formed out of the International Curling Federation , when the push for Olympic Winter Sport status was made...

 Rules of Curling. The sheet is an area of ice, carefully prepared to be as flat and level as possible, 146 to 150 ft (44.5 to 45.7 m) in length by 14.5 to 16.5 ft (4.4 to 5 m) in width.

A target, the house, is marked at each end of the sheet. The house consists of three concentric rings formed by painting or laying coloured vinyl
Vinyl
A vinyl compound is any organic compound that contains a vinyl group ,which are derivatives of ethene, CH2=CH2, with one hydrogen atom replaced with some other group...

 sheet under the ice and are usually distinguished by colour. These rings are defined by their diameters as the four-foot, eight-foot and 12-foot rings. The rings are merely a visual aid for aiming and judging which stone is closer to the centre; they do not affect scoring but a stone must at least touch the outer ring or it does not score (see Scoring below).

Each house is centred on the intersection of the centre line, drawn lengthwise down the centre of the sheet and one of the tee lines, drawn 16 feet (4.9 m) from, and parallel to, each backboard. These lines divide the houses into quarters.

The centre of each house, at the intersection of the centre line and the tee line, is known as the button. Two hog lines, are drawn 37 feet (11.3 m) from, and parallel to, each backboard.

The hacks are fixed 12 feet behind each button; a hack gives the thrower something to push against when making the throw. On indoor rinks, there are usually two fixed hacks, rubber-lined holes, one on each side of the centre line, with the inside edge no more than 3 inches (76.2 mm) from the centre line and the front edge on the hack line. A single moveable hack may also be used.
The ice may be natural but is usually frozen by a refrigeration plant pumping a brine solution through numerous pipes fixed lengthwise at the bottom of a shallow pan of water. Most curling clubs have an ice maker whose main job is to care for the ice. At the major curling championships, ice maintenance is extremely important. Large events, such as the Brier
Tim Hortons Brier
The Tim Hortons Brier, or simply the Brier, is the annual Canadian men's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association . The current event name refers to its main sponsor, the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop chain.The Brier has been held since 1927, traditionally during...

 or other national/international championships, are typically held in an arena that presents a challenge to the ice maker, who must constantly monitor and adjust the ice and air temperatures as well as air humidity levels to ensure a consistent playing surface. It is common for each sheet of ice to have multiple sensors embedded in order to monitor surface temperature, as well as probes set up in the seating area (to monitor humidity) and in the compressor room (to monitor brine supply and return temperatures).The surface of the ice is maintained at a temperature of around 23 °F (-5 °C).

A key part of the preparation of the playing surface is the spraying of water droplets onto the ice, which form pebble on freezing. The pebbled ice surface resembles an orange peel, and the stone moves on top of the pebbled ice. As the stone moves over the pebble, any rotation of the stone causes it to curl to the inside or outside; the amount of curl (commonly referred to as the feet of curl) can change during a game as the pebble wears. Due to this, the ice maker must also be aware of the pebble wear, and the ice will typically be scraped and re-pebbled prior to each game.

Curling stone



The curling stone (also sometimes rock, North America), as defined by the World Curling Federation
World Curling Federation
The World Curling Federation is the world governing body for curling accreditation, with offices in Perth, Scotland. It was formed out of the International Curling Federation , when the push for Olympic Winter Sport status was made...

 is a thick stone disc weighing between 38 and 44 lb (17.2 and 20 kg) with a handle attached to the top. The maximum allowable circumference is 36 inches (914.4 mm). The minimum height is 4.5 inches (114.3 mm). The handle is attached by a bolt running vertically through a hole in the centre of the stone. The handle allows the stone to be gripped and rotated upon release; on properly prepared ice, the stone's path will bend (curl) in the direction the front edge of the stone is turning, especially as the stone slows. The handles are colored to identify the stones by team. Two popular colors in major tournaments are red and yellow. The only part of the stone in contact with the ice is the running surface, a narrow, flat annulus or ring, 0.25 to 0.5 in (6.4 to 12.7 mm) wide and about 5 inches (127 mm) in diameter; the sides of the stone bulge convex down to the ring and the inside of the ring is hollowed concave to clear the ice.

Traditionally, curling stones were made from two specific types of granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 called "Blue Hone" and "Ailsa Craig Common Green", found on Ailsa Craig
Ailsa Craig
Ailsa Craig is an island of 219.69 acres in the outer Firth of Clyde, Scotland where blue hone granite was quarried to make curling stones. "Ailsa" is pronounced "ale-sa", with the first syllable stressed...

, an island off the Ayrshire
Ayrshire
Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. The town of Troon on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the...

 coast in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. Blue Hone has very low water absorption, which prevents the action of freezing and melting water from eroding the stone. Ailsa Craig Common Green granite is a lesser quality granite than Blue Hone. In the past, most curling stones were made from Blue Hone; however, the island is now a wildlife reserve and the quarry has closed. The second location where granite comes from to manufacture curling stones from is in Northern Wales. This granite is called "Trefor" and comes in shades of blue/gray and red/brown. The quarry in Wales that supplies the granite to its exclusive curling stone manufacturing company in Canada, Canada Curling Stone Co., is a full and active quarry and it is not anticipated to ever run out of this granite for making curling stones. Canada Curling Stone Co. has been manufacturing curling stones since 1992. The cost of new Trefor granite curling stones is about C$
Canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

600 a stone.

Kays of Scotland has been making curling stones since 1851 and has the exclusive rights to Ailsa Craig granite, granted by the Marquess of Ailsa
Marquess of Ailsa
Marquess of Ailsa, of the Isle of Ailsa in the County of Ayr, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 10 September 1831 for Archibald Kennedy, 12th Earl of Cassillis. The title Earl of Cassillis had been created in 1509 for the 3rd Lord Kennedy. This title had been...

, whose family has owned the island since 1560. The last "harvest" of Ailsa Craig granite by Kays took place in 2002. Kays have said that they harvested 1,500 tons, sufficient to fill anticipated orders through at least 2020. Kays has been the exclusive manufacturer of curling stones for all three Olympics where curling has been a medal sport.

In competition, an electronic handle known as the eye on the hog may be fitted to detect hog line violations, the game's most frequent cause of controversy. This electronically detects whether the thrower's hand is in contact with the handle as it passes the hog line and indicates a violation by lights at the base of the handle. The eye on the hog eliminates human error and the need for hog line officials. It is mandatory in high-level national and international competition but its cost, around US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

650 each, currently puts it beyond the reach of most social curling.

Curling broom


The curling broom, or brush, is used to sweep the ice surface in the path of the stone, (see "sweeping"), and is also often used as a balancing aid during delivery of the stone.

In earlier days, brooms were made of corn strands and were similar to household brooms. Brushes were used primarily by elderly curlers as a substitute for corn brooms. Today, brushes have replaced traditional corn brooms at every level of curling, but are universally referred to as brooms. Curling brushes may have fabric, hog hair, or horsehair heads. Modern curling broomsticks are usually hollow tubes made of fiberglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

 or carbon fiber
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber, alternatively graphite fiber, carbon graphite or CF, is a material consisting of fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber...

 instead of a solid length of wooden dowel
Dowel
A dowel is a solid cylindrical rod, usually made of wood, plastic or metal. In its original manufactured form, dowel is called dowel rod.Dowel rod is employed in numerous, diverse applications. It is used to form axles in toys, as detents on gymnastics grips, as knitting needles, as structural...

. These hollow tube handles are lighter and stronger than wooden handles, allowing faster sweeping and also enabling more downward force to be applied to the broom head with reduced shaft flex.

Shoes


Curling shoes are similar to ordinary athletic shoes except that they have dissimilar soles; the slider shoe is designed for the off foot (or sliding foot) and the non-sliding shoe for the hack foot:

The slider shoe is designed to slide and typically has a Teflon sole. It is worn by the thrower during delivery from the hack and by sweepers or the skip to glide down the ice when sweeping or otherwise traveling down the sheet quickly. Stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

 was once common for slider soles, and "red brick" sliders with lateral blocks of PVC
PVC
Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic.PVC may also refer to:*Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honor*Peripheral venous catheter, a small, flexible tube placed into a peripheral vein in order to administer medication or fluids...

 on the sole are also available. Most shoes have a full-sole sliding surface, but some shoes have a sliding surface covering only the outline of the shoe and other enhancements with the full-sole slider. Some shoes have small disc sliders covering the front and heel portions or only the front portion of the foot, which allow more flexibility in the sliding foot for curlers playing with tuck deliveries. When a player is not throwing, the player's slider shoe can be temporarily rendered non-slippery by using a slip-on gripper. Ordinary athletic shoes may be converted to sliders by using a step-on or slip-on Teflon slider or by applying electrical or gaffer tape directly to the sole or over a piece of cardboard. This arrangement often suits casual or beginning players.

The non-sliding shoe, or hack foot shoe, is worn by the thrower on the hack foot during delivery and is designed to grip. It may have a normal athletic shoe sole or a special layer of rubbery material applied to the sole of a thickness to match the sliding shoe. The toe of the hack foot shoe may also have a rubberised coating on the top surface or a flap that hangs over the toe to reduce wear on the top of the shoe as it drags on the ice behind the thrower.

Other equipment


Other types of equipment include:
  • Curling pants, made to be stretchy to accommodate the curling delivery.
  • A stopwatch
    Stopwatch
    A stopwatch is a handheld timepiece designed to measure the amount of time elapsed from a particular time when activated to when the piece is deactivated. A large digital version of a stopwatch designed for viewing at a distance, as in a sports stadium, is called a stopclock.The timing functions...

     to time the stones while sweeping to get a feel of the speed of the stone. Stopwatches can be attached either to clothing or the broom itself.
  • Curling gloves and mittens, to keep the hands warm and improve grip on the broom.

Gameplay


International competitive games are ten ends, so most of the national championships that send a representative to the World Championships or Olympics also play ten ends. However, there is a movement on the World Curling Tour
World Curling Tour
The Asham World Curling Tour is a group of curling bonspiels featuring the best male curlers in the world. A Women's World Curling Tour also exists....

 to make the games only eight ends. Most tournaments on that tour are like the vast majority of recreation games, and are eight ends. An end consists of each player from both teams throwing two stones down the sheet with the players on each side alternating shots, for a total of 16 stones. A game may be conceded if considered unwinnable. If the teams are tied play continues for as many ends as may be required to break the tie. The winner is the team with the highest score after all ends have been completed (see Scoring below).
In international competition, each side is given 73 minutes to complete all of its throws. Each team is also allowed two 60-second timeouts per 10-end game. If extra ends are required, each team is allowed 10 minutes of playing time to complete its throws and one added 60-second timeout for each extra end.

Delivery


The process of sliding a stone down the sheet is known as the delivery.

The skip will usually determine the required weight, turn and line of the stone. These will be influenced by the tactics at this point in the game, which may involve taking-out, blocking or tapping another stone.
  • The weight of the stone is its velocity, which depends on the leg drive of the delivery rather than the arm.
  • The turn, handle, or curl is the rotation of the stone, which gives it a curved trajectory.
  • The line is the direction of the throw ignoring the effect of the turn.


The skip may communicate the weight, turn, line and other tactics by calling or tapping a broom on the ice. In the case of a takeout, guard or a tap, the skip will indicate the stones involved.

Before delivery, the running surface of the stone is wiped clean and the path across the ice swept with the broom if necessary because any dirt on the bottom of a stone or in its path can alter the trajectory and ruin the shot. This is called a pick up or pick.
The thrower throws from the hack. Another player, usually the skip, is stationed behind the button to determine the tactics, weight, turn and line and the other two may sweep in front of the stone to influence the trajectory (see Sweeping, below). When the skip throws, the third takes his role.

The thrower's gripper shoe (with the non-slippery sole) is positioned against one of the hacks; for a right-handed curler the right foot is placed against the left hack and vice-versa for a left-hander. The thrower, now in the hack, lines the body up with shoulders square to the skip's broom at the far end for line.

The stone is placed in front of the foot now in the hack. Rising slightly from the hack the thrower pulls the stone back to the toe (some older curlers may actually raise the stone in this backward movement) then lunges smoothly out from the hack pushing the stone ahead while the slider foot is moved in front of the gripper foot, which trails behind. The thrust from this lunge determines the weight and hence the distance the stone will travel. While not compulsory, most curlers deliver the stone while sliding out from the hack. Balance may be assisted by a broom held in the free hand with the back of the broom down so that it slides.

The stone is released as the thrower's momentum wanes, or the hog line is approached, at which point the turn is imparted by a slight clockwise or anti-clockwise twist of the handle from around the two or ten o'clock position to the 12 o'clock on release. A typical rate of turn is about 2½ rotations before coming to a rest.

The stone must be released before its front edge crosses the near hog line and it must clear the far hog line or else be removed from play (hogged); an exception is made if a stone fails to come to rest beyond the far hog line after rebounding from a stone in play just past the hog line. The release rule is rarely enforced in club play unless abuse is suspected, however in major tournaments it is strictly enforced; the "eye on the hog" sensor in the stone will indicate whether the stone has been legally thrown or not. If the lights on the stone turn red the stone will be immediately pulled from play instead of waiting for the stone to come to rest.

Sweeping


After the stone is delivered its trajectory is still influenced by the two sweepers under instruction from the skip. Sweeping is done for two reasons: to reduce friction underneath the stone, and to decrease the amount of curl. The stones curl more as they slow down, so sweeping early in travel tends to increase distance as well as straighten the path, and sweeping after sideways motion is established can increase the sideways distance. When sweeping, pressure and speed of the brush head are key in slightly increasing the layer of moisture that builds up under the stone.

One of the basic strategy aspects of curling is knowing when to sweep. When the ice in front of the stone is swept, a stone will usually travel both farther and straighter. In some situations, one of the two alterations in path is not desirable. For example, a stone may have too much weight, but require sweeping to prevent curling into a guard. The team must decide which is better: getting by the guard but traveling too far, or hitting the guard.

Much of the yelling that goes on during a curling game is the skip calling the line of the shot and the sweepers calling the weight. The skip evaluates the path of the stone and calls to the sweepers to sweep as necessary to maintain the intended track. The sweepers themselves are responsible for judging the weight of the stone, ensuring the length of travel is correct and communicating the weight of the stone back to the skip. Some teams use stopwatch timing, from back line to the nearest hog line as a sweeping aid. Many teams use the Number System to communicate in which of 10 playable zones it is estimated the stone will stop.

Usually, the two sweepers will be on opposite sides of the stone’s path, although depending on which side the sweepers’ strengths lie this may not always be the case. Speed and pressure are vital to sweeping. In gripping the broom, one hand should be one third of the way from the top (non-brush end) of the handle while the other hand should be one third of the way from the head of the broom. The angle of the broom to the ice should be so that the most force possible can be exerted on the ice. The precise amount of pressure may vary from relatively light brushing "just cleaning" (to ensure debris will not alter the stone’s path) to maximum-pressure scrubbing.

Sweeping is allowed anywhere on the ice up to the tee line, as long as it is only for one’s own team stones. Once the leading edge of a team stone crosses the tee line only one player may sweep it. Additionally, when a stone crosses the tee line, one player from the other team is allowed to sweep it. This is the only case that a stone may be swept by an opposing team member. In international rules, this player must be the skip; or if the skip is throwing, then the sweeping player must be the third.

'Burning' a stone


Occasionally, players may accidentally touch a stone with their broom or a body part. This is often referred to as "burning" a stone. Players touching a stone in such a manner are expected to call their own infraction (see Good sportsmanship). Touching a stationary stone when no stones are in play (there is no delivery in progress) is never an infraction and is a common way to indicate where a stone that is to be taken out should be struck.

When a stone is touched when stones are in play, the remedies vary between placing the rocks as they end up after the touch, replacing the rocks as they would have been if no rock were touched, or removal of the touched rock from play. The rules generally dictate that the resulting outcome should be the one that places the touching team at the greatest possible disadvantage.

Types of shots


Many different types of shots are used to carefully place stones for strategic or tactical reasons; they fall into three fundamental categories as follows:

Guards are thrown in front of the house in the free guard zone, usually to protect the shot-rock (the stone closest to the button at the time) or to make the opposing team's shot difficult. Guard shots include the centre-guard, on the centreline and thecorner-guards to the left or right sides of the centre line. See Free Guard Zone below.

Draws are thrown only to reach the house. Draw shots include raise and angle-raise, come-around, and freeze shots.

Takeouts are intended to remove stones from play and include the peel, hit-and-roll and double shots.

For a more complete listing, look at the complete list Glossary of curling terms.

Free guard zone


Until four stones have been played (two from each side), stones in the free guard zone (those stones left in the area between the hog and tee lines, excluding the house) may not be removed by an opponent's stone. These are known as guard rocks. If the guard rocks are removed, they are replaced to where they were before the shot was thrown, and the opponent's stone is removed from play and cannot be replayed. This rule is known as the four-rock rule or the free guard zone rule (for a while in Canada, a "three-rock rule" was in place, but that rule has been replaced by the four-rock rule).

Originally, the Modified Moncton Rule was developed from a suggestion made by Russ Howard
Russ Howard
Russell W. "Russ" Howard, ONL is a Canadian curler and Olympic champion, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, but originally from Midland, Ontario. His home club in Moncton is Curling Beausejour...

 for a cashspiel (with the richest prize ever awarded at the time in a tournament) in Moncton, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, in 1991. "Howard's Rule" (also known as the Moncton Rule), used for the tournament and based on a practice drill his team used, had the first four rocks in play unable to be removed no matter where they were at any time during the end. This method of play altered slightly and adopted as a Four-rock Free Guard Zone for international competition shortly after. Canada kept to the traditional rules until a three-rock Free Guard Zone rule was adopted, starting in the 1993-94 season. After several years of having the three-rock rule used for the Canadian championships and the winners then having to adjust to the four-rock rule in the World Championships, the Canadian Curling Association
Canadian Curling Association
The Canadian Curling Association is a Canadian organization responsible for encouraging and facilitating growth and development of the sport of curling. The CCA is associated with more than a dozen provincial and territorial curling associations across the country.-History:The CCA was created in...

 adopted the now-standard Free Guard Zone in the 2002-2003 season.

This rule, a relatively recent addition to curling, was added in response to a strategy of "peeling" opponents' guard stones (knocking them out of play at an angle that caused the shooter's stone to also roll out of play, leaving no stones on the ice). A team in the lead would often employ this strategy during the game. By knocking all stones out, the opponents could at best score one point (if they had the hammer). Alternatively, the team with the hammer could peel rock after rock, which would blank the end, keeping the last rock advantage for another end. This strategy had developed (mostly in Canada) as ice-makers had become skilled at creating a predictable ice surface and the adoption of brushes allowed greater control over the rock. While a sound strategy, this made for an unexciting game. The 1990 Brier
Tim Hortons Brier
The Tim Hortons Brier, or simply the Brier, is the annual Canadian men's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association . The current event name refers to its main sponsor, the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop chain.The Brier has been held since 1927, traditionally during...

 was considered by many curling fans as boring to watch because of the near-constant peeling, and the quick adoption of the Free Guard Zone the following year reflected how disliked this aspect of the game had become.

One strategy that has been developed by curlers in response to the Free Guard Zone (Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin (curler)
Kevin Martin , nicknamed "The Old Bear" and "K-Mart", is a Canadian curler from Edmonton. He is a four-time Brier champion, has been to three Winter Olympics and is the gold medal winner in the 2010 Winter Olympics...

 from Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

 is one of the best examples) is the "tick" game, where a shot is made attempting to knock (tick) the guard to the side, far enough that it is difficult or impossible to use but still remaining in play while the shot itself goes out of play. The effect is functionally identical to peeling the guard but significantly harder, as a shot that hits the guard too hard (knocking it out of play) results in its being replaced, while not hitting it hard enough can result in its still being tactically useful for the opposition. There's also a greater chance that the shot will miss the guard entirely because of the greater accuracy required to make the shot. Because of the difficulty of making this type of shot, only the best teams will normally attempt it, and it does not dominate the game the way the peel formerly did. Steve Gould
Steve Gould (curler)
Steve Gould is a Canadian curler from Headingley, Manitoba. He currently plays lead for Jeff Stoughton....

 from Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 popularized ticks played across the face. These are easier to make because they impart less speed on the object stone, therefore increasing the chance that it remains in play even if a bigger chunk of it is hit.

Hammer


Last-rock or last-stone advantage in an end is called the hammer. Before the game, teams typically decide who gets the hammer in the first end either by chance (such as a coin toss), by a "draw-to-the-button" contest, where a representative of each team shoots a single stone to see who gets closer to the centre of the rings, or, particularly in tournament settings like the Winter Olympics, by a comparison of each team's win-loss record. In all subsequent ends, the hammer belongs to the team that did not score in the preceding end. In the event that neither team scores, the hammer remains with the same team. Naturally, it is easier to score points with the hammer than without; in tournament play, the team with the hammer generally tries to score two or more points. If only one point is possible, the skip will often try to avoid scoring at all in order to retain the hammer until the next end, when two or more points may lie. This is called a blank end. Scoring without the hammer is commonly referred to as stealing, or a steal, and is much more difficult.

Strategy


Curling is a game of strategy, tactics and skill. The strategy depends on the team's skill, the opponent's skill, the conditions of the ice, the score of the game, how many ends remain and whether the team has last-stone advantage (the hammer). A team may play an end aggressively or defensively. Aggressive playing will put a lot of stones in play by throwing mostly draws; this makes for an exciting game and is very risky but the reward can be very great. Defensive playing will throw a lot of hits preventing a lot of stones in play; this tends to be less exciting and less risky. A good drawing team will usually opt to play aggressively, while a good hitting team will opt to play defensively.

If a team does not have the hammer in an end, it will opt to try and clog up the four-foot zone in the house to deny the opposing team access to the button. This can be done by throwing "centre line" guards in front of the house on the centre line, which can be tapped into the house later or drawn around. If a team has the hammer, they will try to keep this four-foot zone free so that they have access to the button area at all times. A team with the hammer may throw a corner guard as their first stone of an end placed in front of the house but outside the four-foot zone to utilize the free guard zone. Corner guards are key for a team to score two points in an end, because they can either draw around it later or hit and roll behind it, making the opposing team's shot to remove it more difficult.

Ideally, the strategy in an end for a team with the hammer is to score two points or more. Scoring one point is often a wasted opportunity, as they will then lose last-rock advantage for the next end. If a team can't score two points, they will often attempt to "blank an end" by removing any leftover opposition rocks and rolling out; or, if there are no opposition rocks, just throwing the rock through the house so that no team scores any points, and the team with the hammer can try again the next end to score two or more with it. Generally, a team without the hammer would want to either force the team with the hammer to only one point (so that they can get the hammer back) or "steal" the end by scoring one or more points of their own.

Generally, the larger the lead a team will have in a game, the more defensively they should play. By hitting all of the opponent's stones, it removes opportunities for their getting multiple points, therefore defending the lead. If the leading team is quite comfortable, leaving their own stones in play can also be dangerous. Guards can be drawn around by the other team, and stones in the house can be tapped back (if they are in front of the tee line) or frozen onto (if they are behind the tee line). A frozen stone is difficult to remove, because it is "frozen" (in front of and touching) to the opponents stone. At this point, a team will opt for "peels", meaning that the stones they throw will be to not only hit their opposition stones, but to roll out of play as well. Peels are hits that are thrown with the most amount of power.

Conceding a game


It is not uncommon at any level for a losing team to terminate the match before all ends are completed if it believes it no longer has a realistic chance of winning. Playoff games at national and world championships require eight ends to be completed before allowing a losing team to concede in this manner. Competitive games will usually end once the losing team has "run out of rocks"—that is, once it has fewer stones in play and/or available for play than the number of points needed to tie the game in the final end.

When a team feels it is impossible or near impossible to win a game, they will usually shake hands with the opposing team to concede defeat. This may occur at any point during the game, but usually happens near the final end. In the Winter Olympics, a team may concede after finishing any end during a round-robin game, but can only concede after finishing eight ends during the knockout stages.
Unlike other sports, there is no negative connotation associated with conceding in curling. In fact, in many competitions, a team is required to concede when it is mathematically impossible for them to tie a game. In more social situations, it is often considered a breach of etiquette (or at least looked down upon) to keep playing when the game is well out of reach.

Dispute resolution


Most decisions about rules are left to the skips, although in official tournaments, decisions may be left to the officials. However, all scoring disputes are handled by the third, or vice skip. No players other than the third from each team should be in the house while score is being determined. In tournament play, the most frequent circumstance in which a decision has to be made by someone other than the third is the failure of the thirds to agree on which stone is closest to the button. An independent official (supervisor at Canadian and World championships) then measures the distances using a specially designed device that pivots at the centre of the button. When no independent officials are available, the thirds measure the distances.

Scoring



The winner is the team having the highest number of accumulated points at the completion of ten ends. Points are scored at the conclusion of each of these ends as follows: when each team has thrown its eight stones the team with the stone closest to the button wins that end, the winning team is then awarded one point for each of its own stones lying closer to the button than the opponent's closest stone. The positions of all the other opponent’s stones other than the closest make no difference to the score.

Only stones that are in the house are considered in the scoring. A stone is in the house if it lies within the 12 feet (3.7 m) zone or any portion of its edge lies over the edge of the ring. Since the bottom of the stone is rounded, a stone just barely in the house will not have any actual contact with the ring, which will pass under the rounded edge of the stone, but it still counts. This type of stone is known as a biter.

It may not be obvious to the eye which of two rocks is closer to the button (center) or if a rock is actually biting or not. There are specialized devices to make these determinations, but these cannot be brought out until after an end is completed. Therefore, a team may make strategic decisions during an end based on assumptions of rock position that turn out to be incorrect.

The score is marked on a scoreboard
Scoreboard
A scoreboard is a large board for publicly displaying the score in a game or match. Most levels of sport from high school and above use at least one scoreboard for keeping score, measuring time, and displaying statistics. Scoreboards in the past used a mechanical clock and numeral cards to...

, of which there are two types; the baseball type and the club scoreboard.

The baseball-type scoreboard was created for televised games for audiences not familiar with the club scoreboard. The ends are marked by columns 1 through 10 (or 11 for the possibility of an extra end to break ties) plus an additional column for the total. Below this are two rows, one for each team, containing the team's score for that end and their total score in the right hand column.

The club scoreboard is traditional and used in most curling clubs. Scoring on this board only requires the use of (up to) 11 digit cards, whereas with baseball-type scoring an unknown number of multiples of the digits (especially low digits like 1) may be needed. The numbered centre row represents all possible accumulated scores, the numbers placed in the team rows represents the end in which that team achieved that cumulative score. If the red team scores three points in the first end (called a three-ender), then a 1 (indicating the first end) is placed beside the number 3 in the red row. If they score two more in the second end, then a 2 will be placed beside the 5 in the red row, indicating that the red team has five points in total (3+2). This scoreboard works because only one team can get points in an end. However, some confusion may arise if neither team scores points in an end, this is called a blank end. The blank end numbers are usually listed in the farthest column on the right in the row of the team that has the hammer (last rock advantage), or on a special spot for blank ends.

The following example illustrates the difference between the two types. The example illustrates the men's final at the 2006 Winter Olympics
Curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics
Curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics was held in the town of Pinerolo, Italy from February 13 to February 24. It proved to be the sleeper hit in terms of television ratings in Italy. According to a CBC feature, curling at the 2006 Winter Games drew 5 million viewers, eclipsing ice hockey and figure...

.

Baseball-style scoreboard
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Final
0 2 1 1 0 6 0 0 x x 10
2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 x x 4

Curling club-style scoreboard
2 3 4 6
Points 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Blank ends
1 5 8 7



Eight points – all the rocks thrown by one team counting – is the highest score possible in an end, and is known as an "eight-ender
Eight-ender
An eight-ender, also called a "snowman," is a perfect score within a single end of curling. In an end, both sides throw eight rocks, and in an eight-ender, all eight rocks from one team score points....

" or "snowman". Scoring an eight-ender against a relatively competent team is very difficult; in curling, it is considered the equivalent of pitching a perfect game
Perfect game
A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base. Thus, the pitcher cannot allow any hits, walks, hit batsmen, or any opposing player to reach base safely for any...

 in baseball. Probably the best-known snowman came at the 2006 Players' Championships
Players' Championships
The Players' Championships is the final event on the World Curling Tour, and a part of the Grand Slam of Curling, being the only slam to feature both a women's and men's tournament...

. Future (2007) World Champion Kelly Scott
Kelly Scott
Kelly Scott is a Canadian curler from Kelowna, British Columbia.-1995-2005:...

 scored eight points in one of her games against 1998 World bronze medalist Cathy King
Cathy King
Cathy King , formerly Cathy Borst is a Canadian curler from St. Albert, Alberta...

.

Curling culture



Competition teams are normally named after the Skip, for example, Team Martin for skip Kevin Martin. Amateur league players can (and do) creatively name their teams, but when in competition (a bonspiel) the official team will have a standard name.

Top curling championships are typically played by all-male or all-female teams. The game is known as mixed curling
Mixed curling
Mixed curling, also known as Coed curling, is the sport of curling, when played by men and women together. Some community and school level curling is mixed, while most top-level curling championships are divided into men's and women's divisions. A normal mixed team consists of 2 men and 2 women...

 when a team consists of two men and two women. The Canadian Mixed Curling Championship
Canadian Mixed Curling Championship
The Canadian Mixed Curling Championship is the national curling championship for mixed curling in Canada. It is considered as the highest level of mixed curling in the world, with the absence of a World Championships. However, a...

 is the highest-level mixed curling competition, in the absence of world championship or Olympic mixed curling events.

Curling is played in many countries including Canada, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (especially Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

), the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, all of which compete in the world championships.

Curling is particularly popular in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Improvements in ice making and changes in the rules to increase scoring and promote complex strategy have increased the already high popularity of the sport in Canada, and large television audiences watch annual curling telecasts, especially the Scotties Tournament of Hearts
Scotties Tournament of Hearts
The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is an annual Canadian women's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association. The winner goes on to represent Canada at the women's world curling championships. Since 1985, the winner also gets to return to the following year's tournament as...

 (the national championship for women), the Tim Hortons Brier
Tim Hortons Brier
The Tim Hortons Brier, or simply the Brier, is the annual Canadian men's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association . The current event name refers to its main sponsor, the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop chain.The Brier has been held since 1927, traditionally during...

 (the national championship for men), and the women's and men's world championships.

Despite the Canadian province of Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

's small population (ranked 5th of 10 Canadian provinces), Manitoban teams have won the Brier more times than teams from any other province. The Tournament of Hearts and the Brier are contested by provincial and territorial
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 champions, and the world championships by national champions.

Curling is the provincial sport of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

. From there Ernie Richardson
Ernie Richardson
Ernest M. Richardson, CM is a Canadian and world curling champion.Ernie Richardson was the skip of the Regina-based team made up of his brother Garnet and cousins Arnold, Wes Richardson, and Mel Perry who replaced Wes in 1963 due to back issues...

 and his family team dominated Canadian and international curling during the late 1950s and early 1960s and have been considered to be the best male curlers of all time. Sandra Schmirler
Sandra Schmirler
Sandra Marie Schmirler, SOM , was a Canadian curler, who captured three Canadian Curling Championships and three World Curling Championships. Schmirler skipped her Canadian team to a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, the first year curling was a medal sport...

 led her team to the first ever gold medal in women's curling in the 1998 Winter Olympics
1998 Winter Olympics
The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 7 to 22 February 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Seventy-two nations and 2,176 participans contested in seven sports and 72 events at 15 venues. The games saw the introduction of Women's ice...

. When she died two years later from cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

, over 15,000 people attended her funeral, and it was broadcast on national television.

An amateur sport


While Canadian bonspiels (tournaments) offer cash prizes, there are very few full-time professional curlers. However, some curlers make a considerable portion of their income from curling. Still, curling survives as a people's sport, returning to the Winter Olympics in 1998 with men's and women's tournaments after not having been on the official Olympic program since 1924 (that year's curling competition, for men only, was confirmed as official by the IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 in 2006). Because accuracy, strategy, skill, and experience are more valuable in curling than traditional sports virtues of speed, stamina, and strength, most competitive curlers are older than their counterparts in other sports. However, there are many young teams who turn heads, and junior curling is quite popular, with national finals being televised nationwide in Canada.

Good sportsmanship


More so than in many team sports, good sportsmanship
Sportsmanship
Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors...

 is an integral part of curling. Even at the highest levels of play, players are expected to "call their own fouls", so to speak, such as alerting the opposing skip if they "burned" a stone. A match traditionally begins with players shaking hands and saying "Good Curling" to each member of the opposing team. It is also traditional for the winning team to buy the losing team a drink after the game. This is often referred to as the Spirit of Curling. This tradition is in contrast to the games of darts
Darts
Darts is a form of throwing game where darts are thrown at a circular target fixed to a wall. Though various boards and games have been used in the past, the term "darts" usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules...

 where the loser traditionally buys the winner a drink by way of congratulations.

As noted above in the game play section, it is not uncommon for a team to concede a curling match after it believes it no longer has a reasonable chance of winning but before all ends are completed. Concession is an honourable act and does not carry the stigma associated with quitting, and allows for more socializing. To concede a match, members of the losing team remove their curling gloves (if they wear them) and offer congratulatory handshakes to the winning team. Thanks and wishes of future good luck are usually exchanged between the teams.

Special needs in curling



Curling has been adapted for wheelchair users and people otherwise unable to throw the stone from the hack. These curlers may use a special device known as a "curler's cue" or "delivery stick". The cue holds on to the handle of the stone and is then pushed along by the curler. At the end of delivery, the curler pulls back on the cue, which releases it from the stone. The Canadian Curling Association
Canadian Curling Association
The Canadian Curling Association is a Canadian organization responsible for encouraging and facilitating growth and development of the sport of curling. The CCA is associated with more than a dozen provincial and territorial curling associations across the country.-History:The CCA was created in...

 Rules of Curling allows the use of a delivery stick in club play but does not permit it in championships.

Terminology



Terms used to describe the game include:

The ice in the game may be fast or slow. If the ice is fast, a rock will travel farther with a given amount of weight (throwing force) on it. The speed of the ice is measured in seconds. One such measure known as "hog-to-tee" is the amount of time that a rock will take from the moment that it crosses the hog line at the throwing end to come to rest at the tee line at the playing end. If the ice is slow, the rock will have to have more weight in order to reach the tee line and would reach the tee line more quickly. Increasing the weight of the rock will increase the momentum of the rock. Thus, the speed of the ice (in seconds) is lower if the ice is slow than if the ice is fast, in which case the rock would have to be thrown more slowly and would take longer to get there. The time is longer because the stone takes longer to slow down the keener the ice.

The "hog-to-hog" speed is the speed of the stone and is the time in seconds the rock takes from the moment it crosses the near hog line till it crosses the far hog line. If this number is lower, the rock is moving faster, so again low numbers mean more speed. The ice in a match will be somewhat consistent and thus this measure of speed can also be used to measure how far down the ice the rock will travel. Once it is determined that a rock taking (for example) 9 seconds to go from hog line to hog line will stop on the tee line, the curler can know that if the hog-to-hog time is matched by a future stone, that stone will likely stop at approximately the same location. As an example, on keen ice, common times might be 16 seconds for guards, 14 seconds for draws, and 9 seconds for peel weight.

The back line to hog line speed is used principally by sweepers to get an initial sense of the weight of a stone. As an example, on keen ice, common times might be 4.0 seconds for guards, 3.8 seconds for draws, 3.2 for normal hit weight, and 2.9 seconds for peel weight. Especially at the club level, this metric can be misleading, due to amateurs sometimes pushing stones on release, causing the stone to travel faster than the back-to-hog speed.

In popular culture


  • The 2002 Canadian film Men With Brooms
    Men with Brooms
    Men with Brooms is a 2002 Canadian romantic comedy film, starring and directed by Paul Gross. Centred on the sport of curling, the offbeat comedy tells the story of a reunited curling team from a small Canadian town as they work through their respective life issues and struggle to win the...

    , starring and directed by Paul Gross
    Paul Gross
    Paul Michael Gross is a Canadian actor, producer, director, singer and writer born in Calgary, Alberta. He is known for his lead role as Constable Benton Fraser in the television series Due South as well as his 2008 war film Passchendaele, which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in...

    , centres on the sport of curling, telling the story of a curling team from a small Canadian town as they work through their respective life issues and struggle to win the championship for the sake of their late coach. The film grossed over $4.2 million, all of it in Canada, making it the top-grossing Canadian English film subsidized by Telefilm Canada
    Telefilm Canada
    Telefilm Canada or Téléfilm Canada is a Crown corporation owned by the Government of Canada.It is the primary federal cultural agency dedicated to the development and promotion of the Canadian audiovisual industry....

     between 1997 and 2002.

See also


  • Bonspiel
    Bonspiel
    A bonspiel is a curling tournament, traditionally held outdoors on a frozen freshwater loch. The word comes from the Scottish Gaelic and means league match . Though not mandatory, curling teams involved in bonspiels often wear theme costumes...

  • Canadian Curling Association
    Canadian Curling Association
    The Canadian Curling Association is a Canadian organization responsible for encouraging and facilitating growth and development of the sport of curling. The CCA is associated with more than a dozen provincial and territorial curling associations across the country.-History:The CCA was created in...

  • Curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics
    Curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics
    Curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics was held in the town of Pinerolo, Italy from February 13 to February 24. It proved to be the sleeper hit in terms of television ratings in Italy. According to a CBC feature, curling at the 2006 Winter Games drew 5 million viewers, eclipsing ice hockey and figure...

     
  • Curling at the 2010 Winter Olympics
    Curling at the 2010 Winter Olympics
    The curling competition of the 2010 Olympics was held at Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre in Vancouver. It is the fifth time that curling was on the Olympic program, after having been staged in 1924, 1998, 2002 and 2006...

  • Curse of LaBonte
    Curse of LaBonte
    The "Curse of LaBonte" is quite possibly one of the most famous curses in curling history. It was caused by an incident at the finals of the 1972 world men's curling championship, the 1972 Air Canada Silver Broom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany....


  • European Curling Championships
    European Curling Championships
    The European Curling Championships are annual curling tournaments held in Europe between various European nations and hosted by the European Curling Federation. The European Curling Championships are usually held in early to mid December...

     
  • Grand Slam
  • List of curlers
  • United States Curling Association
    United States Curling Association
    The United States Curling Association is the national governing body of the sport of curling in the United States. The goal of the USCA is to grow the sport of curling in the United States and win medals in competitions both domestic and abroad. Curling’s recent popularity has swelled the USCA to...

  • University and college curling

  • Wheelchair curling
    Wheelchair curling
    Wheelchair curling is an adaptation of curling for athletes with a disability affecting their lower limbs or gait. Wheelchair curling is governed by the World Curling Federation, and is one of the sports in the Winter Paralympic Games....

  • World Curling Federation
    World Curling Federation
    The World Curling Federation is the world governing body for curling accreditation, with offices in Perth, Scotland. It was formed out of the International Curling Federation , when the push for Olympic Winter Sport status was made...

  • World Curling Tour
    World Curling Tour
    The Asham World Curling Tour is a group of curling bonspiels featuring the best male curlers in the world. A Women's World Curling Tour also exists....



Champions and major championships


  • List of World Curling Women's Champions 
  • List of World Curling Men's Champions
  • Curling at the Winter Olympics
    Curling at the Winter Olympics
    Curling was included in the program of the inaugural Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix. The results of that competition were not considered official by the International Olympic Committee until 2006. Curling was a demonstration sport at the 1932 Games, and then again after a lengthy absence...

  • World Curling Championship
  • World Junior Curling Championships
    World Junior Curling Championships
    The World Junior Curling Championships is an annual curling tournament featuring the world's best curlers who are 21 years old or younger. The competition for both men and women occur at the same venue. The men's tournament has occurred since 1975 and the women's 1988...

  • World Senior Curling Championships
    World Senior Curling Championships
    The World Senior Curling Championships is an annual curling tournament featuring curlers from around the world who are at least 50 years old. Senior curling is quite similar to curling, with the exception of having only 8 ends played instead of 10....

  • Continental Cup of Curling
    Continental Cup of Curling
    The Continental Cup of Curling is a curling tournament held annually between teams from North America against teams from the rest of the world. Each side is represented by six teams , and compete using a unique points system. The tournament is modeled after golf's Ryder Cup...

  • European Curling Championships
    European Curling Championships
    The European Curling Championships are annual curling tournaments held in Europe between various European nations and hosted by the European Curling Federation. The European Curling Championships are usually held in early to mid December...

  • European Mixed Curling Championships
  • Pacific Curling Championships
    Pacific Curling Championships
    The Pacific-Asia Curling Championships are an annual curling tournament, held every year in November or December. The top team receives a berth to the World Curling Championships, while the second-placed team also receives a berth if the championships are held in the Americas or in Europe...

  • Scotties Tournament of Hearts
    Scotties Tournament of Hearts
    The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is an annual Canadian women's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association. The winner goes on to represent Canada at the women's world curling championships. Since 1985, the winner also gets to return to the following year's tournament as...

  • Tim Hortons Brier
    Tim Hortons Brier
    The Tim Hortons Brier, or simply the Brier, is the annual Canadian men's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association . The current event name refers to its main sponsor, the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop chain.The Brier has been held since 1927, traditionally during...


  • Canadian Junior Curling Championships
    Canadian Junior Curling Championships
    The Canadian Junior Curling Championships is an annual curling tournament held to determine the best junior-level curling team in Canada. Junior level curlers must be under the age of 20 as of December 31 in the year prior to the tournament....

  • Canadian Mixed Curling Championship
    Canadian Mixed Curling Championship
    The Canadian Mixed Curling Championship is the national curling championship for mixed curling in Canada. It is considered as the highest level of mixed curling in the world, with the absence of a World Championships. However, a...

  • Canadian Senior Curling Championships
    Canadian Senior Curling Championships
    The Canadian Senior Curling Championships is an annual bonspiel held to determine the national championships in senior curling for Canada. Seniors are defined as being people over the age of 50. The Championship team plays at the World Senior Curling Championships the following year.-Men's:-Women's:...

  • Canada Cup
    Canada Cup (curling)
    The Capital One Canada Cup of Curling is a major men's and women's curling championship in Canada. It is organized by the Canadian Curling Association and is one of its major events on its "Season of Champions"...

  • United States Curling Men's Championships
    United States Curling Men's Championships
    The United States Men's Curling Championship is the annual men's national curling championship for the United States. It acts as a qualifier for the World Men's Curling Championships. Ten teams play in each championship, with the two top-ranked teams in the nation qualifying automatically...

  • United States Curling Women's Championships
    United States Curling Women's Championships
    The United States Women's Curling Championship is the annual women's national curling championship for the United States. It acts as a qualifier for the World Women's Curling Championships. Ten teams play in each championship, with the two top-ranked teams in the nation qualifying automatically...

  • United States Junior Men's Championships
    United States Junior Men's Championships
    The United States Junior Men's Curling Championship is the national curling championship for men under the age of 21, held annually in the United States. The ten top-ranked teams in the nation qualifying out of respective state junior curling championships play in each championship. It acts as a...

  • United States Junior Women's Championships
    United States Junior Women's Championships
    The United States Women's Junior Curling Championship is the national curling championship for the United States for women under the age of 21. The championship acts as a qualifier for the World Women's Junior Curling Championships....

  • United States Olympic Curling Trials
    United States Olympic Curling Trials
    The United States Olympic Curling Trials take place to decide the curling team to represent the United States at each Winter Olympics.-Men:-Women:...

  • The Dominion Curling Club Championships
    The Dominion Curling Club Championships
    The Dominion Curling Club Championship is an annual curling tournament held in Canada. The tournament features the top "club level" curlers from every province and territory in Canada, plus Northern Ontario....

  • U.S. intercollegiate curling champions


Notable curling clubs


  • Bemidji Curling Club
    Bemidji Curling Club
    The Bemidji Curling Club is a curling club located in the city of Bemidji, Minnesota. It is notable for its long line of champions in many different competitions, including men's and women's rinks which represented the United States in the 2005 World Curling Championship and the 2006 Winter...

     – Bemidji, Minnesota
    Bemidji, Minnesota
    Bemidji is a city in Beltrami County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was at 13,431 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Beltrami County. Bemidji is the most major city in North Central Minnesota and the largest commercial center between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth,...

    , Home of the 2006 United States Men's & Women's Olympic Curling Teams
  • Broomstones Curling Club
    Broomstones Curling Club
    Broomstones Curling Club is the largest curling club in the Boston area, with a membership of over 200 active curlers, four sheets, and curling leagues every day of the week during the winter curling season. Broomstones is affiliated with the Grand National Curling Club...

     – Wayland, Massachusetts
    Wayland, Massachusetts
    Wayland is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 12,994 at the 2010 census.For geographic and demographic information on Cochituate, which is part of Wayland, please see the article Cochituate, Massachusetts.-History:...

  • Blackhawk Curling ClubJanesville, Wisconsin
    Janesville, Wisconsin
    Janesville is a city in southern Wisconsin, United States. It is the county seat of Rock County and the principal municipality of the Janesville, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 62,998.-History:...

  • Cape Cod Curling Club – Falmouth, Massachusetts
    Falmouth, Massachusetts
    Falmouth is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States; Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 31,531 at the 2010 census....

  • Chicago Curling Club
    Chicago Curling Club
    The Chicago Curling Club is located in Northbrook, Illinois, about 15 miles north of Chicago. It offers curling for men and women from October through March annually. The club was founded in 1948. Annual tournaments include the Senior Men's Bonspiel , the Men's Bonspiel and two women's Bonspiels...

     – Chicago, Illinois
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

  • Columbus Curling ClubColumbus, Ohio
    Columbus, Ohio
    Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

     – One of the United States' newest clubs
  • Copper Country Curling ClubCalumet, Michigan
    Calumet, Michigan
    Calumet is a village in Calumet Township, Houghton County, in the U.S. state of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, that was once at the center of the mining industry of the Upper Peninsula. Also known as Red Jacket, the village includes the Calumet Downtown Historic District, listed on the National...

     – The only indoor curling club in the United States that curls on unrefrigerated, natural ice
  • Curling Club Utrecht
    Curling Club Utrecht
    The Curling Club Utrecht is the second biggest curling club in the Netherlands.It is located in Utrecht and is home to the Praxis Hammerheads....

     – Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Dakota Curling Club
    Dakota Curling Club
    The Dakota Curling Club is a not for profit corporation serving the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota and the surrounding suburbs. It is based in Burnsville in Dakota County.- History :...

     – Burnsville, Minnesota – a leading example of the development of new curling clubs on arena ice in the USA
  • Detroit Curling Club
    Detroit Curling Club
    The Detroit Curling Club is an organization that promotes the sport of curling in the Detroit area. Its home is a four-sheet facility located in Ferndale, Michigan. It is one of the oldest curling clubs in the United States, originally founded in 1840...

     – Ferndale, Michigan
    Ferndale, Michigan
    Ferndale is adjacent to the cities of Detroit to the south, Oak Park to the west, Hazel Park to the east, Pleasant Ridge to the north, Royal Oak Township to the southwest, and Royal Oak to the north....

  • Duluth Curling Club- Duluth, Minnesota
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

     – Largest curling facility in the United States
  • Garrison Golf and Curling Club
    Garrison Golf and Curling Club
    Garrison Golf & Curling Club is a golf and curling club, located within CFB Kingston in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.Garrison is a private club, primarily for the use of Canadian Forces personnel and Canadian Department of National Defence employees, although civilians are also eligible to join.The...

    , Kingston, Ontario
  • Grand National Curling Club
    Grand National Curling Club
    The Grand National Curling Club, also known as the GNCC, is the union of curling clubs in New England and the Mid-Atlantic of the United States. It was established in 1867...

     – Organization in the United States covering clubs on the east coast
  • Granite Curling Club
    Granite Curling Club (Winnipeg)
    The Granite Curling Club, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the oldest curling club in Western Canada. It has produced many national and world champions. The original Granite Curling Club dates back to 1880. Its current downtown location was built in 1912. It is often considered to be the "St...

     – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Granite Curling Club
    Granite Curling Club (Seattle)
    The Granite Curling Club in Seattle is the only dedicated curling club on the West Coast of the United States. Since its founding in 1961, Granite Curling Club has produced more U.S. national championships than any other U.S...

     – Seattle, Washington
    Seattle, Washington
    Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

    , the only dedicated curling facility on the west coast of the United States
  • Greenacres Curling Club, Scotland – Home of the Salt Lake City Olympics gold medal winning Ladies team of 2002.
  • Hollywood Curling Club, Los Angeles, CA – Home of one of the newest curling clubs in the United States
  • Fenton's Rink – the first curling rink in England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

  • South of England Curling Club (SECC) – Active club in South England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

  • Ice Melters Curling Club
    Ice Melters Curling Club
    The Ice Melters Curling Club is a curling club based in Southern England. It was formed in June 2003, by Chris Munns, who wanted to provide curling opportunities for those based in England...

     – England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

  • KC Curling Club – Kansas City
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

  • KW Granite Curling Club – Waterloo, Ontario
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Waterloo is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is the smallest of the three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is adjacent to the city of Kitchener....

  • Markinch Curling Club
    Markinch Curling Club
    Markinch Curling Club, is a curling club in Markinch, Scotland that was instituted in 1842. Its members were formerly composed largely by employees of John Haig, the whisky blend whose bottling plant and offices used to be situated in the eponymous small Fife town, workers for Tullis Russell, a...

     – Fife, Scotland
  • Mayflower Curling Club
    Mayflower Curling Club
    The Mayflower Curling Club, which was founded in 1905, is located in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality in Halifax.The club is one of the premier curling rinks in Nova Scotia, being home to the teams headed by Colleen Jones, Mark Dacey, Shawn Adams, and Heather Smith-Dacey...

     – Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia
    Halifax Regional Municipality is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The Regional Municipality had a 2006 census population of 372,679, while the metropolitan area had a 2010 estimated population of 403,188, and the urban area of Halifax had a population of 282,924...

  • Milwaukee Curling ClubMequon, Wisconsin
    Mequon, Wisconsin
    Mequon is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It had a population of 21,823 at the 2000 census, and an estimated population of 23,739 in July 2009...

     — The oldest curling club in the U.S. – Since 1845
  • Nutmeg Curling Club – Bridgeport, Connecticut
    Bridgeport, Connecticut
    Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

  • Ottawa Curling Club
    Ottawa Curling Club
    The Ottawa Curling Club is an historic curling club located in downtown Ottawa on O'Connor Street. It is the oldest curling club in Ottawa, established in 1851 by Allan Gilmour as the Bytown Curling Club. The Club first played on the Rideau Canal until 1858...

     – Ottawa, Ontario
  • Potomac Curling Club – Laurel, Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

     – Near Washington, D.C
  • Philadelphia Curling Club – Paoli
    Paoli, Pennsylvania
    Paoli is a census-designated place in Chester County near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is situated in portions of two townships: Tredyffrin and Willistown...

    , Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     – Established in 1957
  • Pittsburgh Curling Club
    Pittsburgh Curling Club
    The Pittsburgh Curling Club is a curling club located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is one of only three curling clubs in Pennsylvania, the other two being the Philadelphia Curling Club and the Anthracite Curling Club...

     – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     – Established in 2002
  • Plainfield Curling Club
    Plainfield Curling Club
    The Plainfield Curling Club is a curling club located in South Plainfield, New Jersey. It owns and operates the only curling facility in New Jersey. It was founded in 1963, with the members initially using rented ice and curling outdoors. The current two-sheet structure was completed in 1967.The...

     – South Plainfield
    South Plainfield, New Jersey
    South Plainfield is a Borough in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 23,385....

    , New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

  • Rideau Curling Club
    Rideau Curling Club
    The Rideau Curling Club is a curling facility and organization located in Ottawa, Ontario. Founded in 1888, the Rideau Curling Club maintains a rivalry with the Ottawa Curling Club.-History:...

     – Ottawa, Ontario
  • Royal Caledonian Curling Club
    Royal Caledonian Curling Club
    The Royal Caledonian Curling Club is the mother club of the sport of curling, and the governing body of curling in Scotland. The RCCC was founded on 25 July 1838 in Edinburgh, and granted its royal charter by Queen Victoria in 1843, after she had witnessed a demonstration of the sport played on...

     – Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

    , the official Mother Club of curling
  • Royal Montreal Curling Club – Montreal, Quebec, the oldest active athletic club in North America
  • Royal City Curling Club
    Royal City Curling Club
    Construction of the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, began in August 1965, and was completed in January 1966. The club's first president was Malvin J. Hughes, and its first ice maker was Don Bowman. Since its completion, renovations have been done on it twice,...

     – New Westminster, British Columbia
    New Westminster, British Columbia
    New Westminster is an historically important city in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada, and is a member municipality of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It was founded as the capital of the Colony of British Columbia ....

  • Saint Paul Curling Club – St. Paul, Minnesota – Founded in 1885. Club with largest active membership in the United States (over 1000 members).
  • Schenectady Curling ClubSchenectady, New York
    Schenectady, New York
    Schenectady is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 66,135...

     – Established 1907 – Home to the Gordon Medal
  • Utica Curling Club
    Utica Curling Club
    The Utica Curling Club is located in Utica, New York. The club was founded in 1868 and is one of the oldest curling clubs in the United States...

     – Utica, New York
    Utica, New York
    Utica is a city in and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The population was 62,235 at the 2010 census, an increase of 2.6% from the 2000 census....

  • Waltham Curling Club – Triumph, Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    : The Oldest Curling Club in Illinois (Est. 1884)
  • Windsor Curling ClubWindsor
    Windsor, Ontario
    Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Southwestern Ontario at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. It is within Essex County, Ontario, although administratively separated from the county government. Separated by the Detroit River, Windsor...

    , Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

  • Roseland Golf and Curling ClubWindsor
    Windsor, Ontario
    Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Southwestern Ontario at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. It is within Essex County, Ontario, although administratively separated from the county government. Separated by the Detroit River, Windsor...

    , Ontario
    Ontario
    Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

  • Wauwatosa Curling ClubWauwatosa, Wisconsin
    Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
    Wauwatosa is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States, and was incorporated on May 27, 1897. As of the 2006 census estimate, the city's population was 44,798. Wauwatosa is located immediately west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area...

     – Home of 2005 U.S. Women's Olympic Curling Team coach.
  • Kilsyth – the first constituted curling club in the world
  • Wausau Curling ClubWausau, Wisconsin
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people...

    – Home of the Tietge Bonspiel, the oldest and largest high school curling bonspiel in the U.S.


External links