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Basic Curling Rules PDF Print E-mail

Like every sport Curling has national and international rules governing game play.  Basic rules need not be to complicated or detailed. The following basic rules are available on the Start Curling website.



  • A rock must finish inside the inner edge (closest to the rings) of the hog line to be in play, except when it has hit another rock in play.
  • A rock that completely crosses the back line or touches the side board or side line is taken out of play.


  • Right-handed players deliver from the hack to the left of the centre line and left-handed players deliver from the hack to the right of the centre line. Any player may deliver from a hack on the centre line.
  • The hand must be clearly off the handle before the rock completely (i.e. back edge) passes over the hog line.
  • A rock that has not been released from the player’s hand may be returned to the hack and re-delivered as long as it has not reached the back line during delivery.
  • If a player delivers a rock out of proper order, and the mistake is not noted until after the rock has come to rest or hit another rock, the rock is in play. The player missing his turn will throw his rock as the last one for his team on that end. If the skips can’t agree who missed his turn, then the lead of the team that made the mistake will throw the last rock for his team in that end.


  • Only one player from each team may sweep behind the tee line. Only the skip or third of the non-delivering team may sweep behind the tee line.
  • An opposing team’s rock may only be swept behind the tee line.
  • The delivering team has first right to sweep its rock behind the tee line, but shall not prevent the non-delivering team from doing so.
  • Only the skip or third of the non-delivering team may sweep their rocks set in motion by the delivering team.
  • The sweeping motion must be from side to side across the rock’s running surface and must not leave debris in front of a moving rock.
  • All sweeping must take place no more than six feet in front of a rock in motion.
  • When sweeping with a corn broom, the straw must be pointed in the direction of play. Sweeping backward with a corn broom is not allowed.
  • If a rock in motion is touched by any player of the delivering team or his equipment before the far hog line, it shall be immediately removed from play. If the infraction occurs after the rock reaches the far hog line (not sure on this….)
  • If a stationary stone is moved by any player the non-offending team shall replace the stone as close as possible to its original position. If there is any question as to which stone(s) was closer to the button, the displaced stone is placed in favour of the non-offending team.


  • Measurements shall be taken from the button to the nearest part of the rock.
  • No physical device may be used in measuring rocks until the last rock of the end has come to rest, except to determine if one of the first two rocks of an end is in the rings or the free guard zone.
  • If there is any doubt between the two opposing skips as to whether one of the first two rocks of an end finishes in the free guard zone, then a measuring device may be used to decide the matter.


  • No player shall use any footwear or equipment that may damage the surface of the ice.
  • At the start of a game, each curler must declare which broom or brush he will be using for sweeping. Brushes may be exchanged between players on the same team, but a corn broom cannot be exchanged.