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Curling Basics

Curling is a sport in which two teams take turns sliding stones on a sheet of ice towards a target. These stones are called "rocks" and are made out of approximately 42 lbs. of granite. Pushing the rock from the "hack" is called "throwing". In traditional curling, each team consists of four players. Each player throws two rocks towards a target called the "house" which resembles a bullseye and is comprised of three 2 foot rings. The center of the house is called the "button". The diameter of the house is 12 feet. When a rock slides with a rotation across the ice, it will travel along a curved path hence the name of the game, curling. A curling rock has a 6" band on the bottom that slides over frozen droplets "pebble" on the ice to create less friction. The goal of the game is to be closer to the button than your opponent. The game starts with a coin flip for hammer to determine which team will get the advantage and throw the last rock in the first "end". After all sixteen rocks have been thrown at the house, the end is complete and the score is counted. The team that scores goes first the next end. Each game consists of 8 or 10 ends and after every end, the score is counted and added to a final tally. Each game typically lasts two hours.


Figure 1: House

Figure 2: Rocks in a house

Figure 3: Sheet of ice


When the end is complete, the team whose rock is in the house and closest to the middle of the button gets a point. From there you look for the next rock in the house closest to the button. If it belongs to the opposition, then the team does not get any more points. If it belongs to the team, they get another point. This continues until the opposition's rock is closer to the button or there are no more rocks in the house.

Figure 4: Red Scores 1

Figure 5: Blue scores 4

Figure 6: Red Scores 1


Each rock thrown is accompanied by two sweepers from the same team. Sweepers use their brooms to brush with equal amounts of speed and downward pressure in front of the rocks direction. This will help the rock slide a straighter path and travel a further distance.

Mixed Doubles

Another variation of curling is called mixed doubles. It consists of two players, one female and one male. 

To learn more watch this two-minute guide to curling or go to


Join Curling Jamaica

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