Glossary of Curling Terms
Here is a list of curling terms you might hear on the sheet
BACK LINE: The line at the back of the house. Rocks completely beyond the line are out of play.
BONSPIELS: Curling tournaments.
BROOM: The instrument used to sweep the ice. Brooms with synthetic heads are most common.
BURNED ROCK: A shooting team’s rock that has been fouled (touched by a player or equipment) while in motion. It is removed from play.
CENTERLINE: The line dividing and running the length of the sheet of ice.
CURL: A turn of the rock’s handle upon release makes the rock curl, or curve, as it travels down the ice. The rock curls in the direction of the turn.
DELIVERY: The release of the curling stone by the shooter.
DRAW: A rock that stops in front of or in the house.
END: One end is complete when all 16 rocks (eight per team) have been thrown to one end of the sheet. A game is usually eight ends, or about two hours. Championship games are 10 ends, or about 2.5 hours. After each end, the score is determined.
FREEZE: A draw that finishes in front of and up against another rock.
GUARD: A rock between the hog line and the house used to thwart the opposition from hitting a rock in the house.
HACK: A rubber foot hold which curlers deliver the rock. It is about 125 feet from the scoring area.
HAMMER: The last rock of each end.
HEAVY ICE: When the ice is “slow” and the rocks have to be thrown harder.
HIT & ROLL: A shot designed to take out an opponent’s rock and then roll the shooter to a designated spot, such as behind a guard.
HOG LINES: Located 21 feet from each tee. A rock must be released before the near hog line, and travel beyond the far hog line, or it is removed from play.
HOUSE: The round scoring area, 12 feet in diameter, with concentric circles of four and eight feet in diameter inside.
HURRY: A command shouted by the skip or shooter to tell the sweepers to sweep.
KEEN ICE: When the ice is “fast” and less momentum is needed on the rock.
LEAD: The player who delivers the first two rocks of each end, alternating with the opponent’s lead.
NARROW: A rock delivered inside the intended line of delivery.
PEEL: A shot to remove a guard, or guards.
PORT: An opening through which teams try to draw or shoot.
RAISE: A draw that raises another rock into the house.
RINK: A curling team, which consist of four players, the skip, third (vice-skip), second, and lead. All players are involved in every shot, with one shooting, two sweeping, and one calling strategy. Two rinks play against each other.
ROCKS: Also known as stones, are made of rare dense polished granite. Each rock weighs 42 pounds.
SCORING: Only one rink scores per end. That being the rink with the rock(s) closest to the center of the house. The team with the highest score at the end of a game wins. The maximum score in each end is eight, which is very rare. Typically, one to three points are scored per end.
SECOND: The player who delivers the second two rocks of each end, alternating with the opponent’s second.
SHEET: The 146-foot long ice playing area. The sheet’s design allows play in both directions.
SKIP: Player who holds the broom as a target for shots by the other three players. Skips are team strategists and must study, or read, the ice, judge the amount of curl, and call the shots. Skips usually throw the last of two rocks of each end.
SLIDER: Worn on the sliding foot, in the delivery of a stone to allow for long, smooth motion and follow though.
STRAIGHT ICE: When the ice is not curling much.
SWEEPING: Players sweep to make the rock travel farther, or to keep it from curling too much. Good sweepers can increase the distance a stone travels by more than 10 feet. Sweeping creates a thin film of water under the rock that allows it to glide easier. Two players are ready to sweep each shot.
“SWINGY” ICE: When the ice is curling a lot.
TAKEOUT: A rock the removes another rock from play.
TEE (or Button): Center of the house.
THIRD: The player who delivers the third two rocks of each end, alternating with the opponent’s third. The player who holds the broom for the skip, and who assists the skip with game strategy. Also known as a vice skip.
WEIGHT: The momentum, or force, behind a rock as it glides down the ice.
WIDE: A rock delivered outside the line of delivery.