What Are They Yelling In Curling?

Throughout the course of a shot, the sweepers may need to sweep the stone for line only, weight only, or both. Traditionally, it is expected that the sweepers communicate the weight of the stone to the skip. In return, the skip will communicate the line of the stone to the sweepers. By working together, your team should be able to judge the weight and line of every stone thrown.

Sometimes, you or your skip may say some of the following phrases:

  • "Line is good." - This means that the stone is on the correct path and the sweepers will most likely need to sweep for weight.
  • "Line is tight." - This means that the stone is curling a little more than expected and the sweepers will need to sweep.
  • "Line only." - This means that the weight of the stone is nearly perfect and that the sweepers will only need to sweep for the line, if necessary.
  • "Weight only." - This means that the line of the stone is nearly perfect and that the sweepers will only need to sweep for the weight, if necessary.
  • "Looks light." - This means that the stone doesn't have enough weight to reach its desired location and the sweepers will need to sweep for weight.
  • Looks heavy." - This means that the stone has too much weight and needs to slow down. The sweepers would most likely sweep for line only.

By communicating as a team, you will be able to gauge where the stone will end up. In addition to these phrases, there are other systems used to determine where the stone will end up.


Sweeping Lingo

Many times, you will not hear the skip explicitly say "sweep" or "don't sweep". Typically, skips speak to the teammates through sweeping lingo. Some of these terms include:

  • Yes: sweep the stone.
  • Yep: sweep the stone.
  • No: do not sweep the stone.
  • Whoa: do not sweep the stone.
  • Never: the stone likely won't need to be swept.
  • Clean: sweep very gently in front of the stone, as if you are cleaning its path.
  • Hurry: sweep the stone faster.
  • Hard: sweep the stone with extra force.
  • Hurry Hard: sweep the stone as hard and fast as you can.
  • Up: stop sweeping.
  • Off: stop sweeping.
  • Right Off: stop sweeping immediately.

Your skip may have other terms they use, but these cover most of the terms you will hear when you are sweeping a stone. Sometimes, your skip may repeat a term multiple times, or have a sense of urgency in their voice. After you sweep for a few games, you will pick up on your skip's vocal tendencies, which can also serve as a way to know when you should sweep or not.