Curling Tips‎ > ‎

First Time and Beginners

If its your first time on the ice we will give you some instruction on how to throw the stone and how to sweep.  The act of throwing a curling stone straight and the correct distance does not require brute strength, but it does demand good technique, balance and co-ordination.  Practice is essential for beginners and indeed for anyone wishing to improve their play.

 

SAFETY

Warm-up properly before a game of curling, as this greatly reduces the risk of strain or stretch injury.  Be very careful when you move over the ice.  You will find it very slippery until you get used to it, and it is very hard if you fall.

 

Do not step over stones and always step onto the ice with your gripper foot first. 

 

When delivering your stone, wait until you have stopped sliding forward before attempting to stand up, and then rise on your gripper foot – not your slider foot.
 

Curling stones must never be carried or lifted.  Park stones that are out of play and after an end has been completed.  Make sure that no one is in the way when stones are being cleared. 

Move stones carefully, using you feet or a brush to guide them.

 

CLOTHING

Ice rinks are necessarily cold so make sure you have warm clothes.  Gloves are not essential but worth bringing along. Avoid woollen gloves, as you will not be able to grip the brush handle. It is always wise to have an extra sweater. You will soon warm up after a few ends of vigorous sweeping!

 

Trousers should be made from a stretch material or be loose enough to cause no restriction in the curling delivery.  Jeans are not really suitable. 


FOOTWEAR

If you have never been on the ice before you should wear shoes with soft rubber soles for maximum grip. The soles should be scrupulously clean and ideally not worn anywhere on the than on the ice.Slip on Slider

 

As you progress you may wish to try a slip on slider. These are elasticated to fit over your sliding foot and will allow you to make a longer smoother delivery.

 
 

PLAYING THE GAME

 

Be ready to take your shot after the opposition player has started their delivery. Remember to clean the bottom of the stone and the ice in front of the hack before you lay the stone back down.

 

When sweeping, stand near the T-line in front of your teammate. Don’t stand near the hog line or half way up the rink waiting for the stone to come to you. The skip may call for sweeping as soon as the stone has been released and you should be moving with the stone.
 

SKIPS’ CALLS  

 

Skips should signal the shot to be played with its hand (turn) and weight, and will call the sweeping for both the line (direction) of the stone and its weight (distance it will travel).  Good sweeping straightens the direction of the stone, and increases its length of travel by as much as 15 feet on keen (fast) ice.

 

Handle

Indicated by ...

Clockwise handle

the Skip holding out his right hand. (Indicating left from players perspective)

Anti-clockwise handle

the Skip holding out his left hand. (Indicating right from players perspective)

Either of the above “handles” will be used in conjunction with the shot types shown below:

Shot

Indicated by ...

Draw

The Skip pointing or tapping the ice with the brush where your stone is to come to rest.

Strike

The Skip pointing with the brush to the stone to be removed.

Guard

The Skip holding the brush shoulder-high and parallel to the ice.

Freeze

Similar to a draw, also tapping top of brush handle with palm of hand.

Raise

The Skip pointing with the brush to the stone to be moved, then to the spot it is to be moved to.

Hit & Roll

The Skip pointing with the brush to the stone to be removed, then to the spot to which your stone is to run.

Sweeping

The Skip’s call for sweeping is SWEEP or HURRY or YES or ON.  The Skip’s call to stop sweeping is WHOA or NO or OFF.

Weight

The Skip will point to the back line if your stone is to be played at a weight to reach the back of the house, to the hack if it should be faster and the barrier for faster still.  Drawing the forearm across the waist in a horizontal “sawing motion” may also signal barrier weight shots. Hack weight by tapping the foot and a strike weight (really fast) shot by touching the shoulder.

Stones in play

For an opponent’s stone the Skip will point to the stone with the brush and then will point outwards with the hand.  For your own stones the Skip will point inwards towards the chest.