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Curling 101

About the Sport

Curling, also known as the best sport ever, dates back to 16th century Scotland. Players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area (the house). Two teams, each with four players, take turns throwing granite stones (or rocks) down the sheet towards the house. Each curler throws two stones (eight stones per team) with the goal of getting the most rocks closest to the center of the house (the button or pin). Once all the stones are thrown, the end is scored and completed. A game lasts eight or ten ends; then the winners buy the first round of drinks and the teams spend some time together broomstacking.

The rocks take a curved path down the ice and that’s where the brooms come in. Sweeping makes a rock curl less and decreases the friction that slows the rock down. A good deal of strategy and teamwork go into each shot. Good curling requires four people working together with constant communication. It’s a game of sportsmanship, etiquette, and good fun.

There are two kinds of curling: standard (which we talked about above) and mixed doubles. Mixed doubles, which makes its Olympics debut in 2018, is composed of a male and female player who only throw 5 rocks. A unique feature to mixed doubles is that two stones are pre-placed at the start of every end to encourage quicker play. Mixed doubles is considered to be the quicker of the two kinds, but both are equally as fun.

You still have questions, don’t you? Here are the most common questions we get:

• Do you wear ice skates?
No, we have special curling shoes with Teflon soles that allow us to slide out with the rock.

• Are you a sweeper or a thrower?
Both! Kind of like volleyball, there’s a rotation so that everyone on a team throws 2 stones. When you’re not throwing, you’re sweeping.

• Does sweeping make the rock go faster?
Not exactly. It helps the rock go further and stay straighter.

• How heavy are those rocks?
Regulation curling stones are between 38 and 44 pounds of granite. The granite comes from only two places on earth: Ailsa Craig off the Scottish coast and the Trefor Granite Quarry in Wales.

• Why’s it called curling?
So the ice isn’t like hockey or skating ice. It’s pebbled to have the texture of an orange peel. This reduces the surface tension so the rocks can glide down the ice, but also causes the trajectory of the rock to bend or curl.

• What’s with all the yelling?
Like we mentioned, sweeping makes the stone go further and straighter, which will affect where in the house the stone lands. The Skip of the team is responsible for calling the shots and strategies for the game, so they make the call on when, or when not, to sweep. Common sweep calls are “hurry hard!” or “right off!”

A 2 Minute Guide to Curling


Curling Etiquette


Start with a handshake. At the beginning of the game, greet the members of the opposing team with a handshake, tell them your name, and wish them “Good Curling”.

Finish with a handshake. When the game is over, offer each of the players a hearty handshake and move off the ice. The winning curlers traditionally offer their counterparts some refreshments.

Keep the ice clean. Change your shoes. Sand, grit and dirt are the ice’s worst enemy. The shoes you wear should only be used for curling. Keep them clean.

Compliment good shots, no matter which team makes them. Respect your opponent.

Be ready. Take your position in the hack as soon as your opponent has delivered his/her stone. Keep the game moving; delays detract from the sport.

Be prepared to sweep as soon as your teammate releases the rock.

After delivering your stone, move to the side of the sheet between the “hog “ lines, unless you are the skip. Leads and seconds are not permitted in “house” or “rings”, except when sweeping or to remove the stones after the count has been determined by the vices.

Be courteous. Don’t distract your opponent in the hack. Sweepers should stay on the sidelines between the hog lines when not sweeping.

Place your skip’s rock in front of the hack to help speed up the game.

All games on the ice should run approximately the same time. Therefore, if your game is an end or two behind all other games you should pick up the pace. Each player should be ready to deliver their rock when their skip puts down the broom.



Here are some basic curling tips for curlers of all skill levels courtesy of; Curl up With Jamie Sinclair

Tip #1 Balance

Tip #2 Sweeping

Tip #3 Broom Position

Tip #4 How to Score

Tip #5 Reading the Scoreboard

Tip #6 Stance in the Hack

Tip #7 The Slide

Tip #8 Grip and Release

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Plainfield Curling Club
133 McKinley St.
South Plainfield, NJ 07080-3810



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About The Club

Plainfield Curling Club is New Jersey’s original curling club and only dedicated curling facility. The home of good people, good times, good curling, Plainfield Curling Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to fostering the sport and spirit of curling.

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