what is curling? - Curling Basics - curling explained; excellent for beginners

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what is curling?


This section of curlingbasics.com is for people that are unfamiliar with this sport.
I try to describe the basic goals of the game so that you are able to understand what's going on when you are watching a curling game.

The descriptions are based on the WCF (World Curling Federation) rulebook for international curling competitions. There might be competitions that are played by different rules but in general the game might be nearly the same

But now to the question:

What is Curling?
EM 2007 in Füssen
Curling is an ice sport

Professional curling is played on artificial "ice" at indoor "rinks"

The playing surface in curling is called "sheet" or "rink"

The "sheet" is covered with tiny droplets of water that become ice and cause the "stones" to "curl", or deviate from a straight path

These water droplets are known as "pebble"

At each end of the "sheet" there's a target that looks like a big bullseye; these targets are known as the "houses"

The centre of the "house" is known as the "tee"

Basically, the object of the game is to get your "stones" closer to the "tee" than the other "team" gets theirs

A curling game is devided in 10 single game-parts

A game-part is called "end"

In a game two "teams" play against each other

A "team" consist of four players ("lead", "second", "third" and "skip")

Each player plays 2 "stones" in an "end"

Each "team" plays 8 "stones" in an "end"

Each of the four players has a fixed position to deliver his "stone" ("lead" plays stones 1 and 2; "second" plays stones 3 and 4; "third" plays stones 5 and 6; "skip" plays stones 7 and 8)

All four players on each "team" deliver 2 "stones", alternating with the other "team"

"lead" (team yellow) plays stone 1 for his team;
then "lead" (team red) plays stone 1 for his team;
then "lead" (team yellow) plays stone 2 for his team;
then "lead" (team red) plays stone 2 for his team;
then "second" (team yellow) plays stone 3 for his team;
then "second" (team red) plays stone 3 for his team
and so on ...

Points are "scored" after an "end"

"Stones" must be in or touching the circles of the "house" to be considered for "scoring"

After all 16 "stones" (both teams play 8 "stones") are played, the "team" with the stone closest the centre of the house ("tee") "scores" one point, and then "scores" an additional point for each one of their "stones" closer to the "tee" than the closest opposition "stone"

Only one "team" (the "team" with a "stone" closer to the "tee" than a "stone" of the opponent) can "score" in an "end"

The points of all "ends" are cumulated and the "team" that has the most points at the conclusion of all "ends" has won the game

Points are shown on a "scoreboard"

If at the end of the game the "score" is tied, "extra ends" are played until a winner is decided

The "team" "scoring" plays first in the next "end", giving the opponents the "last stone advantage" of that "end" (also known as the "hammer")

The "stones" are made out of granite and weigh about 20 Kilograms

A "stone" is delivered from the "hack" and must be released before the "stone" reaches the "hog line" at "home end"

When players are not delivering "stones", they are usually involved with "sweeping" their team’s "stones"

When a player delivers his "stone", the "skip" stands at the opposite end of the "sheet" (near or in the "house") and uses his "brush" to give his teammates a target for their deliveries

After the "stone" is delivered, its trajectory is still influenced by the two "sweepers" under instruction from the "skip"

"Sweeping" is done for several reasons: to reduce friction underneath the "stone", to decrease the amount of "curl", and to clean debris from the stone's path

The delivered "stone" slides about a distance of ca. 37 meters and should come to rest in or in front of the "house"
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