Curling is one of the few sports where all ages, genders and abilities can play together and against each other. Two teams take turns to deliver stones down the ice attempting to get closer to the centre of the target or ‘house’, than their opponents. Each team consists of four players called the lead, second, third and skip, who each deliver two stones in that order. The skips are the team captains and direct their team on which shots to play.
As the stone slow down, depending one the ice conditions, they begin to ‘curl’. With good work from the sweepers the stones can be made to stay straight for longer – if that is what is required.
When all sixteen stones have been played, an ‘end’ of curling is complete. A team scores one point for each stone which is closer to the centre of the house than any of the opposition’s stones. Only stones touching the house can be counted.
The team that scores in the previous end plays first in the next end. This means that the non-scoring team gets the advantage of having the last stone. Games are played to a time limit usually between 2-2 ½ hours or until an agreed maximum number of ends are complete. The winner is the team with the most points at the end of the game.