Family curling is about fun and friendships. We don’t necessarily need to know every nuance of every rule, but there are basic rules to understand:
* If a rock does not fully cross the hogline, it is removed from play and placed behind the rings.
* If a rock has fully crossed the back line (at the back of the rings) the rock is removed from play.
* If a rock touches the side boards, the rock is removed, hopefully before it contacts any other rocks. If it does contact another rock after hitting the boards, the other rock should be put back in its original position.
* The first four rocks (the first two for each team) cannot be used to take out an opponents rock if it is not touching the rings and is in the free guard zone. If a rock is accidently taken out, it is put back to it’s original position
* The team that scores a point this end, throws the first rock the next end. If no points are scored this end, the team that threw the first rock this end also throws the first rock next end.
* The teams flip a coin at the beginning of the game. The winner of the toss chooses which team throws the first rock. The loser of the toss chooses the color of their rocks.
* Teams take turns throwing their rocks.
* Traditional curling rules indicate that the first player on a team throws two rocks, then the second player throws two rocks, and so on in a 11223344 sequence. In family curling, players can optionally throw rocks in a 12341234 sequence.
* Traditional curling rules indicate the player who is skip, remains the skip for the entire game. In family curling, the person who is skip can change after each end.
* Family curling is about fun. If a player ‘hogs a rock’ meaning they don’t throw it hard enough to cross the hog line, then once and a while they can have a second chance at the shot.
* In traditional curling, if a sweeper ticks the thrown rock with their broom, the rock is immediately removed from play. In family curling with younger players, mistakes like this will be made. If the rock isn’t affected, good sportsmanship will allow the rock to continue to be played.
* In half sheet curling, the rock should be released by the time it reaches half ice. If a player is having a hard time throwing the rock to the rings from that distance, they can throw from a closer position.