Download the full rules here: OSSC_Curling_Tournament_Rules.pdf

SSC Official Curling Bonspiel Rules


  • The team that scores the most amount of points during the match wins.
  • Points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house (circular target marked on the ice and also known as a ‘button’) at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. Each stone is worth a point.

Player Eligibility

  • All players must be added to the team roster by the team captain.  This process confirms that all players have electronically agreed (checked the box) to our policies and online waiver. Alternatively, players can sign a PDF version of the waiver and submit to SSC staff on-site. Extra waivers can be found at the registration tent.


Game Length

  • Games are 60 minutes in length, and a maximum of 4 ends are to be played in that time.
  • Games start and end according to your tournament schedule. 
  • When the whistle is blown at the 55-minute mark, the position throwing finishes their rocks, and the next position throws theirs, and then the game is over.  If the seconds have thrown one rock each and the whistle is blown, then they finish theirs, and the thirds throw all of theirs and the game ends (in this situation, the skips would not throw).
  • Teams are responsible for keeping score & time.



  • Please refer to the facility information tab on the SSC website for the list of equipment provided by the club (brooms, sliders).  It is the responsibility of the player to bring all other equipment not provided. 
  • All curlers are required to wear clean shoes on the ice. 
  • Players will not be allowed on the ice with outdoor footwear (very important).  
  • Curlers are recommended to use a slider or clear tape on the bottom of the sliding shoe.  Please be careful not to step on the ice with your slider foot first!  Players who are right handed wear tape or a slider on their left foot and vice-versa for left handed people. 


Players on Ice, Gender Ratio and Defaults.

  • Teams are comprised of 4 players, however a team can play with 3 players.
  • There are no gender requirements for curling and we strongly encourage teams to be co-ed.
  • Team defaults:  For each 10 minutes the offending team does not commence play from the designated start time, the non-offending team shall be granted one point.  One end shall be considered to have been played and the non-offending team shall be given the choice of last rock or colour of handle in the first end played. After 30 minutes the non-offending team will be declared the winner.

Game Set-Up

  • Each team has eight stones (each player will throw 2 stones per end).
  • The team winning the coin toss will decide whether they will curl first or second.
  • Teams with more than 4 players must wait between ends to rotate in.  Only 4 curlers may play per end.
  • When the curler throws the stone, 2 teammates sweep the stone with the purpose of directionally controlling the speed and path, the 4th teammate is the Skip in this scenario.  


General Game Rules

  • Teams are not required to declare a set ‘lead’ ‘2nd’ ‘3rd’ and ‘skip’ for the entire game.  Players are allowed to rotate through the various positions, as long as each position is declared at the start of each end.  However, it is expected that all teams still follow the correct order of “2,2,2,2” when throwing stones in each end.  If a team has 3 players, it is expected to follow the order of “3,3,2”.
  • The rocks must completely cross the hog line to stay in play.
  • Throwers must release the rock before the hog line.
  • If a rock hits the sideboard or the sidelines, the stone is out of play.
  • A team can only begin to sweep the oppositions rock(s) once it has completely passed the T-line (the line that intersects the house). Only one sweeper can sweep past the T-line per rock.



  • Only 1 team can score in any end. The team with the rock closest to the centre, scores. They score 1 point for every rock in the house that is closer to the centre than the opponent’s closest rock.
  • Points for standings are awarded for wins (15), ties (10), losses (5), ends won (1) and points scored (½).  The first round of games will be scheduled with pre-assigned team matchings.  After that first round, team pairings will be based on total points following each round.  If two teams are scheduled to play for a second time, we will alter the pairing – where the upper team will play the next closest team in total points. The team with the most total points after the three games will win their Bonspiel Pool. 


Free Guard Zone Rule

  • Until four stones have been played (two from each side), stones in the free guard zone (those stones left in the area between the hog and tee lines, excluding the house) may not be removed by an opponent's stone (although they can be moved as long as they are not taken out of play). These are known as guard rocks. If the guard rocks are removed, they are replaced to where they were before the shot was thrown, and the opponent's stone is removed from play and cannot be replayed. This rule is also known as the four-rock rule.


Curling Etiquette

  • When your opponents are preparing for delivery, stand to the side of the sheet, single file and between the hog lines. Move only after the stone has been released.
  • If you are throwing next you may stand on the backboard, but remain quiet and out of sight of the opposition thrower.
  • Only skips and thirds may congregate behind the tee line. They do not move or hold their brooms on the ice while the opposition is preparing to deliver a stone.
  • Be ready to go when it’s your turn to deliver a stone.
  • Please do not hit the ice with brooms.
  • Please do not crash the rocks on the ice.
  • Please guard the ‘hack’ so that rocks do not hit it and ruin the ice.
  • Curling is a win-win sport! Win - you get bragging rights... Lose - winning teams buy the beer!



Remember… Always have fun!