Mixed Doubles is the newest form of curling in the USCA.
The rules presented here are copied from the USCA Curling News, published in May 2007.
A Mixed Doubles team consists of two players (one male and one female).
- Scoring is the same as in regular curling.
- Each game will consist of eight ends. If at the completion of the scheduled ends the score is tied, play shall continue for the extra ends required to determine the winning team.
- Each team shall receive 48 minutes of playing time for an eight-end game. When extra ends are required, the clocks will be reset, and each team shall receive 6 minutes of playing time for each extra end.
- Each team shall deliver five stones per end. The player delivering his/her team’s first stone of the end must also deliver his/her team’s last stone of that end. The other team member shall deliver the team’s second, third and fourth stones for that end. The player delivering the first stone can change from end to end.
- No stone, including those in the house, can be removed from play prior to the delivery of the fourth stone of an end. If there is a violation, the delivered stone shall be removed from play, and any displaced stone(s) shall be replaced to their original position by the non-offending team.
- Prior to the start of every end, one team shall instruct the game umpire to place their team’s stationary stone (1), and their opponent’s stationary stone (1), in either position A or B
A. A stone bisecting the center line, midway between the hog line and the front of the house; or
B. A stone on the back half of the button, bisecting the center line and touching the tee line.
- The team having the decision on the placement of the stationary stones shall be:
(a) Unless predetermined, the teams opposing each other in the game shall use a coin toss to determine which team has the decision in the first end.
(b) Following the first end, the team that lost the end will have the decision on the placement.
(c) If an end is blanked, the team that did not deliver the last stone in that end shall have the decision on placement in the next end.
- The team whose stationary stone is placed in the position in front of the house shall deliver first in that end, and the team whose stationary stone is placed in the house shall deliver the second stone of that end.
- Prior to the start of every game at WCF competitions, each team shall be allowed a 5 minute warm-up period on the rink on which they will be playing. The team delivering the last stone in the first end shall practice first.
Having read the above rules numerous times, some clarification is in order. Reading #5 above, and watching the video, the first three rocks thrown can not be a takeout, even for stones in the house. The fourth and subsequent stone can be a takeout.
If you win the coin toss, then you get “the decision“. If you happen to lose an end, then you also get “the decision“. If you have “the decision“, then your team gets to decide where to place the two stationary stones, one each of yours and your opponent’s, as specified in #6 above. By deciding whose stone goes in the house and whose is a guard you’ve also determined the hammer. By placing your stone in the house, you’ve taken hammer.
You can also watch a six minute promotional video on YouTube.
There is a variation on the above, called “Sturling”, a melding of “Stick” and “Curling”. They have their own web site so I won’t be duplicating the rules here.