Registered? Ready to get started? Great!
The following will prepare you to play a stick delivery game on your first day of curling:
(Slide delivery programs will teach most of this in class)
- Curling Canada video
- Safety video (13 min)
- Introduction to curling video (30 min)
- Written safety summary
- Team’s 10 steps to make a shot
- Basic Rules
- Basic Strategy
- Strategy Video (18 min)
- ..In the future a train the trainer video will be made available
PLEASE watch this safety talk and on ice introduction
Our apologies for the fan noise in the first 3.5 minutes of the following video. If you miss a few words, the strategy video below also discusses scoring points.
* Curling Canada recommends helmets for age 12 and under, thought it is a really good idea for adults too.
* When throwing a takeout, only throw the rock as hard as is needed to make the shot. Anyone can throw a really fast rock with a stick. However, the faster the rock, the less safe an environment for younger players.
* Pay attention to the game so that you are not hit by a rock.
* Don’t stand on the dividers between the sheets. They can be slippery and are not designed to be stood on.
* If a rock is out of play, move it to the back corner of the sheet so nobody trips on it.
* When moving rocks to center ice to start the next end, have complete control of your rocks. Flinging rocks down the ice can cause someone to be hit by a rock and fall.
* Hold your broom straight up and down so that it doesn’t trip or hit another player.
* DO NOT RUN. DO NOT RUN. DO NOT RUN. We have seen horrible falls occur as people who were running tried to slow down. Please DO NOT RUN.
* Always have either the delivery stick or a broom in your hands. A broom can help you catch yourself if you lose your balance.
* Keep both feet on the ice. If you want to move or stop a rock, first try to do so with a broom. If the broom won’t move the rock, use your hand to start moving the rock then guide it with a broom. If you attempt to move the rock with a foot, you are reducing your ability to balance and could fall.
Many hours of work are invested in maintaining the ice every day. Please protect the curling rink:
* Players must wear clean indoor shoes. The shoes cannot be worn outside.
* When entering the curling club, please clean your shoes with the electric foot scrubber. lightly place your shoe on the bristles and push the button or pull the handle.
* Please don’t place a hand on the ice or sit on the ice. It melts the pebble (bumps on the ice), which is important for the rocks to slide.
* Please protect the hack (the rubber foot pads in the ice) when it is safe to do so. Hacks are expensive and can be damaged if a rock hits them.
What you need to bring to the curling club
The two critical items you must bring are:
* Clean indoor shoes that have a rubber sole and good surface contact and texture. Completely flat soles or big nobby soles may not work well. Also be cautious of fake rubber foam soles that become icy when cold. If you have two pairs of indoor shoes, we recommend you bring both pairs incase one pair becomes slippery when cold.
* A helmet is a good idea for all ages and is required for youth. The type of helmet is your choice. Bicycle and hockey helmets are examples.
Adults should also wear helmets for the same reason we wear seat belts
Nov 15, 2015: “Yesterday I fell backwards and hit my head on the ice – hard. Many adults curl for years and years and never have a fall, but accidents do happen and I have now had two falls in two years. Maybe the purpose behind my bad luck is for me to write the following paragraph?
“During my fall two years ago, which is described in the safety video, I actually felt my brain hit the back of my scull. I wasn’t wearing a helmet and there were concussion consequences. Yesterday, when I fell the same way, I was wearing a bike helmet. The helmet’s plastic straps at the back of my head broke, but the impact experience seemed to be much less severe than the first fall.
“I am a firm supporter of helmets in curling for all ages and all levels of experience.”
I later realized the rubber on my older curling shoes had dried out and didn’t have near as much grip as a new rubber gripper
Other things to consider:
* Although most people don’t find the environment too cold, some do get a chill. It’s a good idea to wear a couple layers. Preferably, don’t wear a fleece as your outside layer as fleece can drop fuzz onto the ice, which can change the behaviour of a rock sliding down the ice.
* Wear warm socks. An extra foam layer of insole in the bottom of your shoe can help keep your feet warm.
* Sweep! 🙂 Sweeping your teammates rock will keep you warm.
* A coin. The game starts with the flip of a coin to see which team gets to throw the last rock.
* A little bit of healthy food before the game can give you the strength to make great shots!
The team’s ten steps to make a shot
Curling is a team sport. Every shot is a team effort. Here are the ten steps a curling team does to make a great curling shot:
1) The skip (the team member standing in the rings) looks where all the rocks are and decides what shot to try and signals the other team members the shot they will attempt. (The skip signals a draw into the rings by tapping his or her broom on the ice where the rock should land. A takeout is signaled by tapping a rock and then moving the broom backwards indicating the rock will travel out of the rings)
2) The skip places the broom on the ice to show the thrower where to aim.
3) The skip raises either his or her left or right arm to indicate the direction the rock should curl.
(Tip: The skip raises his or her arm that is on the opposite side of the direction the rock should curl. Why the opposite side? So the thrower knows to start with the rock’s handle pointed towards the side which skip is holding out their arm. When the thrower releases the rock, the handle is turned towards the 12 o’clock position, initiating a rotation that will cause the rock to curl to the other side.)
4) The thrower lines up their body, hand and rock in a straight line with the broom the skip is holding.
5) The thrower turns the rock handle to the side where the skip is holding up their arm at either the 10 to 11 o’clock position or the 1 to 2 o’clock position.
6) The thrower starts to push the rock straight towards the skips broom, taking three or four steps to do so.
7) The thrower, a few moments before releasing the rock, turns the handle of the rock to the 12 o’clock position, which starts the rotation of the rock and causes the rock to curl as it slides down the ice. Ideally the rock will rotate no more than 2 complete rotations.
8) Sweepers walk along side of the rock as it slides towards the rings and assess the rocks weight (speed). The sweepers tell the skip if it is heavy (too fast) or light (too slow) and start sweeping if the rock is light and needs to slide further.
9) The skip assess if the rock needs to curl less. If it does, the skip yells sweep and the sweepers start sweeping so that the rock will curl less.
10) Teammates congratulate each other on a successful shot or a good try. Family curling is all about camaraderie and fun!
* 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.
If your team will throw the last rock:
* You want to keep the center of the ice open so that you have a chance to throw the last rock onto the button to score a point.
* You may want to take out or move any of your opponents rocks in the center of the sheet that prevent you from drawing to the button.
* You may place your rocks on the sides of the rings or on the sides as guards so that your own rocks don’t prevent you from drawing to the button with the last rock.
If your team throws first and therefore does not have last rock:
* You may want to place most of your rocks in the center of the sheet, on or in front of the button and as guards, to prevent the other team from using the last rock to score a point.
* You are trying to ‘steal a point’. Stealing a point usually involves placing a rock on or in front of the button, which is hidden behind guards that make it very hard for the opponents last rock to access the button or your rock which is counting.
I, the narrator, cannot claim any level of real expertise, but the thoughts I share about strategy here are suitable for a new Family Curler. Looking back at the video, maybe yellow should have thrown another guard and red should have taken out a guard, etc. However, that would have made for an less interesting video 🙂 . Hopefully you find this helpful:
How to deliver the rock with a stick
A trick for understanding the direction a rock will curl:
Think of the steering wheel of a car. When you turn the top of the steering wheel to the left, the car turns left. Now imagine placing the steering wheel down onto the rock and rotating the rock the same way you turn a steering wheel. The rock will curl in the same direction as a car would turn.
In other words, the rock will curl in the same direction as the front of the rock is rotating.
Rotating rocks curl