About Curling


Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones.


Here are some basic rules:

  • A round is called "End"
  • A coin is flipped before the first End to decide which team has the advantage of delivering the last stone. Thereafter, the team not scoring in the previous end delivers the last stone in the following End.
  • Shake hands and wishing the other team luck before the game is a rule of courtesy. Likewise, the loser will congratulate the winning team with a hand shake after the game. 
  • Each player (4 players per team) plays 2 stones per End (8 stones per team and end) in alteration withthe opponent.
  • Each team may sweep their own stones.
  • The stone must remain in the own rink (pitch). If it touches the outer marker it has to be taken out of the game.
  • It is not allowed to touch the stone while wiping with the broom.
  • After all 16 stones are delivered in an end, the player with the rock closer to the button is the winner of the end. The winning player gets one point for each of their rocks that is closer to the button than the opponent's closest rock. Such rocks are marked during the game by brighter colours.
THE RULES OF CURLING and Rules of Competition
The official Curling Rules of the World Curling Federation
Adobe Acrobat Document 801.4 KB

Scoring system

At the Swissathlon, we are playing 2 ends (in comparison to 8-10 ends at official competitions), where each team alternates throwing eight stones each. Each team will play against three other teams. Scoring of the different games will be accumulated in the end to count for a final ranking.

The scoring consists of two different parts: Stones and Ends.


The team which has the stone closest to the house will win the End.


The winner of the End gets a point for each stone closer to the house than any of the other team's stones. Only stones inside the house count. So if the Yellow team has two stones closer to the house than Red team's closest stone, Yellow scores two points. Only one team can score per end, but if neither team has a stone in the house, neither team gets points in what is called a blank end.


The team which won more Ends (if both won the same amount of Ends, the number of Stones count) gets two points. Thus, you may get a maximum points of 6 points (two per opponent, three opponents in total).


The team with the most points will win the whole competition. (if teams reach the same amount of points, the number of Ends and Stones will decide on the ranking).

For this game the final score is:

SW = 0 points / 4 stones / 2 ends

CH = 2 points / 6 stones / 3 ends

This is how a final ranking could look like: 

Did you know that custom dictates that after every curling match, winners buy losers a round of drinks? It is a "golden rule" that even the professionals at the Olympic games follow.

Curling A-Z


Blank end: An end where no points are scored.

Burning a rock: A rules infraction that happens when a player touches a stone as it’s traveling down the sheet.

Button: The very center of the target rings or house.

Delivery: The action of throwing a stone to the other end of the playing surface.

End: The way a curling game is divided. An end is like an inning in a baseball game. A curling game for the EY Swissathlon has two ends.

Gripper: The sole of one of your curling shoes. It helps you keep your footing on the ice. See slider.

Hammer: The last rock of the end.

Hack: The foothold in the ice you use to push off from when you deliver the stone.

House: Also known as the rings, this is the name of the giant bull’s eye at either end of the sheet of ice. It consists of a set of concentric circles, called the 12-foot, 8-foot, 4-foot, and the Button.

Rink: A curling team; also the name of a curling facility

Rock: Also known as a stone, the granite playing utensil that a curler delivers. 

Sheet: The frozen playing surface on which the game is played.

Skip: The Skip is the captain of the team and decides the strategy. It is the skip's job to tell the other players where to throw the is shots and when to sweep. The skip also delivers the last two shots of the end. 

Slider: The sole of one of your curling shoes. It helps you move or slide along the ice. 

Tee line: The line on the playing surface that runs through the middle of the house.

Weight: The amount of force used to deliver a stone.

The spirit of curling

Curling is a game of skill and of tradition. A shot well executed is a delight to see and it is also a fine thing to observe the time-honoured traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game. Curlers play to win, but never to humble their opponents. A true curler never attempts to distract opponents, nor to prevent them from playing theirs best, and would prefer to lose rather than to win unfairly. 

Curlers never knowingly break a rule of the game nor disrespect any of its traditions. Should they become aware that this has been done inadvertently, they will be the first to divulge the breach. 

While the main object of the game curling is to determine the relative skill of the players, the spirit of curling demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honourable conduct. 
This spirit should influence both the interpretation and the application of the rules of the game and also the conduct of all participants on and off the ice.