How Does Scoring Work In Curling?

How Does Scoring Work In Curling

Curling is played by sliding stones across a sheet of ice towards the "House," which is a bullseye made up of three concentric circles. Points are scored by throwing (sliding) stones into the bullseye, aka the House.

Two teams of four face against one another to see who can score the most points. Every player throws two stones for a total of 16 stones being thrown. Throws alternate between teams so one player throws their two stones then another player on the other team throws their two. Once the 16 stones have been thrown, the round, which is referred to as an end, is over and the points are tallied.

House Scoring

In an end, only one team will score points. The team with the stone, or stones, closest to the center of the house will be awarded the points for that end. A point is scored for each stone, in or touching the house, that is closer to the center than any of the opposing team's stones. Each stone can only be worth one point so getting closer to the center of the house doesn't necessarily result in more points, a team can score a max of eight points in an end. If by the end there is only one stone in the house, only one point will be scored, regardless of its location. This means that, even if one team has all eight of their stones in the house, if the opposing team has even one stone closer to the center than the other eight they will get one point for that round.

One more example is if one team has four stones in the house, and the other team has just one, if that one stone is closer to the center of the house than two of the four stones, the opposing team will only be awarded two points. If an End is finished and no stones are in the house, this is called a "blank end" and zero points will be scored.


Points are cumulative throughout the entire match so the points scored by a team in one end are added to the points scored in the previous ends. This means that if a team scores one point in the first end then two in the 2nd their point total will be three. Matches last ten ends, and naturally the team with the most points after the tenth end wins. Teams are allowed to surrender before the tenth end if it seems unlikely they can come back.

Last Stone Advantage

Teams alternate throws, so stones are continuously knocked in and out of the house, this is why points are only tallied after the end. Because of this, the team with the last throw has a major scoring advantage. This last stone is referred to as the "hammer" and it is typically expected that the team with the hammer will win the end. After each end, the hammer switches to the team that didn't score, and if it was a blank end (no points) the hammer does not change teams.


How do you keep score in curling?

Typically the score is just kept by the players, but during events a scoreboard will be used. Once all the stones have been thrown and the end is finished the score will be tallied. Throughout the curling match the score for each team is the sum of the points they have scored in each end.

How does a curling scoreboard work?

There are two different ways the score can be displayed. The most common method has three rows with the middle row displaying numbers 1-16 in ascending order. The middle row represents a team's point total and the rows above and below are for each team to keep track. After an end, if a team's point total has changed, they will put the number of the end in the spot corresponding to their total score. With the other method the ends (1-10) are displayed at the top and the points scored in each end are listed below.

What is an end in curling?

In curling there are no rounds, instead they use ends. An end in curling lasts as long as it takes for each team to throw all eight of their stones. After that the score is tallied and the end is over. A curling match lasts 8-10 ends with the occasional extra end in the event of a tie.

What is the last stone draw?

The last stone draw is how teams determine who gets the first hammer. Before the game begins, one player from each team throws a stone, and whichever team is closer to the center of the house gets the last stone advantage. The hammer, or last stone advantage, is a major edge because it can be used to get the best position in the house or knock the opposing team out.