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Curling Etiquette and Positioning Hints

Some basic points of playing the game that beginners may already be aware of, and some finer points they may not know:

  • Introduce yourself and shake hands with your opponents before the game & wish everyone ‘good curling’.
  • A player from one team tosses a coin, while the other team makes the call (mostly this task is done by the Thirds/Vice Skips). Whichever team wins the toss has the option of throwing the last rock, or choosing rock colour. The team that wins the toss will usually opt for the advantage of last rock, in which case the other team chooses the colour they want.
  • Only the skip & vice of the delivering team should be in the house.
  • Sweepers should be between the hog lines when rocks are delivered by the opposition. In other words -  When it's team A's turn to throw, players from team B should not be in the area between the backboard and the hog line where team A is throwing. This area is considered to be the territory of team A, and players on team B should wait at the side of the sheet between the two hog lines or behind the backboard.  As soon as the rock has been delivered, players from team B can then move into the area to prepare for their team's throw - and the rule applies the other way round.
  • When your team mate is throwing their rock, sweepers should keep far enough back with their brooms into their bodies, so that they don't block the sightlines, or impede the movement, of their team mate throwing.
  • Similarly, when you have finished sweeping your team's rock and you're walking back down the sheet, keep to the edge. Remember that the other team will be throwing their rock and that the sightlines down the sheet should be unblocked.
  • You should avoid stepping onto or walking up and down the sheet of ice next to the one you're playing on if teams are playing on it.
  • Be quiet and still when opponents are delivering their rocks.
  • Do not put rocks out for your opponents - the sweepers of the team delivering the rocks should be doing this for their own players.
  • It's okay for a Skip to stand behind the other Skip to watch the line, but the Skip behind should try not to have their broom placed down vertically on the ice, since this may put the thrower off by seeing two brooms! It's courtesy for the Skip standing behind to position their broom horizontally across their body.
  • Sweepers should position themselves on or around the tee line, near to the hack, to start sweeping a rock. If your team mate releases a slow moving rock, waiting for it to come to you at the hog line or beyond defeats the purpose of sweeping. Sweepers should start moving with the thrower and be level with the rock ready to sweep as soon as it is released if needed.
  •  The other reason why sweepers should position themselves closer to the hack for sweeping, is so that when the Skip comes to throw a rock (which would already be waiting for them at the hack!), the Skip can discuss strategy with the sweepers while preparing to throw. This makes it easier for the Skip to communicate with the front-end, the front-end will benefit by knowing what they need to do and will start to understand more about strategy; and it keeps the game moving along quicker.
  •  Strategy and decision making is the responsibility of the Skip. When it comes time for Skips to throw, they should discuss strategy with their Third/Vice Skip. These decisions should not be drawn out. Taking too much time is unfair on the opposition. Seconds and Leads can get involved in some strategy discussions, but consistently being involved slows the game down.
  • All players should be aware of what's going on in a game. Be ready to throw your rock when it's your turn.
  • Both teams shake hands after a game. 
  • If you can’t attend a game get a spare in advance and notify the skip. 

Ice Etiquette:

  • Clean your shoes before going on the ice.
  • Make sure shoes are curling shoes or indoor shoes.
  • Clean brooms over garbage cans so dirt etc. does not fall onto the carpet.
  • Don’t put hands on the ice or kneel on ice.
  • Arrange rocks in order once the game is complete - not after every end.

Role of the Skip: 

  • Make your team aware of curling etiquette.
  • The ice maker is proud of his ice and works hard to provide good ice. Please point out to your team that sitting or resting on the ice deteriorates the ice. It is okay to touch the ice when you are moving but not when you are stationary. Continue to make curlers aware of this.
  • Be aware of safety. Recommend grippers be new and worn at all times after a delivery. Help sweepers prevent falls by suggesting that when they are sweeping their feet and body face towards the house they are delivering towards.
  • Set an example; be courteous & be aware of team dynamics. Be a Nice Person.
  • Competitive curling is ‘Skip’s Choice’; all other draws of curling are recreational. Winning & competition are not paramount to some of our team members. They curl for other reasons such as social & exercise. Tailor your expectations to the ability of your team members. Be considerate of those of lesser talents.
  • Know the rules so you can assist your team. Feel free to refer to the rule book which is on the buletin board.
  • Make sure your team is ready to play on time; that is they are on the ice and ready to throw the first rock by your scheduled time. If some members are not able to start on time inform the opponent skip, start your game and fit your team members in when they arrive.
  • To receive points for a win or tie, your game results have to be posted. Usually this is the vice’s job but you may want to follow through to see that this is done.
  • Encourage your team-mates to participate in the club’s bonspiels.
  • The club would like to hear any suggestions you or your team may have. Share these with your convener; draw master, or Club Manager.
  • Make your team aware of ‘Open Curling’, clinics and other events.

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Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club

940 Vimy Road

Mailing address: 
Box 20062,RPO Westwood
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3K 2E5

Phone: 204-832-5817 | Fax: 204-888-8996

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The Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club carries the pride of honouring these men and all others who fought for freedom in World War I and II. We are mindful of the task we have undertaken and endeavor to carry out our curling in a friendly and sportsmanlike manner. We are proud of them; we hope they would have been proud of us.



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