How Much Do You Know About Curling?

SPORTS

Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: World Curling Federation

About This Quiz

Curling is one of the biggest sports in Canada, despite not being an official one. Curling enthusiasts across the country are members of local curling clubs and love to keep the sport alive. We have our Scottish immigrants to thank for bringing the great sport over to become a Canadian tradition. So if you've played, then let's see how much you know about it!

You've shown up to the arena, stretched and exercised, and you're ready to get on the ice. You've got your teammates by your side, and you've greeted the opposing team in a polite fashion. Now it's time to get into the game! You've got a lot to think about, from the equipment you need to the rules of the game and how you can best deliver the stone to the house. Your teammates need to have their heads in the game as well, because in order to win you all have to be working together. Everyone plays a role in getting the stone where it needs to be!

So if you've won your fair share of games or you have just watched many of them, now is your time to shine. Tell us how much you know about curling with this quiz!

Starting with the basics, what is the name of the object that is thrown in curling?

One of the most important objects in the game, the stone is thrown (or slid) by each team, trying to get a good score by having it stop at the right time. Did you know that most stones are made in Scotland?

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Curling stones are heavy, and for good reason. What material are they made of?

While stones are now made out of granite, this wasn't always the material used. In the past, some stones were made from iron. At that time, players were often distinguished by the types of stones they used while playing.

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Knowing your curling terminology is important. What does "delivering" a stone mean?

Delivering a stone is the process of throwing (or sliding) the stone to have it land within the house (or goal area). The delivery is critical, as it can determine where the stone lands within the house, which in turn determines the score. Choose your delivery method wisely!

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Something that isn't always wanted in curling is the "curl." What is this?

One thing that curlers don't want to have happen is for their stone to curl and go too far right or left, rather than straight or in a planned curve. This is where the sweepers come in, to help keep the stone on its intended path and make the stone land within the house.

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If you've been to a curling event, you'll know its unique sound. Where did curling's nickname "the roaring game" come from?

If you've ever been in the arena during a curling match, then you've heard the loud, rumbling sound of the stones as they slide across the ice. That's where the nickname comes in. You could describe the sound as a roar!

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The captain directs most of the action. Who serves as team captain on a curling team?

The skip is the leader on the curling team and has many duties when playing the game. The skip throws last, directs other players and makes calls to other players about what they should do. The skip also pays close attention to the stones as they are delivered.

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While not an official position, do you know what a sweeper is?

The sweeper is an important part of the team, using the broom to help deliver the stone. Sweeping is important to keep the stone from curling and to determine how far the stone will travel.

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Curlers wear two different shoes, but they don't have two left feet! Which of the following is one shoe that they wear?

Curlers play while wearing two different shoes — or at least, two different sole attachments. The first is the slider, which assists when the curler wants to do just that. The gripper is the other, which helps the curler gain traction.

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You'll want to know this fact if you get into curling. What is one important trait that all curlers share?

For the most part, curlers are kind and respectful people who don't trash talk each other. Even though you might hear yelling during the game, this is for communication rather than smack talk!

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One important part of curling is the house. What is it?

The house is where you want your stone to land after a throw. Three rings and an inside button make up the house. Whoever gets their stone closest to the button gets a point for that end.

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If you're putting together a team, this is important to know! How many people make a curling team?

Four players make up a curling team: the lead, second, vice and skip. Each member of the team has an important role, but all take turns throwing the stone. Each person, other than the skip, also takes turns sweeping.

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Being courteous and kind is all part of the game. How should you start off any game of curling?

It doesn't get much more polite than the sport of curling. Shaking hands is an important part of the game, showing respect for your opponents. Another great way to start off the game is by wishing your opponents "good curling." They'll probably wish the same for you!

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Though it's very popular in Canada, where did curling originate?

Curling dates all the way back to the 16th century in Scotland. Did you know that the first curling stones used here did not have handles on them?

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The stone has to be delivered as flawlessly as possible, so how many sweepers are on the ice after a throw?

Two sweepers are on the ice after the delivery of a stone. They both sweep vigorously as instructed or as they feel is needed to help the stone go as far as intended and in the right direction. The sweepers must stick close and follow the stone as it glides down the ice.

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Curling is played on ice, but that's not what the surface is called. What is the ice referred to as, in the game?

The sheet is the place where the game is played. Basically another word for the ice, the sheet must be extremely flat for the game to work best. Also, there are bumps applied to the ice for texture, which is done by spraying specks of water onto the surface.

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Where do you sweep with the broom when playing?

In order to keep good control of the stone, sweeping is essential. It is done in front of the stone, usually for a good distance, and sweepers stop sweeping at times to help send the stone where they want it to go.

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Most important during the beginning of the game, what is the purpose of the hack?

The hack is for the player who is delivering the stone, so that they can push off across the ice. This is the area where the delivery begins. Without the hack, delivering your stone would be a whole lot harder!

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If you do this, you'll want to call yourself out. Accidentally touching a stone in play is called what?

Curling is all about honesty and integrity, so this type of mistake is one that players usually call themselves out on. This mostly applies to any stone that is in motion rather than ones that are already in place, so long as they aren't moved.

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What is the name of the area between the hog line and the tee line?

If a stone is in the free guard zone and the opposing team knocks it out with one of the first five stones, it's bad news for the opposing team. This results in the stone being placed back into the free guard zone, while the opposing team's stone that knocked it out is taken away. Deliver wisely!

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Since the sport is so popular in Canada, there are many curling clubs around the country. About how many?

Canada has quite the curling presence, with more than 1,500 curling clubs to join around the country. There is no better place to live if you're a fan of the sport, as you'll never run out of teams to play against!

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Solid stone has a lot of weight to it. How much does one curling stone weigh, approximately?

It's no secret that these stones are heavy! In fact, they weigh about 44 pounds, give or take, depending on the stone. Did you know that a new curling stone can run you about $500? It's best to treat them with care!

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When ice is determined to be "fast" by a curler, what do they refer to it as?

Keen ice makes it easier to throw a stone in the play zone, but it's something that curlers make a point of examining before starting. A player needs to know how much thrust to put on a stone when throwing, and ice conditions can have a huge impact on a stone's journey.

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Which of these Canadians has participated in curling events at the Olympic games?

Kevin Martin, known as the "Old Bear," represented Canada at the Olympics in 2010 in Vancouver. He and his teammates took the Canadian Curling Team to gold, with the Norway and Switzerland teams coming in second and third.

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You've gotta know the rules to play the game! How many stones are thrown per end by one team?

Since there are four players on each team and each player delivers twice, eight stones are thrown. Did you know that each team has eight stones? This makes the grand total thrown in each end 16.

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In order to play your best, you have to know your lines! What is the hog line?

The hog line is important in curling because the person delivering must pay attention and release their rock before reaching it. It's placed near the middle of the sheet, meaning you have to think quickly if things aren't looking right as you go along!

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You've scored points with every single stone that your team has thrown! What is it called?

It's more than just a character you build out of snow⁠ — it means you've played the perfect game of curling! Another word for the same feat is "eight-ender," but "snowman" is a little more appealing and fun, as curling should be.

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Now is the time to know your duties as a player on the team. Who throws first during the game?

The lead does just as their name says — they are the first to deliver the stone. Next comes the second, then the vice and finally the skip, going in order, as each of them takes two shots per end.

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Which beloved Canadian company sponsors the Brier Championship?

The Brier Championship is a big deal in Canada, getting its start in 1927. Of course, this was before Tim Horton's was a company, so different Canadian companies have sponsored throughout the years. Tim Horton's took over in 2004.

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In the first World Championship for curling in 1959, which country did the Canadian team beat?

Scotland and Canada both have a lot of love for the sport of curling, but our team from the North took it home in the first World Championships, despite it being held in Scotland. Since then, Canada has taken home more than 50 championships, including both the men's and women's games.

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Before becoming official, how many times was curling a demonstration sport at the Olympics?

Despite being such a beloved sport, curling was only a demonstration in the 1924, 1932, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Its popularity eventually earned it an official spot within the famed games.

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What is a common number of ends to have within a regular curling game?

A regular curling game has around eight ends, but this can change depending on whether or not the game is part of a tournament. Some games have included up to 12 ends, although this is usually only for tournaments.

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There are about a million players here! Curling is a popular sport in which maple leaf country?

It's a fact — Canadians love their winter sports! While we all know that hockey the most popular here in the North, curling is the second most popular winter sport. Montreal is the city with the oldest curling club in North America.

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Which curling club do we have to thank for building the first indoor ice rink in Canada?

As the oldest active curling club in Canada, there's a lot of history behind this particular club. It gets the credit for the construction of Canada's first indoor ice rink. The Royal Montreal Curling Club was founded by Scottish immigrants when they arrived in Canada.

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Can you name the organization that is most important to curling in Canada?

Curling Canada is the federal organization that keeps the sport organized and orderly in Canada. It came about in 1990, and all of the provinces and territories are members with their own organizations.

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It was a long, hard road for this game to be included. What year was curling finally considered to be an official Olympic sport?

Though curling had been a demonstration sport prior to 1998, it was never considered an official medal-winning sport at the Olympic Games. Thankfully, this changed, and we can enjoy watching the world's best curlers play for the elusive gold medal.

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