What is Olympic Curling?

Olympic curling is a popular winter sport that combines strategy, teamwork, and precision. It is played on ice with teams of four players using special granite stones to slide down the ice towards a target area called the “house.” The objective of the game is to score points by getting your team’s stones as close to the center of the house as possible.

The Basics of Olympic Curling

Curling involves two teams taking turns sliding their stones across a rectangular sheet of ice. Each player throws two stones during an end, which is analogous to an inning in other sports. The teams alternate throwing until all 16 stones have been played.

The ice surface used in Olympic curling has specific dimensions and markings. There are hog lines at either end of the sheet, which indicate where players must release their stone from. The house consists of concentric circles with different colors, known as rings.

How Does Scoring Work?

In Olympic curling, scoring occurs at the conclusion of each end when all 16 stones have been thrown. Only one team can score per end based on which team has its stone closest to the center of the house (the button). Points are awarded for every stone from that same team that sits closer to the button than any opposing team’s stone.

If a single team manages to have multiple stones closer than any opposing ones, they will earn additional points for each extra stone within scoring position. Typically, only one or two points are scored per end unless there is exceptional skill or strategy involved.

The Role and Responsibilities in a Curling Team


The skip acts as both captain and strategist for their team. They determine the weight, line, and curl of each delivery. They also call plays, communicate with teammates, and analyze the game’s progress.


The vice-skip supports the skip in strategy planning and assists with sweeping duties. In the skip’s absence or when throwing their own stones, they assume leadership responsibilities within the team.


The second has a crucial role in executing shots accurately. They sweep to manipulate stone speed and direction as directed by the skip or vice-skip. They help set up potential scoring opportunities for their team.


The lead is responsible for delivering two initial stones at each end. Their primary objective is to position these stones strategically while ensuring they are closer to the center than any opponent’s stone. The lead also assists with sweeping alongside other teammates.

Equipment Used in Olympic Curling

Curling requires specific equipment designed for optimal gameplay on ice surfaces:

Curling Stones (also known as rocks):

The granite curling stones weigh approximately 42 pounds (19 kilograms) each and have a flat bottom surface with a handle attached on top for players to grip during delivery.

Brooms:To manipulate how far a stone travels or changes its trajectory during sliding, players use brooms made specifically for curling. Modern brooms feature synthetic fibers that aid in sweeping by creating friction between the ice and broom surface.

In Conclusion

Olympic curling is an exciting sport that demands strategy, teamwork, and precision on an icy playing field. Teams aim to slide their stones as close as possible to the center of the house to score points. With its unique equipment and specialized roles within a team, curling adds diversity and intrigue to the Winter Olympics.