Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Curling

Curling is a winter target sport in which the objective is to slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area. The game is an ice version of shuffleboard. Curling is one of the sports of the Winter Olympics.

Curling is a team sport, played between teams of two or four players. The target, called the house, is a circular area marked on the ice, segmented into four concentric circles. Each player in the team will alternately slide the heavy and polished granite stones, which are also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house.

Olympic curlingUSA curling team in action at the Winter Olympics

Each team has eight stones. Each end is completed when the teams have thrown all their stones. Points are awarded after each end to the team with the stone closest to the center of the target. One point is awarded for each of stones lying closer to the center of the target than the opponent's closest stone, though only stones that are in the house are considered in the scoring. One curling game can have around 8 or 10 ends. The team with the most total points at the conclusion of all ends wins.

Curling involves a great deal of strategy and teamwork. Not only do they players need to choose the best path to propel the stone, they are also able to spin the stone so that it curls along its path, and sweeping in front of the stone can decrease the friction and make it travel further and on a straighter path.



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