Traditional Curling

Traditional curling, like you see at World Championships, is made up of single sex teams of either five men or five women. However, for traditional team curling you do not always need the fifth team member.

Curling is very much a team sport Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

A team consists of four athletes: the fourth, third, second and lead. They are supported by an alternate (substitute).

One of the athletes will be the skip. The role of the skip is to direct play for the team and you can usually find them standing in the house at the opposite end of the delivering end. They can play in one of the four positions in the team.

There is also the position of vice-skip who who directs play for the team when it is the skip's turn to deliver. Again, they can play in one of the four positions in the team. For example a skip could play lead and a vice-skip could play in fourth position.

A team declares its delivery rotation, and the skip and vice-skip positions, prior to the start of each game and maintains that rotation and those positions throughout that game.

Each team uses a set of eight stones having the same handle colour.

Each player delivers two stones, in consecutive order in each end, while alternating with an opponent.

Usually curling is played over ten ends, however in some cases this may only be eight ends. Teams can however concede their game earlier than the defined number of ends should they wish, although there are certain rules governing WCF events.

For more information about the Rules of Curling, download the WCF rule book here:

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