A Bit of History

Curling originated in Scotland in the 16th century, where it was played outdoors on frozen ponds in the winter. One century later, they put handles on the rocks so that they could be thrown more easily and more consistently. This method is still in use today, however the stones are now made out of polished granite as opposed to the flat-bottomed river stones which were originally used. Men’s curling was first accepted as an official Olympic sport in 1924. In 1932 curling was removed from the Olympics but it reappeared as a demonstration event at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary. Ten years later, in Nagano, curling once again became an official Olympic sport in both the male and female disciplines.

The Basics

  • Two teams of four players play against each other on ice
  • Each sheet of ice is between 44.5m and 45.72m (146-150 feet) long
  • Each sheet of is between 4.32m and 4.78m (14.2-15.7 feet) wide
  • A game usually consists of eight or ten ends
  • A game generally lasts between 120 and 150 minutes
  • The target is called the “house” and is made up of three concentric circles of diameters 4, 8 and 12 feet.
  • The center of the house is called the “button”
  • A curling rock is made of granite and weighs around 20 kg (44 pounds)

Purpose of the Game

The purpose of the game is to score points by getting stones closer to the house center, or the “button” than the other teams stones. Players from either team alternate in taking shots from the far side of the sheet and each player throws two stones per end. An end is complete when all eight rocks for each team have been delivered, a total of sixteen stones. Once a stone has been thrown, teammates may sweep in front of the stone to influence the trajectory or to increase the total distance traveled by the stone. A curling rock is made of granite and weighs about 20 kg (44 pounds).

Scoring and Points

After each end, the team with the closest stone to the button scores. One point is awarded for each stone lying closer to the button than the opponent’s stones. Only one team can score per end. The play continues for either 8 or 10 ends (predetermined), and the team with the most points after all ends have been played wins.

The Curling Season

Most curling clubs are closed in the summer. In general, the curling season runs from the end of September to the end of March.

Why Curling?

  • Physical activity that is easy to learn
  • Learn a new sport
  • Curling is a sport for life and can be played by everyone regardless of age, gender or physical condition
  • Great social compenent which makes it easy to meet new people
  • Official Olympic sport
  • Low risk of injury
  • Affordable
  • Indoor winter sport
  • Team sport with can be directly associated to Canada

Joining a Club

Membership fees and registration types generally vary from one curling club to another and depend upon different factors (age, number of games per week, etc).