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Curling Scoring Rules

How does scoring work in curling? What do you do to determine the score after an end? Get ready to learn the rules of scoring in the game of curling.


One of the most important concepts in the game of curling is how to determine the score after an end is completed. At first, scoring may seem a little tricky. However, after understanding the rules of scoring and practicing how to score an end, you will see that it isn't that difficult.

PRO TIP: In curling, the vices determine the score after each end. =

The House

The house is the set of concentric circles located on both ends of the ice. The four circles, from largest to smallest, are the:

  1. 12 Foot, and is 12 feet in diameter.
  2. 8 Foot, and is eight feet in diameter.
  3. 4 Foot, and is four feet in diameter.
  4. Button, and is one foot in diameter.

Curling House

The Pin

At the exact center of the house is a location called the pin. This is where the micrometer and biter bar are placed into the ice to help determine the scoring.

Curling Pin

Scoring Rules

In curling, all scoring happens in the house. It doesn't matter where in the house the stone lies. Additionally, only one team can score points in each end. There will never be a case in which both teams score points in the same end. In order to score an end, there are three rules to follow:

  1. All stones, regardless of their position in the house are worth one point.
  2. The team with the stone closest to the button will win the end, and receive 1 point for that stone.
  3. The team that wins the end will calculate additional points if they have any other stones closer to the button than their opponent's closest stone. Again, they will receive one point per stone.

How Many Possible Points?

No matter where a stone is in the house, it is worth one point. This means that a team can score as few as zero points, or as many as eight points in an end. For example, if a team has three stones in the house, they can earn a maximum of three points.

Winning The End

The team with the stone closest to the button wins the end. The stone that is closest to the button is referred to as the shot rock or shot stone. This means the team will score at least one point, and is eligible to score additional points.

Counting Additional Points

Now that the shot rock has been identified, the next step is to identify the second stone closest to the button. This is referred to as the second shot rock or second shot stone. If this stone is the same color as the team with the shot rock, they will receive an additional point. This process continues until the successive shot stone belongs to the team that is not scoring. Therefore, the scoring team will earn points for the total number of stones that were closer to the button than the opponent's closest stone to the button.

Eligibility for Scoring

In order for a curling stone to be considered for scoring, some part of it must be in some part of the house. This means that if some part of the stone - no matter how large or small - is in the house, the stone is can be considered for scoring. Essentially, a stone in the 4 Foot and a stone just touching the 12 Foot are both equally eligible for scoring.


A biter is a stone that is just touching a certain part of the curling ice. For example, if the edge of a curling stone is touching the 12 Foot, one would say that the stone is biting the 12 Foot. This concept applies for the 8 Foot, 4 Foot, and Button as well. Any stone that is biting can be considered for scoring because part of the stone is in the house.

Curling Biter

Scoring Example

If a team has more stones closer to the button than their opponent's closest stone, they will receive one point per stone. For example, if Team A has two red stones in the 4 Foot, and Team B has one yellow stone in the 8 Foot, Team A will score two points. If Team A has one red stone in the 4 Foot, Team B has one yellow stone in the 8 Foot, and Team A has another red stone in the 12 Foot, Team A would score 1 point. This is because the yellow stone in the 8 Foot out-counts the red stone in the 12 Foot.

Scoring Terminology

If you'd like to learn more about the rules of scoring, check out these related glossary terms.

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