Are you wondering to yourself, how does curling scoring work? Or you've heard of curling but not that sure what it is? In this article today, we discuss all that you need to know about curling as an Olympic sport and also some of the latest news from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, North Korea 2018.
Ever seen a group of people running on ice whilst sweeping ice very fast? Yes, that’s curling.
Curling is an Olympic event which may look complicated but is actually a whole lot simpler than you may have thought.
What players do is slide large stones that are made of smooth granite across a sheet of ice and aim to target the four circles, known as the ‘house’.
You can watch this Olympic sport in the Winter Olympics 2018 which are taking place in Pyeongchang, North Korea.
In today’s article we discuss;
- How Do You Play The Game?
- How Do You Read The Score In Curling?
- Curling Hammer
- Curling In The Winter Olympics
How To Play Curling?
Firstly the two competing teams get eight stones each.
There is one person who will be throwing the stone and one teammate who does the sweeping.
The sweeper's primary job is to significantly decrease the resistance that the stone will eventually meet and therefore allow it to travel further.
By doing this, they also decrease the ‘curl’ of the stone.
The objective of the sport is to ultimately have the highest score at the end of the game, the scores are counted by putting the stones in the house.
The closer the team gets the stones to the centre, the more points are earned.
The rotation is then determined by the curler and the sweepers are in charge of the direction at which the stone travels.
The game increases in difficulty as the quantity of stones on the ice increases, and each time adding a new layer of obstacles to the game.
What Are The Positions Of The Curling Team?
There four basic positions on a curling team.
The Lead is the teammate that is actually sliding the stone for the first two tosses, before sweeping for the next six.
Their main job is to position their team at an advantage at an early stage.
They have one main job: Sweeping.
The seconds are responsible for throwing the third and fourth stone.
They are sweeping for the last four stones, meaning that the lead they push is vital.
The thirds are therefore responsible for the fifth and sixth stones. These players are the ones who have the power for turning points in the games. The third is also tasked with taking over the skip duties and also for the final two shots of the game.
The skip is the overseer of the shots.
Think of the Skip as the ‘shot-caller’ whilst the curlers job is to make a snap judgement of when to let go of the stone and skips are more concerned with the the preparation.
To sum up any curling team: there are the curlers, sweepers and the skip.
Like any other team, every member must find the perfect harmony and most importantly for this sport, make sure that the weight, curl and the line of each shot are in perfect sync.
The winning team is the one with the most effective players in place.
How Do You Read The Score In Curling?
When it comes to scoring in curling, it’s pretty straightforward.
For the Olympics a ‘baseball-style’ scoreboard, this shows both teams’ scoring for the duration of the match.
Of the eight stones, the only ones considered for the score are the ones that are in the house.
A score is counted when a stone is closer to the button than that of the opponent.
Also, stones in the house won't count if they're further from the button than the opponent's nearest stone.
Every match takes place over 10 ends and a sum total of 16 stones, 8 per team.
In the end, only one team can score in each end and the point will be awarded to the team that puts a rock closest to the button, the centre, once all 16 of them have been thrown.
What Is The hammer?
The team with the ‘hammer’ gets to throw the last rock, which is deemed to be a tactical advantage.
The hammer for the first end is awarded to the team that puts two rocks closest to the button in a pre-game shootout.
As the match goes on, the hammer goes to the team that did not score in the previous end.
Curling In The Winter Olympics 2018
The Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has been officially charged with a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium.
He is now likely to be stripped of his mixed curling bronze medal, won with his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova last week.
The finals will take place on the 24th and 25th of February.
Find out more about the Winter Olympics here