To ensure a fun curling season, and in keeping with the spirit of curling, we would like to take a moment to review our rules and guidelines. For certain points, we’ve followed the USCA Championships rules and procedures.
Teams and Substitutes
While it is preferable for teams to be formed and entered as a team, in order to grow the membership, this is not possible yet. We have to incorporate new curlers into our ranks, and each league will be structured to balance both the playing experience, as well as incorporating new players. In order for new members to be able to play on teams in a league, it may be necessary to restrict teams to three or two players, allowing the league coordinator to place new members on a team with seasoned players.
A mixed curling team will consist of two males and two females, with the throwing order alternating genders. This pertains to teams with substitutes as well.
We currently play an open style which means you do not have a required number of male or female curlers nor is there a male/female order requirement.
Prior to each match, each team is to declare its skip and vice-skip positions and delivery rotation to their opponent and must keep that rotation for that match. There is no requirement that your team keep the rotation throughout the league, just during that match.
During each match, a team is considered legal if at least one of its regular members are curling and there are at least three players. Subs are the responsibility of the player needing replacement and your absence must be communicated with your team. If a team needs a sub, you must tell the league coordinator who will assign subs from those available. Subs can play in any position except they may not skip or throw skips rocks if the skip is present. Sub Fee – $10.
If a player is missing at the start of a game, your team may either start the game with three players or use a designated substitute. If starting with three players, the first two players deliver three stones each, and the third player delivers two stones. Once the missing player arrives, he or she may enter the game in their declared delivery rotation and position at the start of an end.
If your team only has two players, or is otherwise not ready to start at the designated start time, penalties may apply as outlined in the “Start of Play” section.
If your team cannot curl a particular week, please be courteous and notify the opposing team’s skip. Failure to make arrangements in advance or no shows will result in a forfeit.
Please be on time and be aware of the clock!
The following is subject to change based on how the leagues develop, but the rules currently are:
- The draws are scheduled for eight ends, but are limited to the time available.
- Teams which would otherwise have to forfeit, can make up games using an open sheet on another night with the consent of the other team, if the ice is not needed for Learn to Curls and with the approval of the league director.
- Please play quickly to maximize your curling experience.
- Final decision on anything not clearly covered in the rules is the league director’s decision.
If a team is late by at least ten minutes, one end and one stone (1.25 points if the league is points-based) will be awarded to the opposing team, if the opposing team is prepared on time to play. If neither team is present and prepared to curl within ten minutes of the start time, the first end is declared a “blank end” with no points for stones or end awarded. Neither Skip can waive this rule.
At the end of 20 minutes, if one team is not prepared to play but the opposing team is prepared to play; the game will be considered a forfeit against the team that is not prepared. If neither team is prepared to play at the end of 20 minutes, the game will be considered a forfeit against to both teams.
The “spirit of curling” should govern all matches and in the event of dispute, the opposing skips are asked to resolve any issues that may arise during the course of the match. Any solution acceptable to them is valid. Please discuss any unsolvable issues with the league director.
League standings may be determined by one of two scoring systems: wins and losses, or the “Points and Ends” scoring system. Each league will be defined as to how it is being scored before the league begins.
The thirds are responsible for recording, certifying, and turning in the result at the end of each match. Scores will be considered official once certified by both vice-skips.
Where possible, league standings will be determined by wins and losses. Where teams have the same win/loss record, if possible, we will have a head to head game, that will decide the winner or placement of teams. Any game that is tied at the end of eight ends or the allotted time will be settled by the skips drawing to the button. The closest to the button wins! Sweepers are allowed but not required for the draw to the button. A team may not sweep their opponent’s stone at any time on a draw to the button.
Alternately, when it is not possible due to the draw selected, the “Points and Ends” scoring system will be used to determine standings.
A team will be awarded one point for each end won, and one-quarter point for each stone scored during the match. Five points will be awarded for the win. Any game that is tied at the end of eight ends or the allotted time will be settled by the skips drawing to the button. The closest to the button wins! Sweepers are allowed but not required for the draw to the button.
Points of Emphasis
Language and Actions
Curling is a game for Ladies and Gentleman and all actions must be in accordance to that. Inappropriate language or actions will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of the “Spirit of Curling” and of your teammates and opponents.
It is customary for both rinks to participate in the post game social activity of broom stacking. The winning team members will treat their opponents to a complimentary first round of beverage. This good faith gesture is then reciprocated.
Courtesy lines are in accordance with USCA rules. They are 6 inches in length, and ½ inch in width, placed 4 feet outside and parallel to the hog lines, on each side of the rink. During the process of delivery, the players on the non-delivering team take stationary positions along the sidelines between the courtesy lines. Although these lines are not displayed on our ice, please stand in that area.
And remember, the non-delivering team players must not take any position, nor cause any motion, which could obstruct, interfere with, distract or intimidate the delivering team.
Start of Play
Everyone needs to be ready on time to start. Even if we only start five or so minutes late, it is discourteous to the other team and to the teams in a later draw. Everyone should plan on being at the rink ready to play no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. The team should meet, talk, stretch and plan. BE ON TIME AND READY TO START, ESPECIALLY IF THE ICE IS READY A LITTLE EARLY.
Ice Prep and Setup
The ice prep team works very hard to ensure that we have the best possible curling surface for every game. Their focus is solely on that of the ice surface itself (Zamboni, scraping, pebbling, breaking pebble, sweeping the ice surface, setting hacks, etc). The league requires the assistance of everyone else to get the rocks, scoreboards, etc on the ice in a timely fashion in anticipation of an on time start to every draw. As well, the league requires assistance with clean up following every draw.
Each team is responsible for cleaning up their own rocks and thirds remove the scoreboard after they have verified the score.
Pace of Play
Much like timeliness of starting, slow play is discourteous to the other team. As the USCA rules establish, all players must be ready to deliver their stones when their turn comes, and not take an unreasonable amount of time to play. It’s each player’s responsibility to be ready and to help the others on his or her team to be ready. WE NEED TO PLAY ALL GAMES IN NO MORE THAN TWO HOURS.
Some suggestions are listed below. If everyone focuses and is ready, there is plenty of time for strategy and shot-calling.
Remember, not every shot needs a lot of time to call – save time for the really tough calls.
Suggestions For Ensuring a 2-Hour Game
Leads should prepare for delivery as soon as the vices announce the score and let the other team members remove the rocks.
The next shooter should be prepared to deliver his or her stone as soon as the opposing team has delivered and the skip has turned over the house to your team.
Curlers using stabilizers should have one at each end.
Curlers using extenders should have one at each end or have another member have it ready for you.
Leads should have the skip’s rock ready at the hacks.
Please be aware of the clock and your time. There are 15 minutes allocated to each end. That’s 7 ½ minutes per team, or a little less than 2 minutes per shot. That is ample time to complete an end and therefore the game.
As soon as a delivered stone has come to rest, the team delivering that stone should clear to the side of the sheet. DO NOT STAND IN THE SHEET, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE HOUSE, HINDERING THE OTHER TEAM FROM PROCEEDING WITH ITS SIGNALING AND DELIVERY.
Play in the House
Proper play requires both competitiveness and courtesy. Both teams have specific rights in the house.
During the process of delivery, the skip or vice of the non-delivering team may take a stationary position either along the sideline between the courtesy lines or behind the back line at the playing end, but must not interfere with the choice of place of the skip or vice of the delivering team.
Behind the tee line, a team has first privilege of sweeping its own stone, but it must not obstruct or prevent its opponent from sweeping.
The non-delivering skip or vice may not interfere with or obstruct the view or play of the skip or vice of the delivering team in front of the tee line.
Blocking the opposing skip or vice from the ability to sweep a stone which the skip or vice has the right to sweep is not only discourteous, but against the rules. This includes the ability to sweep an opponent’s stone behind the tee line.
Remember, if a sweeping violation occurs, the non-offending team has the option of allowing the play to stand, or of placing the stone, and all stones it would have affected, where they would have come to rest had the violation not occurred.
Play in General
Remember that in delivering the stone, it must be “clearly released from the hand before it reaches the hog line on the delivering end.”
No player may sweep an opponent’s stone except behind the tee line. The opponent’s stone must have reached the tee line at the playing end before sweeping may begin by the other team.
Behind the tee line, only one player from each team may sweep at any one time. On the delivering team, it may be any player. On the non-delivering team, it may only be the skip or vice
Curling is a game of courtesy and integrity. If a team or team member violates a rule (hog line violation, touching a moving stone, moving a stationary stone, etc), that team or team member must call the violation to the attention of the opposing skip.
The Spirit of Curling
Curling is a game of skill and traditions. A shot well executed is a delight to see and so, too, it is a fine thing to observe the time honored traditions of curling being applied to the true spirit of the game. Curlers play to win but never to humble their opponents. A true curler would prefer to lose rather than win unfairly.
While the main object of a game of curling is to determine the relative skill of the players, the spirit of the game demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honorable conduct. This spirit should influence both the interpretation and application of the rules of the game and also the conduct of all participants on and off the ice.