How To Read A Curling Scoreboard
Curling is divided up into ten ends for men's and women's curling and eight ends for mixed doubles curling. An end consists of each team alternating throwing five or eight stones each. After all stones have been thrown, the end is scored. The score also affects which team gets the hammer, which is the last shot advantage for the next end.
In curling, the scoreboard keeps track of the score for the entire game. The score is updated on an end-by-end basis. There are two types of scoreboards in curling, ones that have the ends on top and ones that have the ends in the middle. Both scoreboards keep track of the score, but show it in different ways.
Ends on Top
If you have seen a scoreboard while watching curling on television, you have seen a scoreboard where the ends are listed on top. The numbers one through eight or ten are arranged in ascending order. Usually, a curling game will last all eight or ten ends. Sometimes, you will see a nine or 11 on the scoreboard in case the score is tied after the set amount of ends and another end is needed to determine the winner.
On the far left of the scoreboard are the team names. One of the team names is followed by an asterisk or hammer. This indicates which team had the hammer in the first end. We will learn about the hammer later on in curling scoring.
Lastly, the right side of the scoreboard has a space for the total score.
On this type of scoreboard, the score for each end is posted directly underneath the end number. The score will show which team scored, and the number of points scored. The team that didn't score receives a score of zero for that end. If neither team scored, both teams receive a score of zero for that end.
Score in the Middle
Another type of scoreboard in curling is much different than what you are used to seeing on television. This scoreboard contains the score in the middle of the scoreboard, typically up to 16 or 18 points. On the left side of the scoreboard, there is a team name above and below the score, with a space to indicate which team had the hammer in the first end.
Instead of a score being posted for each individual end, the cumulative score is posted on an end-by-end basis. For example, if Team A scored 2 points in the first end, and 1 point in the second end, a "1" would be above the "2" on the score, and a "2" would be above the "3" on the score. Since 2+1=3, and the most recent end for Team A appears above the "3", then it is correct that Team A has 3 points. Then, if Team B scored 3 points in the third end, the "3" would go below the "3" on the score line.
To summarize this type of scoreboard, your cumulative score is maintained, and your end-by-end score can be determined from reading the scoreboard. This type of scoreboard is helpful because you can see which team is winning faster than calculating the scores from previous ends.
What does the hammer mean on a curling scoreboard?
On a curling scoreboard, a hammer symbol is used to show which team started the game with the hammer. The hammer is also known as the last stone advantage and means whichever team has the advantage of throwing the final stone in an end. The hammer symbol can sometimes be replaced with an asterisk or dot. After the first end, whichever team lost the previous end gains the hammer, eliminating the necessity to include hammer symbols for each end on the scoreboard.
What are the different types of curling scoreboards?
There are two main types of scoreboards in curling. The more commonly used kind features the ends on top of the scoreboard. This scoreboard has the scores of each individual end for each team on top of one another. It also features the cumulative scores for each team on the right side of the scoreboard. The other type of scoreboard used in curling has the scores in the middle. For this scoreboard, the team names are on top and bottom of the scores, and whichever team wins an end will have that end number placed at their cumulative score. For example, if the top team has five points after winning the fourth end and the bottom team has 6 points after winning the fifth end, a "4" would be placed above the "5," and a "5" would be placed under the "6".
How are blank ends indicated on a curling scoreboard?
Blank ends are indicated differently based on the type of scoreboard being used. In a scoreboard with the ends on top, each team will be scored a "0" for the end. Two "0" symbols will be placed for each team under that end. For a scoreboard with the score in the middle, blank ends look different. On this scoreboard, there is a section on the right side labeled "blank." Each blank end would be placed in this section rather than on the scoresheet.