Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls, boules, and shuffleboard. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, or rocks, across the ice sheet towards the house, the circular target marked on the ice. Once the delivering player has released their stone, their teammates may sweep in front of the rock, which helps the rock maintain its momentum and affects the degree the rock will curl.
Each team has eight stones, with each player throwing two per end (an end is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones). The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored at the conclusion of each end. Stones of one color resting closer to the center of the house than any stones of the other color each score one point. A game usually consists of eight or ten ends.
Curling was added to the Winter Olympics in 1998.
For more detailed explanation of the rules, click here to view the Canadian Rules for General Play.
Mixed doubles is a dynamic form of curling which draws play to the four foot circle and requires detailed thought about angles. It is a faster version of curling that only requires two players, one male and one female, on each team. Only five rocks are thrown per team each end, instead of eight.
Each end is begun with one stone for each team pre-placed either in the house or as a guard (dependent on which team has hammer, or the last-stone advantage). Instead of throwing both their stones in a row, one player throws their team's first and fifth stones, and the other throws the stones in the middle. Click here for more on mixed doubles.
The mixed doubles format was added to the Winter Olympics in 2018.
Sturling is a another two-person form of curling which is open to individuals of any age and gender. It is open to both those with a traditional slide delivery as well as those who use a stick to deliver, including wheelchair curlers. (Click here to see an example of a stick delivery.)
All Sturling curling games are six ends. One member of each team stays at each end of the rink. The two delivering players (one from each team) alternately deliver six stones each per end, while their teammate skips, or decides the strategy, for that end. Roles are then reversed for the next end and the partners deliver the stones back.