Sportsmanship and Etiquette
One of the things I really like about Curling is the courtesy. Courtesy and sportsmanship aren't just good form, they're expected. They're called for in the rules.
They're part of the spirit of the game.
The following is gleaned from the web, and edited somewhat for Arena Curling in warmer states.
Before the game:
- Arrive in plenty of time. Be ready to play at the scheduled time -- seven other people are depending on you. For our club, those with the early draw are needed to help set up a half hour before game time. For the late draw, if the previous game ends early, you can start early if everyone is there.
- Clean shoes are a must. Try not to track in dirt, sand, or salt. For those who grew up in Southern California, they use salt in cold climates to melt ice on sidewalks and streets -- we don't have to worry about salt, but dirty ice is still not good.
- The game traditionally starts with a coin toss, a handshake, and wishes for “Good Curling.”
During the game:
- Keep the game moving. When your game finishes, someone else gets the ice.
- If your team leads off on any particular end, the lead should gather his or her rock and get in the hack, clean the stone, and begin their pre-shot routine. Be ready to deliver the stone as soon as the skip asks for it. Playing at a reasonable pace assures a complete game.
- When your turn comes to sweep, be in front of the hack, leaving the thrower a clear view of the skip, ready to go.
- Sweepers not on the team delivering the stone, stand on the sides of the sheet, between the courtesy lines. Formerly accepted was standing between the hog lines. This allows the curler delivering the stone an unobstructed view of the skip and the house and allows for easier and quicker communications. Courtesy lines are not marked for our club currently, so when you can't do exactly what the guidelines say, follow the spirit.
- If you are the next curler, put on your slider or remove your gripper and have your stone cleaned and in front of the hack while your opponent’s shot is in motion. It’s OK to watch your opponent’s shot, but not so long that you can’t be ready for your own.
- You should never disturb a curler in the hack or during delivery. When the stone is clear of the near hog line, you can start getting ready for your shot, but give the other team a clear view.
- Take care not to walk down the middle of the sheet after your team’s shot. On dedicated Curling ice, this makes the ice less perfect -- in an Arena we don't get perfect ice. The main reason is to give the other team a clear sheet so that they may begin their shot.
- Let the vice-skips do their job (keep score). When the final stone of an end comes to rest in the house, leads and seconds should remain well outside the house until the vice-skips have agreed on the score.
- Let the skip do his/her job (call the game). Although every successful team depends on the input and expertise of each team member (curling is a team sport in every respect) the skip needs the support and respect of his/her teammates. Skips have the responsibility of determining strategy, calling shots and working with sweepers to make the most out of every shot of the game.
- Skips stand behind the hack, quiet and motionless, brooms horizontal or on the ground until their opponent has delivered the stone. This just makes it easier for the other team to see signals from their skip -- and not get confused.
- If you accidentally displace a stationary stone, please announce it immediately. It’s the privilege of the opposing skip to replace the stone to their satisfaction.
- Your enthusiasm and paying attention to your own game, and not the game on the adjoining sheet, has a direct bearing on the success of your team.
- Be honest. There are rarely referees or umpires in curling If perchance you accidentally burn a stone, it is expected that you will be the one to call it.
- Be a good sport. Congratulate players, both teammates and opponents, when they make a good shot. By the same standard, do not embarrass a player who has missed a shot. Cheering a missed shot is considered in poor taste and poor sportsmanship. (okay, we're all beginners at Orange County -- there is the occasional shared laugh at a bad shot -- usually mine.)
Speed of Play & Techniques:
- Sweepers should follow the stone down to the house, ready to sweep at a moment’s notice. If you hear the skip yelling “No, No, Never”, be aware that the next thing you’re likely to hear from that very same skip is “YES, Hurry, Hard!”.
- As another courtesy to keep the game moving, it is typically the lead’s job to place the skip’s rock in front of the hack when it is time for the skip to shoot.
- Skips can do their part to keep the game moving by minimizing the delay while deciding upon a shot. Certainly take the time you need, but lengthy conferences should be avoided.
- Some people will also pre-position their opponents' rock in front of the hack -- as a courtesy.
After the game:
- The game end with handshakes all around and congratulations on a game well-played.
- At our club, winners arrange the stones if there is a next match, record the scores, and the losing team sweeps the ice. If there isn't a following game, we help clear the ice so that it can be prepared for whatever sport follows (Ice Hockey, or skating).
Courtesy is so often missing in our daily lives, and I really appreciate it on the ice.
A couple of unrelated topics:
For those who have been following along, I've added two mailing lists to the site -- you'll find sign-up forms on the contact page. There is an RSS feed as well, you should see the RSS icon in the location bar in your browser.
I also have to comment about the weather. Today is a beautiful, sunny day -- about 75 degrees outside, just like summer. The ocean sparkles, and the palm trees are gently swaying in the wind. It's wonderful, and I can't wait to hit the ice in about four hours.....
My shoes are here.