fconway@ubitrex.mb.ca (Frank Conway)

Curling Description (was Re: Canadian Hockey takes Gold)

Date: 16 Feb 94 21:45:40 GMT

In article 28107@newton.ccs.tuns.ca, baltzebw@newton.ccs.tuns.ca (Bruce W Baltzer) writes:
>bill@suntan.vid.ilstu.edu (Wild Bill) writes:
>>Are you going to answer my question? WHAT IS CURLING?
>Well, hopefully to move away from those lame things that Roger fellow was
>going on about...
>Curling is a sport.  You have two teams, both sending stones whipping
>down the ice to sit in a target area, sort of like that game in some
>bars (what's that called?  table-top shuffleboard?) only with a circular
>target.  You use the same strategy of setting up blockers, and last 
>rock is an advantage.  The people with the brooms... well, I guess I've
>exhausted my knowledge of curling at this point... :)  It either speeds
>up or slows down the rock, I can't remember which.  Speeds up by clearing
>ice shavings out of the way?

There are two teams in curling.  Each team is made up of 4 players:
        Skip    - This is the "captain" of the team.  This player calls
                  the shots, and throws last.
        Third   - The third is like the second in charge, and throws the
                  rocks third.
        Second  - This player throws the rocks second.
        Lead    - This payer throws rocks first.

There are 8 rocks to be thrown per team.  A coin toss is used to see which
team throws first.  The loser throws first, because as was stated earlier,
last rock is an advantage.

The Lead from team "A" throws first.  He stands in a "hack", which is an
indentation in the ice so he can push off and send the rock (which weighs
about 10 Kg) down the ice.  The length of a "sheet" of ice is approx. 25m
from hack to hack.  There are bull's eye's at each end of the sheet called
the "rings".  It is the objective to score points by placing rocks closest 
to the centre of the rings. (Note: The measurements I have given are estimates,
but I can look up the actual distances if there is any interest).

Once the lead from "A" has thrown, the lead from the "B" team throws, with the
same objective in mind.  They keep alternating throws until there are no rocks
left.  Playing all the rocks is called "completing an end".  There are normally
8 ends in a typical curling match.

Here is the interesting thing about curling.  When a player throws a rock,
they can spin the rock, and because the ice is "pebbled" (meaning there are
small bumps of ice all over the surface), it will veer off in the direction
that the player spins the rock.

The sweepers may also change the eventual location of the rock by sweeping
directly in front of the rock.  This not only removes the frost from in front
of the rock, but if swept vigorously enough can create a very thin layer of water
in front of the rock, which will in essence reduce the "veering" effect described
above.  This will also make a rock travel farther.

Guards may be placed in front of the rings, and may come into play if a
player "curls" his rock around the guard and into the ring.  The guard
then may partially or fully block any direct attempt to remove the opponent's
stone from the rings.

Points are scored when a team's rock is closest to the "button", which is
the exact centre of the rings.  They get a point for each rock that is closer
than any of their opponents rocks to the button.  Therefore, if team A has 
a rock in the four foot circle, a rock in the eight foot circle, and a rock on 
the edge of the 12 foot circle, and team B has a rock at the edge of the 8 foot,
then team A would score 2.  Team A's third rock (on the edge of the 12 foot) would
not count due to the placement of a rock from team B closer to the button.

       ___________       |                                       |        ___________ 
      /  _______  \      |                                       |      /  _______  \
     /  /  ___  \  \     |                                       |     /  /  ___  \  \
    /  /  /   \  \  \    |                                       |    /  /  /   \  \  \   
 # (  (  (  O  )  )  )   |                                       |   (  (  (  O  )  |  ) #
    \  \  \___/  /  /    |                                       |    \  \  \___/  /  /
     \  \_______/  /     |                                       |     \  \_______/  /
      \___________/      |                                       |      \___________/
This is a view of the sheet from above.  The "#" indicates where the
hack is.  Excuse the representation of the rings, but it is difficult
in ASCII.  The line after each set of rings is the "hog" line.  This
is a line which is used in two ways: A player who slides with the rock
and fails to release it before reaching this line has their shot taken
out of play before it reaches any other rock.  The other way this line
is used is that any rock fairly thrown, but which does not completely
cross the line is considered to be out of play, and is removed from
the ice surface.

A rock may also be removed if it touches the side boards along the
left or right sides of the sheet of ice, or if any player touches the
rock while it is in motion after is has been released.

Also, here is an ASCII picture of a curling rock:

   (______  |
          | |
          | |
 /                 \
|                   |

The rock is made of granite by the way.

Also, the handles have different colours for each team so the rocks may
be identified.

If you have any other questions, send me some email.


Frank J. Conway                      Email fconway@ubitrex.mb.ca
Ubitrex Corporation              
19th Floor, 155 Carlton Ave.         Phone (204) 942-2992 Ext. 253
Winnipeg, Manitoba                   Fax   (204) 942-3001
Canada    R3C 3H8