What’s an end? A freeze? How deep do you have to dig to “bury a stone?” Like any other sport, curling comes with its own unique vocabulary. Check out our glossary so you can talk the talk too.
Backboards: The boards behind the back at either end of the playing area.
Blank End: An end that is scoreless.
Bonspiel: A curling tournament.
Burying a Stone: Placing a shot behind a guard so no part of the rock shows from other end.
Button: The innermost circle surrounding the tee. The button is usually one foot in diameter.
Center Line: A line drawn from one hack to the other, passing through the tee at both ends of the ice.
Circles: The round scoring area, 12 feet in diameter, with concentric circles 1, 4, and 8 feet in diameter.
Come Around: A shot that curls around a guard.
Coming Home: Playing the final end of a game.
Counter: A stone that is in a scoring position.
Curl: The rotating movement of a stone caused by turning the handle.
Delivery: The act of throwing a rock.
Double: Removing two stones from play with one shot.
Draw: Although a draw is normally into the house, any rock where the speed will make it stop between hog line and back line.
Eight-ender: An end in which a team has scored the maximum possible number of points.
End: A division of the game. An end is complete when all sixteen rocks (eight per team) have been thrown. A club game is usually eight ends, or about two hours long.
Extra End: An additional end played to break a tie at the end of regulation play.
Freeze: A draw that finishes touching or nearly touching another rock.
Front End: The lead and second player on a curling team.
Guard: A rock between the hog line and the house that can be used to protect rocks in the house.
Hack: The rubber starting block embedded in the ice from which the curler begins deliver of a stone.
Hammer: The last rock in an end.
Heavy: A stone that is delivered with more than the desired amount of weight or force.
Heavy Ice: Opposite of fast or keen ice. Heavy ice requires a stone to be thrown with more than normal weight.
Hit: A rock intended to collide with another rock.
Hit and Roll: A takeout that removes a stone, hitting it off center and then moving to a target area.
Hit the Broom: When a curler releases his rock directly on the skip’s target broom.
Hog: A stone that stops short of the far hog line.
Hog Line: A line located 21 feet from each tee. A rock must be released before the near hog line, and travel beyond the far hog line.
House: The round scoring area, 12 feet in diameter, with concentric circles 1, 4, and 8 feet in diameter.
Hurry: A call used by some teams to tell the sweepers to sweep quickly.
In-turn: A rock whose handle is rotated inward toward the body. An in-turn for a right-handed curler rotates clockwise.
Keen Ice: When little effort is required to deliver the rock. Also known as fast ice.
Last Rock: The last rock to be thrown in an end.
Lead: The player who delivers the rink’s first two rocks of each end.
Lie Shot: Having the stone closest to the tee.
Light: A stone that is delivered with less than the desired weight or force.
Long Guard: A guard near the hog line.
Lose Handle: A stone that loses its initial rotating motion during its travel down the rink.
Narrow: A rock delivered inside the intended line of delivery (between the skip’s broom and the target).
Off the Broom: A stone that is not delivered on the line of the skip’s broom.
On the Broom: A shot that started out on a line toward the skip’s broom.
Out-turn: A rock whose handle is rotated outward or away from the body. An outturn for a right-handed curler rotates counter-clockwise.
Pebble: A light spray of water that freezes on contact with the ice creating small bumps that cut down the amount of the ice surface the rock is in contact with.
Port: An opening between two or more rocks that is wide enough to allow a stone to pass through.
Raise: The action of promoting a stone from one position to another closer to or in the house.
Rings: The circles that make up the house.
Rink: A curling team that consists of four players: the skip, third (vice-skip), second, and lead. Also refers to the place where curling is played.
Roll: The movement of a stone after it hits another stone off center.
Second: The player who delivers the team’s third and fourth rocks.
Second Shot: The stone that is second-nearest to the tee.
Sheet: The 146-foot-long area of the ice on which the game is played.
Shot: The stone that is nearest the tee during the play of an end (also known as shot rock). It may also refer to the playing of a stone (i.e., making a shot).
Shot Rock: The rock that is closest to the tee.
Skip: The player who calls the ice and determines the strategy. Almost always plays the last two rocks for his team (but may throw in a different order in some games.
Slide: The part of the delivery after the curler leaves the hack and moves down the ice completing the throwing of the stone.
Slider: A slippery device that is worn on the sliding foot during the delivery of a stone. Usually teflon,plastic or stainless steel.
Steal: What happens when the team that does not have last rock scores a point or points.
Sweeping: Using a brush to polish the ice in an effort to alter the action of the rock.
Takeout: A type of shot that removes another rock from play.
Tee: The center point of the house.
Tee Line: A line passing through the tee at right angles to the center line.
Third: The player who delivers the team’s fifth an sixth rocks and assists the skip in strategy and ice reading.
Vice-skip: See third.
Weight: The amount of force applied to a rock to move it down the ice. Often called by sweepers using a numeric system to represent the stone’s final stopping point.
Wide: A stone that is delivered outside the line of the skip’s brush.
And on the lighter side…
Tough shot: Anything the Skip misses.
Crap shot: Anything you miss.
Blanked end: Nobody had draw weight.
Bury: What you do with your head when you hog your rock in the eighth end.
Double: What you order at the bar when you lose.
Draw weight: Darned if I know!