Dr Goldline on Curling Etiquette

Dr Goldline on Curling Etiquette

An important note to our readers:  Dr. Goldline is not a real doctor, in any way, shape or form; the moniker is used purely for entertainment value.  In addition, the views expressed are entirely those of the author and not of management or any other curler.  As the saying goes, “Put 3 lawyers/mathematicians/scientists (or curlers!) in a room and ask them the same question, and you’ll get 3 different answers”.

Dear Dr Goldline:  My team curled a great game last night, winning in just 6 ends. I was heading out of the ice shed, towards the lounge for our celebratory drink,  but as I was walking behind the sheet next to ours, the player who was in the hack getting ready to deliver his rock turned around and told me in no uncertain terms to get moving.  How rude!  What was his problem?

Grasshopper, first off, congratulations on your win last night.  You may have won the game but you lost some points in the category of etiquette.  Let me explain further.

The game of curling is a “gentleman’s game” (please, female readers, take no offense).  Two teams go out there, with no referee or umpire to make sure that the rules are being respected.  Everyone relies on every other person on the ice to play the game in an honest manner.  There are many items which I refer to under the heading of “good etiquette” which are outlined in the CCA’s General Rules of Play but there are other traditions which have evolved over the years.

Particularly if you are new to the sport, here are some of the etiquette tips you need to keep in mind.

1. At the start of the game, shake hands (or punch fists or elbows or some other body part) with each member of the opposing team and wish them “good curling”.  Likewise at the conclusion of the game, you should shake hands and thank your opposition for the game. 

2. The best thing about curling: winners buy the first round of drinks! The next best thing: losers buy the second round!

3. After shooting, if you tend to drag your knee or put your hands on the ice, please get up quickly as the heat from your body could melt the ice and leave a dent.

4. When one skip is holding the broom, the other skip needs to be standing still at the back of the sheet. The skip of the non-delivering teams should not be moving about, and potentially distracting the player who is in the hack lining up his/her shot

5. Likewise at the other end of the sheet, when your opponents are preparing for delivery, stand to the side of the sheet, single file, between the hog lines.  Move only after the rock has been released.

6. When sweepers have completed sweeping a rock, they should walk back to the other end of the ice at the far sides of the sheet, not down the centre of the sheet

7. Do not walk behind a sheet when a player is in the hack preparing to deliver a rock.  Your movement could be a distraction.  Stand still at the side of the sheet until he/she has delivered /released the rock

8. Behind the tee line, a team has first privilege of sweeping its own stone but it must not obstruct or prevent the opposition from sweeping

9. Congratulate the other team if they make a good shot – and by all means congratulate your team too!!

Good curling everyone!

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