Etiquette and Rules

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Etiquette

Curling has its rules governing play, but equally as important is the way you conduct yourself while curling. This is outlined in the Curlers’ Code of Ethics that is part of the rulebook:

  • I will play the game with a spirit of good sportsmanship.
  • I will conduct myself in an honourable manner both on and off the ice.
  • I will never knowingly break a rule, but if I do, I will divulge the breach.
  • I will take no action that could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate or demean my opponents, teammates or officials.
  • I will interpret the rules in an impartial manner, always keeping in mind that the purpose of the rules is to ensure that the game is played in an orderly and fair manner.
  • I will humbly accept any penalty that the governing body at any level of curling deems appropriate, if I am found in violation of the Code of Ethics or rules of the game.

Some of the key items of proper curling etiquette are as follows:

  • Shake hands with your opponents before and after each game.
  • Opposing players will toss a coin at the start of the game to determine last stone advantage.
  • When your opponents are preparing for delivery, stand to the side of the sheet, single file and between the hog lines. Move only after the stone has been released.
  • If you are throwing next you may stand on the backboard, but remain quiet and out of sight of the opposition thrower.
  • Only skips and thirds may congregate behind the tee line. They do not move or hold their brooms on the ice while the opposition is preparing to deliver a stone.
  • Wear clean, appropriate footwear that will not damage the ice.
  • Be ready to go when it’s your turn to deliver a stone.
  • At the conclusion of an end, all players remain outside the rings until the opposing thirds have agreed on the score.

Important Rules for Play

Stones

  • A stone must finish inside the inner edge (closest to the rings) of the hog line to be in play, except when it has hit another stone in play.
  • A stone that completely crosses the back line or touches the side board or side line is taken out of play.

Delivery

  • Right-handed players deliver from the hack to the left of the centre line and left-handed players deliver from the hack to the right of the centre line. Any player may deliver from a hack on the centre line.
  • The stone shall be released before it reaches the hog line at the delivering end.
  • A stone that has not been released from the player’s hand may be returned to the hack and re-delivered as long as it has not reached the near tee line during delivery.
  • If a player delivers a stone out of proper order, and the mistake is not noted until after the stone has come to rest or hit another stone, the stone is in play. The player missing his turn will throw his stone as the last one for his team on that end. If the skips can’t agree who missed his turn, then the lead of the team that made the mistake will throw the last stone for his team in that end.

Sweeping

  • Only one player from each team may sweep behind the tee line. Only the skip or third of the non-delivering team may sweep behind the tee line.
  • An opposing team’s stone may only be swept behind the tee line.
  • The delivering team has first right to sweep its stone behind the tee line, but shall not prevent the non-delivering team from doing so.
  • Only the skip or third of the non-delivering team may sweep their stones set in motion by the delivering team.
  • Given that the intent of sweeping is to keep the path of the stone clean and to take the stone farther, there must be brush head movement in the sweeping motion.
  • The sweeping motion shall not leave any debris in front of a moving stone.
  • The final sweeping motion shall finish outside the path of the stone.
  • If a stone in motion is touched by any player of the delivering team or his equipment before the far hog line, it shall be immediately removed from play. If the infraction occurs after the stone reaches the far hog line, the non-offending team has the option to remove the touched stone and replace all stones that were displaced after the infraction to their original positions; or leav all stones where they come to rest; or place all stones where it reasonably considers the stones would have come to rest had the moving stone not been touched.
  • If a stationary stone is moved by any player the non-offending team shall replace the stone as close as possible to its original position. If there is any question as to which stone(s) was closer to the button, the displaced stone is placed in favour of the non-offending team.

Measuring

  • Measurements shall be taken from the button to the nearest part of the rock.
  • No physical device may be used in measuring rocks until the last rock of the end has come to rest, except to determine if one of the first two rocks of an end is in the rings or the free guard zone.
  • If there is any doubt between the two opposing skips as to whether one of the first two rocks of an end finishes in the free guard zone, then a measuring device may be used to decide the matter.

Equipment

  • No player shall use any footwear or equipment that may damage the surface of the ice.
  • At the start of a game, each curler must declare which broom or brush he will be using for sweeping. Brushes may be exchanged between players on the same team, but a corn broom cannot be exchanged.