The culture of curling is as important as the game itself, and etiquette is a part of that. Good curling manners show you repect yourself, your fellow players and the game - and they keep things moving along! Here are some basics:
Before the game:
- Arrive early to stretch and help set up so that the game can start on time.
- Before the start of every game, shake hands with the members of the other team, introduce yourself, and wish everyone "good curling."
When the other team is shooting:
- Be still and quiet so you don't disturb someone while they shoot.
If you are:
- a sweeper, wait along the sidelines inside the "courtesy lines." (Courtesy lines are small marks along the sidelines about 4 feet in front of the hog lines. Our club doesn't have them, but you get the idea!)
- the next shooter, you can wait off to the side behind the hack at the shooting end.
- the skip or vice-skip, you can wait behind the backline and should hold your broom horizontally (so the opposing shooter doesn't get confused.)
When you're shooting:
- Once your opponent has released their rock, you should step into the hack and be ready to shoot as soon as it's your turn.
- Call your own fouls - if you release the rock after the hog line, it's your responsibility to call it and have your sweepers stop the rock.
When you're sweeping:
- Call your own fouls - if you touch any rock with your broom, foot or anything else, announce it immediately and follow the rules that apply in that situation.
- As soon as you've finished sweeping a rock, quickly move off to the side of the sheet outside the hog line so the other team can shoot.
When you're skipping:
- Be prompt calling shots. Each end should last no more than 15 minutes. Since draw shots take about half a minute to get to the house, the rocks' traveling time alone can take up nearly half the game.
- Compliment your opponents on good shots. A good curling shot is a thing of beauty no matter who makes it!
- Thank your sweepers. (It's hard work!)
- No swearing, fighting, throwing brooms or smacking teammates. (There's usually a hockey game going on next door if you really need to work out frustration.)
- It's great to give a teammate a pat on the back after a good shot or good sweep, but never cheer for an opponent's miss.
After the game:
- Shake hands with the opposing team and wish them "good curling."
- Help with clean up. (At our club, that means moving the rocks and equipment. At dedicated clubs, that can mean sweeping the ice and putting away the score markers.)
- The winners buy the first round at the bar!
- Respect the officials and volunteers.
- Know when it's over. Although technically you can play till you're out of rocks, if the game is clearly lopsided (and especially if the other team has more games to play) the right thing to do is resign early and hit the bar!
Remember, curling is fun and no one tries to miss!