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Beltline Bonspiel Curling Rules


Object of the Game

Curling has similarities to bowls and shuffleboard (deck) and involves sliding granite stones, also called rocks, into a target area at the other end of a long, thin, strip of ice which constitutes the “pitch”. The team that propels their rocks closest to the centre of the target scores points accordingly, with the path of the stone influenced by team members who sweep and brush the ice ahead of the stone in order to alter its speed or curl.


Teams and Rink Size

Curling is played between two teams of four using eight granite stones each. Each sheet at our Bonspiel is, 22m in length (roughly half the official length of a curling sheet) and 4.4-5m wide. There is a “house” at each end, a circular target made up of a blue outer circle with a 12ft diameter, a white circle inside that with a diameter of eight feet and a red circle with a diameter of four feet.

Each player on a team throws two rocks taking alternating turns with the opposing team. Two sweepers follow the rock down the ice clearing the ice with brooms while the skip stands at the other end of the rink helping call the shot.



Scoring is done after each “end” (an end being a set where both teams have thrown all eight stones) with whichever team is closest to the centre of the house being awarded a point. Further points are awarded for each stone of theirs that is closer than the best of the opposition’s. In order to score any points at least one stone must be “in the house”, which is to say touching any of the circles or overhanging them (due to the shape of the stones).


Winning the Game

The game is won by the team that scores the most points after two ends are complete. If the scores are level after the allotted number of ends then an extra sudden-death end is played.


Rules of Curling

  • Teams of four take it in turns to curl two rocks towards the target area with the scores being counted after all 16 rocks have been sent down the ice.
  • The stone must be released its front edge crosses the first blue "hog" line. Foul throws are removed from the ice before they have come to rest or in contact with other rocks.
  • Sweeping may be done by two members of the team up to the tee line, whilst after that point only one player can brush. After the tee one player from the opposing side may also sweep. 
  • Stones that do no pass the second blue "hog" line will be removed from play.
  • A stone touched or moved when in play by a player or their broom will either be replaced or removed depending on the situation.
  • The team to go first is decided by coin toss, “draw-to-the-button” contest or, in Olympic competition using win-loss records. Subsequently the team that failed to score in the previous end has the advantage of going last, called the hammer throw.
  • A team may concede if they feel they cannot win, although depending on the event and stage of event they may have to wait until a certain number of ends have been completed.
  • Fair play is of huge importance so there is a culture of self-refereeing with regards fouls and this is a big part of curling.

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