Let’s learn about the terminology related to the sport of curling. Within this vast set of terms, there are a number of subcategories that these terms can be broken into. We will be looking at terminology relating to the:
Below are some of the more important terms relating to these subcategories. At the end of this page, you will find a list of all curling terms for you to explore!
Curling Sheet Terms
Below is a list of the important terms related to the curling sheet.
House: The series of concentric circles located on each end of the sheet. The circles making up the house (from smallest to largest) are one, four, eight, and twelve feet in diameter.
Hog Line: The line running parallel to the short end of the ice in front of the house. A curler must release the stone before reaching this line, and the stone must fully cross the other one to be considered in play.
Centerline: The line running parallel to the long end of the ice along the middle of the sheet. This line divides the sheet into two, symmetric parts.
Sidelines: The lines running parallel to the long end of the ice at the outer ends of the sheet. If a stone touches one of these lines, it is out of play.
Backlines: The lines running parallel to the short end of the sheet that just touch the back end of the house. If a stone fully crosses these lines, it is out of play.
Curling Equipment Terms
Below is a list of the important terms related to curling equipment.
Stone: The object that is thrown in curling. Each one weighs about 42 pounds and is made of granite from Ailsa Craig, an island in Scotland.
Broom: The object used to sweep the stones. Nowadays, brooms are made of composite materials and a synthetic pad (that makes contact with the ice).
Hack: A foothold at each end of the ice that curlers push off from while they deliver a stone. There are two footholds on each hack, one for lefty curlers and one for righty curlers.
Slider: A piece of Teflon placed under a curler’s foot that is not it the hack, and is used while a curler delivers a stone. On the side of the slider that is not touching the ice is rubber. Sliders can be attached to a shoe or stepped on.
Gripper: A rubber attachment to the bottom of a curler’s shoe. The gripper provides additional traction and helps prevent players from slipping on the ice.
Curling Scoring Terms
Below is a list of the important terms related to curling scoring.
Scoreboard: A digital or physical display of the score in a curling game. The scoreboard can show the score on an end-by-end basis (commonly seen on television), or cumulatively (commonly used in local curling clubs).
Button: The concentric circle in the house that is one foot in diameter. The button is used as a reference point when scoring after the end is completed.
Shot Rock: The stone that is closest to the button. The team with the shot rock will earn one point for that stone.
Counter: Any rock that would earn a point for their team, including the shot rock. A team will receive a point for every stone that is closer to the button than their opponent’s closest stone.
Curling Teams Terms
Below is a list of the important terms related to curling teams.
Skip: The leader/strategist on the team, and usually throws the seventh and eighth stones in the end. The skip will remain on the side of the sheet that the stones are being thrown towards (except when throwing their stones).
Vice: The teammate that acts as the skip while the actual skip throws their stones. The vice usually throws the fifth and sixth stones and sweeps the first four stones.
Second: The teammate that throws the third and fourth stones in the end. The second sweeps all of the other stones.
Lead: The teammate that throws the first and second stones in the end. The lead sweeps all of the other stones.
Curling Rules Terms
Below is a list of the important terms related to curling rules.
Hog Line Violation: An instance in which the curler throwing the stone fails to release it before reaching the hog line. This results in the stone being removed from play.
Hogged Rock: A stone that is removed from play due to a curler committing a Hog Line Violation.
Free Guard Zone Rule: A rule stating that the first five rocks thrown in each end cannot be removed from play if they remain in the Guard Zone. Should a rock be removed from play, it is moved back to its original location, and the rock that hit it is removed from play.
Mathematical Elimination: The notion that if a team is losing by more points than the number of rocks the team can throw, they must accept defeat and concede.