Etiquette and Good Practice

Spirit of Curling

Curling is a game of skill and of tradition. A shot well executed is a delight to see and it is also a fine thing to observe the time-honoured traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game. Curlers play to win, but never to humble their opponents. A true curler never attempts to distract opponents, nor to prevent them from playing their best, and would prefer to lose rather than to win unfairly. Curlers never knowingly break a rule of the game, nor disrespect any of its traditions. Should they become aware that this has been done inadvertently, they will be the first to divulge the breach. While the main object of the game of curling is to determine the relative skill of the players, the spirit of curling demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honourable conduct. This spirit should influence both the interpretation and the application of the rules of the game and also the conduct of all participants on and off the ice.

[RCCC Rule book, introduction]


If you can’t curl, please find your own sub. That’s your job, not the skip’s. Remember to tell your skip that you will not be there and who will be playing in your place.

Arrive in plenty of time to change and be on the ice at the scheduled time. Other players are relying on you. If you are going to be late, please call ahead and let them know.

Ensure your shoes are clean. Wearing outdoor shoes on the ice tends to upset the icemen.

The Game

Before the game, shake hands with everyone and wish them a good game.

Keep the game moving. The ice time is fixed and slow play means that all the ends cannot be played. Be ready at the hack when it is your turn to deliver a stone.

After sweeping, take care to walk back down the side of the sheet so that you do not obstruct the opposition’s view of their skip. Stand to the side of the sheet, between the hog lines.

Never disturb a curler in the hack or during delivery. Until their stone comes to rest, the sheet is theirs and you should not interrupt their view. Crossing behind them and preparing to throw your own stone is perfectly acceptable and expected.

Never cross the ice in front of a running stone.

Keep the ice clean! If you notice anything on the ice that shouldn’t be there, please remove it and put it in a bin.

Don’t leave hand and knee prints on the ice; keep body contact with the ice to a minimum.

If someone is in danger of being hit by a stone, shout the warning “ICE”.

Fill in the score card and keep it up to date during the game. This is usually the job of the seconds.

Leads and seconds should stay out of the house unless they are sweeping a stone. This includes waiting at the end of the end until the thirds have agreed the score before entering the house to clear away the stones.

Skips have the responsibility of determining strategy, calling shots and directing sweeping. So while discussion, communication and clarification are encouraged, be willing to defer to your skip’s decisions even if you don’t understand or agree with them.

Switch off mobile phones or put them on silent during the game.

At the end of the game, shake hands firstly with the opposition and then your team. If you have lost, congratulate the winners. If you have won, it is traditional for the winners to buy their direct opponent a drink after the game.

More Information

Further information on etiquette can be found on the Try Curling website here.