BONSPIEL – Curling tournament.
BROOM – The instrument used to sweep the ice. This term is also used for the line of the called shot.
BUTTON – The center of the house.
CURL – A twist of the stone’s handle upon release makes the stone curl, or curve, as it travels down the ice. The rock curls in the direction of the turn.
DELIVERY – The body motion of a curler as the rock is being shot.
DRAW – A rock that stops in front of or in the house.
END – Similar to an inning in baseball. One end is complete when all 16 rocks (eight per team) have been thrown to one end of the sheet of ice. A game is usually eight ends, or about two hours. Championship games are 10 ends, or about 2 1/2 hours. After each end, a score is determined by the thirds.
FLASH – To completely miss a takeout.
FREE GUARD ZONE – This rule states that none of the first four rocks thrown in an end can remove an opponents rock from play if it is in front of the house. This rule was imposed to increase the strategy aspect of the game. The four rock free guard zone rule is used in America, while the Canadians usually play the three rock free guard zone.
FREEZE – A draw that finishes right in front of or next to another rock.
GRIPPER – The non-slippery shoe. Some shoes have grippers already attached to them, and some use a type that is slipped on and off the shoe.
GUARD – A rock between the hog line and the house used to prevent the opposition from hitting a rock in the house.
HACK – A rubber foothold from which curlers deliver the rock, much like a starting block in track. It is about 125 feet from the scoring area.
HAMMER – The last rock of each end.
HEAVY ICE – When the ice is “slow” and more momentum is needed to get the rock to the desired target.
HOG LINES – Located 21 feet from each tee. A rock must be released before the near hog line, and travel beyond the far hog line, or it is removed from play.
HOUSE – The scoring area, 12 feet in diameter, with concentric circles of four and eight feet in diameter inside.
HURRY – A command shouted by the skip or shooter to tell the sweepers to sweep.
KEEN ICE – When the ice is “fast” and less momentum is needed to get the rock to the desired target.
LEAD – The player who delivers the first two rocks of each end, alternating with the opponent’s lead.
NARROW – A rock delivered inside the intended line of delivery.
PEEL – A take-out shot that removes a rock from play and the delivered rock also rolls out of play.
PORT – A space between two rocks wide enough for a delivered rock to pass through.
RAISE – A draw that raises, or moves, another rock into the house.
RINK – A curling team, which consists of four players: the skip, third (or vice skip), second and lead. All players are involved in every shot, with one shooting, two sweeping, and one calling strategy. Two rinks play against each other.
ROCKS – Also known as stones, curling rocks are made of rare, dense, and polished granite quarried only on Ailsa Craig, an island off Scotland’s coast. Each rock weighs 42 pounds.
SCORING – Only one rink scores per end, that being the rink with the rock closest to the center of the house. Points are awarded for each rock closer to the center than the opponent’s. The maximum score in an end is eight, which is very rare. Typically one to three points are scored per end. The team with the highest total at game’s end is the winner.
SECOND – The player who delivers the second two rocks of each end for his team or her, alternating with the opponent’s second.
SHEET – The 146-foot long ice playing area. The sheet’s design allows play in both directions.
SKIP – The player who holds the broom as a target for shots by the other three players. Skips are also the team strategists and must study, or read, the ice, anticipate the amount of curl, and then call the shots. Skips usually throw the last two rocks of each end.
SLIDER – Shoe on the sliding foot in the delivery of a stone to allow for a long, smooth motion and follow through. Specially-made curling shoes have sliders built in.
STRAIGHT ICE – When the ice conditions do not allow the stones to curl much.
SWEEPING – Players sweep to make the rock travel farther or to keep it from curling more than desired. Good sweepers can increase the distance a stone travels by as much as 15 feet. Sweeping creates a thin film of water under the rock, allowing it to glide easier. Usually two players are ready to sweep each shot.
SWINGY ICE – When ice conditions cause stones to curl greatly.
TAKEOUT – A type of shot that removes another rock from play.
TEE LINE – The line that runs through the house, perpendicular to the sheet of ice.
THIRD – The player who delivers the third two rocks of each end, alternating with the opponent’s third. Also known as the vice skip, this player holds the broom, or target, when the skip shoots, and also helps the skip with game strategy.
WICK – A shot where the played rock touches a stationary rock just enough so that the played rock changes direction.
WIDE – A rock delivered outside the target line.