Curling Micrometers

Curling Micrometer

Measuring equipment in curling is used to determine precise readings on the positioning of rocks from one another. If rocks are seemingly close when determined by eye, these devices can be used to break ties or settle scores. Measuring equipment can also be used to make sure a rock is in play, or in the house, after it's thrown and landed.

There are several different types of measuring devices used for different occasions in curling:

  • Measure
  • Six-foot measure
  • 90 Degree measure
  • Micrometer

What is a micrometer used for in curling?

Micrometers are used to measure distances with a highly specific accuracy. In curling, when two stones appear to be very close micrometers are used to determine which stone is ahead of the other. Micrometers can determine distances greater than or equal to 0.001", allowing for curling matches to be incredibly precise. Micrometers are used to avoid ties in rock positioning and they're very useful to curling game play. Matches are dependent on rock positioning, and every short distance matters.

Parts of a Micrometer

A micrometer consists of the frame, which is a C-shaped body that maintains the anvil and barrel in relation to one another. The frame is thick, and heavy to reduce friction and any unnecessary heating that would disrupt a reading.

  • The anvil is the resting block for what is being measured, i.e the rock
  • The barrel consists of the measurements and is a cylindrical sleeve adjusted to determine a reading.
  • The thimble is controlled by the user; it turns and has graduated markings for the user.
  • The thimble lock can be used to hold the spindle steady during a measurement.
  • The screw resides inside the barrel, and is not visible. It is considered to be the heart of the micrometer, as it takes the measurement.
  • The spindle pushes the thimble to the anvil as it is tightened.

Micrometer accuracy is maintained by gauge blocks or rods and the meter should be calibrated at .7500 before measuring. Micrometers are very sensitive as they are intended to measure incredibly small things, because of this keeping them clean is important to micrometer accuracy and functioning. Even a speck of dirt can throw off a micrometer reading.

Measuring Stones

The general procedure for measuring is as follows:

  • Obtain the measuring device, and place it on the ice to cool down.
  • With two hands lift the device, and approach the house from the back. Avoid walking near rocks so as to preserve their positioning.
  • Set the device down, 90 degrees away if possible and gently slide the device towards the pin.

Be sure to never apply too much pressure when measuring, never pass back over a rock, and never swing counter clockwise as all of these can move rock positioning.