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Curling Rules and Regulations

Updated on November 18, 2012
A painting by Pieter Brueghel the younger in which some people seem to be curling. circa 1601.
A painting by Pieter Brueghel the younger in which some people seem to be curling. circa 1601. | Source

Curling has a long tradition and has many fans worldwide. However, many people think it is the dullest sport every invented; next to golf and baseball. If you learn the rules and regulations you will find that this game is as exciting as any sport can be. Personally, I love to watch curling, especially during the Winter Olympics; it can get very exciting especially if you are rooting for your country's team. And, did you see the Norwegian team's pants in 2010? They started a worldwide trend; how can you call that boring?

I believe a love of curling is in my blood. I am Scottish by birth and Canadian by nationality; two important curling countries.

Curling stones
Curling stones | Source

History of Curling

Curling is believed to have begun in Scotland in the Middle Ages, although other European countries dispute this fact; it was first mentioned in writing in 1540 by John McQuhin of Paisley. A sport very similar to curling also appears in the paintings of Pieter Brueghel the younger (1564-1636).

The first curling clubs were formed in Scotland and the Grand Caledonian Curling Club based in Edinburgh wrote the first "rules in curling" in 1838.

Curling was a part of the first Winter Olympic Games at Chamonix in 1924; three teams took part and Great Britain came out on top. In the next Olympic Games in 1932 curling was included as a demonstration sport and only two teams competed, the US and Canada; Canada won. Now the sport is fully represented at the Winter Olympic Games.

Curling in the wild, in Scotland
Curling in the wild, in Scotland | Source
Curling club in Scotland
Curling club in Scotland | Source

The Rules of Curling

Curling is played on ice, the field is called a curling sheet. The size of the curling sheet ranges from 146-150 feet long and 14.5-16.5 feet wide. Two rings are painted at each end of the sheet, creating a target of three rings and a bullseye.

There are 10 ends in each curling game divided between two teams; all throws by each team must take no longer than 73 minutes. Each team is allowed two 60 second time outs. Play starts with one team player throwing a curling stone towards the target area, trying to land their stone in that target. The stone is helped along the way by sweepers who sweep the ice surface to control its direction. Each team gets two consecutive throws. The goal of the next team to throw is to get their stones in the target but also to knock the opponents stones out of the area. Points are scored depending on where the stones come to a stop.

Curling stones weigh between 38-44 lbs and have a handle on top. They are no larger than 36 inches in circumference and 4.5 inches high.

The sweeping part of curling brooms used to be straw but now is more often than not made of synthetic materials. Curling shoes have one non-stick sole and a slider sole; however, there are covers that can be placed over shoes creating a slider sole.

Men with Brooms

Men with Brooms is a 2002 movie that stars Paul Gross and Leslie Neilsen. It's the story of a Canadian curling team who reunite for a championship tournament to honor their recently deceased coach. It's a great introduction to the game of curling and it is hilarious.

Olympic curling, Vancouver 2010
Olympic curling, Vancouver 2010 | Source


Submit a Comment

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    I never did understand the sport but I enjoy watching it during the Olympics. I should be able to follow it a little bit better thanks to you and your well-written hub!

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

    Fascinating. My understanding of Curling is much greater than now that I have read your hub. The movie trailer looked interesting as well:)

  • That Grrl profile image

    Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    It's awesome to see every day people from 1601. What a great image to add to your post. I knew curling was old and I was pretty sure it was from Scotland. Nice to know a bit more than that.

    I noticed a little typo. You have Men with Brooms highlighted but "Men in Brooms" typed in the start of the paragraph just under it.

    I did watch Men with Brooms. I've yet to see the end of it though. Three times it has been on when I couldn't stay to see it all for one reason or another.

  • Cogerson profile image

    Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

    Excellent hub on seems every 4 years when the Olympics start up....curling is one the sports people talk about.....this hub was able to help fill in some knowledge blanks about the history of curling....I smiled when I saw you had attached the trailer for Men With Brooms...the movie buff in me immediately gave your hubs the highest possible I am voting up, awesome, interesting, useful, and beautiful.....job well done.

  • brsmom68 profile image

    Diane Ziomek 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    I attended my first ever Brier in Saskatoon Saskatchewan this year (March 2012), and had a great time! I have curled in the past (over 20 years ago) but would rather watch than play. We already have plans to attend the next Brier, which will be much closer to home in 2013. Voted up and interesting!

  • LocalGuy profile image

    LocalGuy 5 years ago from Breckenridge, CO

    I've always been fascinated by this sport but have never quite understood how it works. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for the great comments. I was going to add a glossary with terms like "hurry hard" :)

  • bankscottage profile image

    bankscottage 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

    Right on the button! A wicked good hub! A clean sweep! I am trying to get all of the curling and Maine sayings together into this comment.

    When ever we drive to our camp in Maine, we drive right by the Belfast Curling Club. Someday, I am going to stop in and maybe join (at least if I drive by in some month other than August). We used to live in Maine, so my wife knows, if I am back there in the winter, I'll be an active member (my Olympic dream may still be alive :-)).

    The Belfast Curling Club is the only curling club in the state of Maine and has been around since 1959. It has an insulated club house (with a bar) and 3 sheets of ice. Rock On! (I don't think they say that in curling, but probably should).

    There was an article in Downeast Magazine in Feb. 2011 about curling and the club. It is a very courteous sport and there are no losers. No, not like U-6 soccer or T-Ball, they do keep score. But, at the end, the Winners buy the Losers a beer! Now we are talking.

    Here is the link to the Belfast Curling Club:

    and the link to the Downeast article:

    Shared, voted up and across the board!

  • Judi Bee profile image

    Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

    I'm a fair-weather curling fan too - it's only on my mind during the Olympics (this also applies to all the indoor cycling events, dressage and diving).

    Interesting hub, thanks very much!

  • cryptid profile image

    cryptid 5 years ago from Earth

    I like watching Curling. I confess I don't think much about it until the Olympics are on, or someone writes a Hub about it, but I do find it an interesting game. Not boring, but definitely relaxing to watch.

  • davenmidtown profile image

    David Stillwell 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

    uninvited writer! an excellent hub.... I have to confess that from the first time I watched curling on the olymics as a wee child I was fascinated in the game. I am very happy that you have written this hub because it explains so much about the sport that I did not know. Plus, the hub is very well written and a perfect example for others to follow... voted up and shared.