Curling Etiquette

All team members:

  • Be on time! Get to the club in time to change and warm up before the game. When you’re late you’re holding up seven other players. Delays are upsetting to your opponents and your own team. If you know you’ll be unavoidably late, inform your team in advance.
  • Get a spare. There may be occasion when you’re not able to curl as scheduled. It’s your responsibility to get a substitute. Call the ‘spares’ listed on the draw schedule, provided to you by your draw conveynor.  Call your skip and give the name of the curler substituting for you or the names of people you have called. No shows are no no’s!
  • Keep the ice clean. Change into your ‘curling’ shoes before going on the ice. Sand, grit and dirt are the ice’s worst enemy. Please clean your curling shoes before stepping on the ice.  Don’t forget to check the inside of your pull on gripper for the trapped dirt at the edges.  The shoes you wear should only be used for curling. Keep them clean.
  • Compliment a good shot. One of the nicest curling traditions is that players and spectators compliment a good shot by either side while not remarking on a poor shot or a competitor’s misfortune.   
  • Your enthusiasm and attention to your own game, and not the game on the adjoining sheet, has a direct bearing on the success of your team and the speed of the game.
  • BE ALERT – stop rocks before they leave your sheet.



  • To start the game, one of the two leads flips a coin, while the other lead calls ‘heads’ or ‘tails’.  The lead/team that wins the flip, decides on whether to take the ‘hammer’ or pick color of rock.  If the ‘hammer’ is picked, then the other team picks the color of the rock.
  • If your team leads off on any particular end, the lead should gather his or her rock and get in the hack, clean the stone, and begin the pre-shot routine. The second and third should put the rocks away in a single line along the edge of the sheet. It is not necessary to put the rocks in order and doing so wastes time.
  • Be ready. Take your position in the hack as soon as your opponent has delivered his/her stone
  • Throwers should be ready to deliver the stone as soon as the skip asks for it. Please do not wait until the skip gives you the broom to clean your rock. This is a major cause of delays in the game.
  • The handle of the stone should be clearly released before the hog line.



  • When a teammate is throwing, place his/her rock in front of the hack to help speed up the game.
  • Be courteous. Don’t distract your opponent in the hack. Keep your distance, be silent and motionless. Don’t walk or run across the ice when a player is in the hack. Don’t gather around the back of the house when an opponent is throwing. Only the skips and vices are allowed behind the tee line.  Sweepers should stay on the sidelines between the hog lines when not sweeping.  
  • Sweepers should ensure they walk back along the sidelines so as not to inhibit the next opposition thrower. Be still when the opposition team is delivering their rock.
  • Wait for the score. Vice skips are the only players allowed in the house while the score for the end is being decided. All other players should wait beyond the hog line until told they may move into the house to clear the rocks.  When a measurement is necessary, only the two vices shall be in the house.
  • Keep the game moving; delays detract from the sport. Be prepared to sweep as soon as your teammate releases the rock.
  • Don’t stop a burnt rock – If you touch a rock (“burn it”), do not stop it.  Allow the rock to continue to its rest.  Notify your skip that the rock was burnt.  If you have personally moved a stationary stone, say so immediately so that it may be replaced (put into original position) to the satisfaction of the opposing Skip.
  • One sweeper behind the tee line.  Arrange with your partner before hand who will continue to sweep once the rock is behind the tee line.


  • Skips should keep the game moving by minimizing delay in making decisions. Avoid long conferences. This is rock science, not rocket science.  
  • Start on time, even if it means beginning with three players.
  • A skip or third standing the house should keep perfectly still and avoid doing anything which would disturb the concentration of the opposing player in the hack.

Handshake and a drink

  • At the end of a game, whether you win or lose, give each of your opponents a hearty handshake, thank them for the game, and arrange to meet them in the lounge for a drink.
  • If you have won, offer to buy the first round of drinks for the opposing person at your position.
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