Glossary of Curling Terms

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There are currently 124 Terms in this directory
A registered, non-playing member of the team who is eligible to substitute for a playing team member.

Away Sheet
The end of the sheet to which the first stone of a game is delivered.

Back 12
The portion of the 12 foot ring behind the tee line.

Back 4
The portion of the 4 foot ring behind the tee line.

Back 8
The portion of the 8 foot ring behind the tee line.

Back Board
Material (e.g. foam, wood or plastic) placed at both ends of each sheet of ice.

Back End
A team's third and skip, considered as a unit.

Back Line
A line at the back of the house, extending across the width of the sheet, which is parallel to and located 1.829 m. (6 ft.) from each tee line.

A stone that just touches the outer edge of the outside circle of the house.

Blank End
An end resulting in no score for either team because at the end of this end no stone is in the house. A stone is in the house if it lies within the twelve foot (3.7 m) zone or any portion of it's edge lies over the edge of the ring.

Board Weight
A lightweight takeout thrown with sufficient momentum to reach the back board.

A curling competition or tournament.

A term used to describe the stone which will be the last stone delivered in that end; also called the "hammer."

The Canadian men's curling championship, held annually since 1927.

Brush (broom)
A device used by players to sweep/clean the ice in front of a moving stone.

The small circle at the center of the house.

Center Guard
A guard that is placed in front of the house near or on the center line.

Center Line
The line dividing the playing surface down the middle. It joins the midpoints of the tee lines and extends 3.658 m. (12 ft.) beyond the center of each tee line.

A takeout that hits a small portion of a stone.

To lightly sweep or brush in front of a stone to remove any debris.

Come Around
A shot that curls behind another stone

Corner Guard
A guard that is placed in front of the house outside the area of the four foot.

Any stone in or touching the house and is considered a potential point.

The curved path of a stone as it travels down the sheet of ice.

Delivering End
The end of the sheet from which the stones are being delivered.

Delivering Team
The team that is currently in control of the playing area, and scheduled to deliver the next stone.

The motion a player makes when throwing a curling stone

State of a sheet of ice where the sides are slightly elevated compared to the center, so that a cross section of the ice would look like a cross section of a dish; this sometimes happens near the end of a week-long tournament because the pebbling motion tends to apply more pebbles to the side, while sweeping during games happens more often near the center and wears down the ice more in that region; when there is a dish, rocks will curl more towards the center and less away from the center.

Displaced Stone
A stationary stone that has been moved to a new location.

Double Takeout
A stone that removes two of the opponents stones from play.

A delivered stone which stops inside or in front of the house.

Eight Foot
The 8 foot-diameter (2.4 m) circle in the house.

A portion of a curling game that is completed when each team has thrown eight stones and/or the score has been decided. Tournament style games usually run for 10 ends.

Extra End
An additional end played to break a tie at the end of regulation play.

A defect in the ice which causes stones thrown in that area to curl negatively.

Free Guard Zone
The area at the playing end, between the hog line and the tee line, but excluding the house.

A form of a draw shot that stops directly up against another stone

Front End
A team's lead and second, considered as a unit.

Buildup that can occur on ice surfaces when there is excessive humidity in the air; tends to makes stones stop faster and curl less.

A stone that is placed in a position so that it may protect another stone.

The foot-hold at each end of the ice which is used by a player to start the delivery of a curling stone.

Hack Weight
The momentum required for a delivered stone to reach the hack at the playing end.

A term used to describe the "stone" which will be the last stone delivered in an end.

The part of the stone held by the player; used to describe the desired direction of rotation of the handle (and therefore the stone) upon release in a given delivery; "Losing the handle" refers to a stone which stops curling or which changes direction of curl while moving.

A takeout. Removal of a stone from the playing area by hitting it with another stone.

Hit and Roll
A stone that knocks an opponent's stone out of play, and then rolls to another position in play.

Hit and Stay
A takeout where the played stone stays in the spot where it made contact with the stationary stone; also called nose hit.

Hog Line
A line extending across the width of the sheet that is parallel to and located 6.40 m. (21 ft.) from each tee line.

Hog Line Violation
A stone that is removed from play for the end because it was not released before it reached the hog line at the delivering end.

Hogged Stone
A stone that is removed from play for the end because after being delivered it did not come to rest completely beyond the inside edge of the hog line at the playing end.

The area within the concentric circles at each end of the sheet.

A command which instructs players to sweep harder.

A hit on a stone that's off the center line that causes the thrown stone to come "in" toward the center of the house off of the stone that was outside the center of the sheet.

The rotation applied to the handle of a stone by a right handed curler which causes the stone to rotate in a clockwise manner.

The first player on a team to deliver two stones in each end.

Measuring Device
An instrument that determines which stone is closer to the center of the house (tee), or whether a stone is in the house.

Moving Stone
A stone in motion either from a delivery or from being struck by another stone.

A stone delivered off the broom too close to the desired target and therefore likely to curl past it.

Negative Ice
A shot in which the player curls the stone in the opposite direction in which the stone is expected to curve due to significant defects in flatness of the ice surface; for example, if the curvature of the ice causes all stones to drift sharply to the right, a skip may request the shooter to aim to the left of the desired location and curve the stone to the left as well.

No Handle
A rock delivered without a turn, usually done in error; stones thrown without a handle often follow an unpredictable path.

Nose Hit
A takeout where the played stone stays in the spot where it made contact with the stationary stone; also called a "hit and stay."

The rotation applied to the handle of a stone by a right handed curler which causes the stone to rotate in a counter-clockwise manner.

Small droplets of water intentionally sprayed on the ice that cause irregularities on the surface, allowing the rocks to curl. Also a verb; the action of depositing water droplets on the ice, as "to pebble the ice between games."

A takeout that removes a stone from play as well as the delivered stone. These are usually intentional, such as for blanking an end.

When a rock's running surface travels over a foreign particle such as a hair, causing the rock to deviate from its expected path, usually by increasing friction and thereby the amount of curl.

Spot at the exact center of the house, officially called the tee.

Competitive play towards club, state/provincial, national, and world championships.

A space between two stones just wide enough for a delivered stone to pass through.

Another name for a raise; usually means to raise a guard into the house and make it a potential counter.

A delivered stone that bumps another stone into the house.

Reading the Ice
When a curler considers how the condition of a sheet of ice will influence the path of a thrown stone, similar to how a golfer reads the undulations and texture of a green before determining where and how hard to hit a putt.

Reverse Handle
When a stone is thrown with a particular turn, but it eventually stops and begins to rotate in the opposite direction; usually the result of a pick or poor ice conditions. Sometimes it may even reverse twice in one shot, creating unpredictable shots that follow an S-shaped path.

Right Off
A call given by the skip to tell the sweepers to neither sweep nor clean the rock; as compared to off!, which tells the sweepers to stop sweeping but not necessarily to stop cleaning.

The house.

1. A curling team. Often used with a location ("the Manitoba rink") or the name of the skip ("the Smith rink"). 2. A building housing the ice sheets ("the curling rink"). 3. Sometimes used as a synonym for sheet.

The device thrown by curlers during the game. It is made of granite and has a standard weight of 19.6 kg (44 lb). Also called a stone.

Any movement of a stone after striking another stone.

Description of a spinning rock.

When a moving stone barely touches another stationary stone; less contact than a chip.

A section of the curling sheet that is dipped or troughed that can prevent a stone to curl or draw down its normal path of travel.

A shot in which the delivered stone bumps a second stone which in turn knocks a third stone out of play.

Running Band
The part of the rock which comes in contact with the ice. It is about 7 mm wide (0.25 inches).

A device used by the Ice maker to smooth the ice after a period of extended play; usually performed in conjunction with pebbling.

The player who throws the third and fourth rocks for a team; on most teams they also sweep for all other players on their team.

Second Shot
The second closest rock to the button.

A wide brush, traditionally made of sheepskin, which is used to clean the ice of any loose debris, typically during the mid-game break (commonly after the 5th end of tournament play).

The area of ice that on which one game is played.

In a hit, refers to the rock being thrown.

Shot Rock / Shot Stone
The rock in the house closest to the button; the next closest rocks are second shot and third shot. To "be shot" means to have shot rock.

The player who calls the shots and traditionally throws the last two rocks; typically the best player on the team. As a verb, to "skip" means to lead one's rink,

The forward movement of a player during the delivery of a stone.

A piece of Teflon or similar material attached to a curling shoe that allows the player to slide along the ice.

Soft Release
A type of release that makes the rock curl more, usually by imparting less rotation to the handle.

A stone traveling with a rapid rotation. Stones thrown in this manner will curl only a small amount, if at all.

A draw shot in which the played stone hits on the side of a stationary stone and both move sideways and stay in play. Not to be confused with split the house.

Split the House
A strategy of drawing to a different area of the house to prevent your opponent from taking out both stones.

Stacking the Brooms
Slang for socializing with teammates and opponents, often over a drink, after a game.

Scoring in an end without the hammer.

A large, polished, circular granite stone with a goose-necked handle on top.

Straight Handle
Synonymous with no handle.

Straight Ice
Ice on which stones curl less than usual.

To brush the ice in front of a moving stone, which causes it to travel further and curl less.

Swingy Ice
Ice on which stones curl more than usual.

A rock that hits another rock and removes it from play.

Tap Back
Use of the delivery stone to tap another rock towards the back of the house.

The center point of the house, where the tee line crosses the center line; the stones' distances from the tee determine the score for each end. Also called the pin.

Tee Line
The line that goes across the house intersecting with the middle of the button, splitting it into two halves.

Thick / Thin
The degree of contact between two rocks; the thicker the hit, the more contact between the stones; a hit with a small amount of contact is thin.

The player who throws the fifth and sixth rocks for a team; usually also serves as vice-skip.

Third Shot
The third closest rock to the button.

A shot that bumps a guard out of the way without removing it from play, to avoid violating the Free Guard Zone Rule; usually played with lead rocks late in a game to prevent the trailing team from setting up a steal.

Another term for narrow.

Top 12
The portion of the 12 foot ring in front of the tee line.

Top 4
The portion of the 4 foot ring in front of the tee line.

Top 8
The portion of the 8 foot ring in front of the tee line.

A takeout shot in which three other stones are removed from play.

The person(s) responsible for the conduct of the game in accordance with the rules.

Command shouted by a skip – sometimes "off!" or "whoa!" – to tell sweepers to stop sweeping (to bring the brooms "up" off the ice).

Vice or Vice-Skip
The player who discusses strategy with the skip behind the house and holds the broom while the skip throws his rocks; usually plays third; also known as mate.

The amount of speed with which a rock is delivered; more weight corresponds to a harder throw. When used in a phrase such as "tee-line weight", it refers to the delivery speed required for the rock to come to rest on the tee-line.

A shot where the played stone touches a stationary stone just enough that the played stone changes direction.

A stone delivered off the broom to the side away from the desired target, and therefore unlikely to curl far enough to reach it.

A stone that rocks from side to side as it travels because it is not resting on its running surface.

A missed shot caused by an accidental chip or wick off of another stationary stone.
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