House Rules

In order to make sure that we all have a good time and things go smoothly, please remember to keep the following house rules in mind during league play! (This advice transports to bonspiels as well.)

Matches should begin by introducing yourself to all the members of the opposing team with a handshake and a wish of “Good Curling!”

The vice-skips (typically the third) should have a coin on hand and participate in the coin toss to determine which team begins with the hammer and which team chooses the colors.

Play safely:

  • Don’t chase stones moving too fast for you.
  • Don’t sweep while moving backward.
  • If the stone is moving towards someone whose back is to it, warn them.
  • Tuck your chin to your chest to protect your head if you start to fall

Exhibit good sportsmanship:

  • Be ready to take a stone you “burned” out of play.  Remember that, like golf, curling is a self-regulated sport and requires you to report when you have touched the stone past the hog line or bumped it with your broom, so that it can be removed from play.
  • Let all players (on both teams) know when they’ve made a great shot.
  • It’s okay to be happy when you’ve made a great shot–but don’t overdo it.
  • It’s okay to be frustrated when you’ve made a poor shot–but keep it together.

Try to get back to your feet after a throw as quickly and safely as possible–prolonged contact between your body and the ice will start to melt it, making the pebbling less effective.

Take care of the equipment, especially the stones, by preventing them from bumping into the hacks, scoreboards, sides of the arenas, or sliding into other sheets.

For the non-delivering team:

  • Sweepers should remain between the hog lines, the other thrower behind the hack or between the hog lines.  Stay at the edges of your sheet, but avoid drifting into the next sheet over.
  • Try not to distract the opposing team–avoid large motions and loud noises  
  • Keep your broom parallel to the ice to avoid confusion
  • Skips (or vice-skips) should remain behind the back line of the house to allow the opposing skip to focus.  It is okay to stand behind the opposing skip (keeping your broom parallel to the ice) to learn what the ice is doing

For the delivering team:

  • Sweepers should be alert and ready to sweep
  • Every member of the team should help with the current shot
  • Move to the sides of the sheet as soon as your shot has come to rest, so that you don’t impede the view of the next thrower from the opposing team

Time management:

  • Be aware of how much time is left.  Each eight-end game must be finished in under two hours.  No ends shall be started after 15 minutes before the end of the session (even if that means you don’t get to play all eight ends).
  • Be aware of what’s happening in your game and be ready to throw your stone when it’s your turn.  Help your teammates (especially the vice-skip and skip) by helping to get the next stone into position near the hack between turns. This will help ensure that you get to play eight ends.

Be aware of other sheets:

  • Make sure to stay in your own sheet
  • Be respectful of both teams when exchanging dialogue with players from other games
  • If you see a player on the sheet next to you already in the hack, wait to deliver your stone until they have done so
  • Try to be aware of moving stones on adjacent sheets. Be alert for any stray stones that may come your way

End of ends:  

  • The vice skips determine the score.  All other players should remain out of the house until they do so.  The vice skip from the scoring team will hang the score during the next end.
  • The skip from the team that scored most recent should head down immediately to the other end to prepare, letting the other players clear the stones
  • Similarly, the lead who will throw the first shot of the next end should start preparing for that immediately, letting the others clear the stones

Ends of matches–matches may end because 8 ends of play have been completed, you have hit the time limit, or because a team has conceded.  The end of a match should concluded with another handshake and a “Good Curling!”

  • Vice skips should email the score of their match to after the match has concluded
  • During league play, time allowing, we encourage teams to continue playing/practicing after a concession with more experienced/skilled members actively coaching the others.  It would be fine at this point to mix up the teams.

This post has been lightly adapted from a Lilac City Curling handout and the Windy City Curling etiquette page.

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