Learning to curl involves learning the etiquette of curling. Curling is a game of honour and respect. There is also some protocol to learn but others will likely teach you as you start to learn.
Some of the key items of proper curling etiquette are as follows: (copied from the YK Curling Club website)
- Arrive on time, don’t be late! When you are scheduled to play in a game, be ready to step on the ice at the designated time. If for an unavoidable reason you will be late or cannot play let your skip know as soon as possible so he/she can take appropriate action.
- Wear clean, appropriate footwear that will not damage the ice.
- The game begins and ends with a handshake. It is polite to wish your opponents “good curling!” at the start of the game.
- The leads decide who has hammer usually by flipping a coin.
- It is polite to stop moving while a player is set to throw. Etiquette directs players to delay walking by another sheet until the throwing player facing you has released his/her rock.
- If you are throwing next, you may stand on the backboard, but remain quiet and out of sight of the opposition thrower.
- Only skips and thirds may congregate behind the tee line. They do not move or hold their brooms on the ice while the opposition is preparing to deliver a stone.
- To keep the game moving along at a reasonably quick pace, be ready to go when it’s your turn to deliver a stone. As soon as the opposition delivers their stone, get your rock to the hack and clean it. Do not touch the other team’s rocks. A few lost seconds each time will add up! You may see curlers “setting up” rocks for the other team after they have thrown theirs. This was something that was done as a courtesy years ago, but it no longer encouraged. Rather than speeding up the game, it often slows it down, as they may pick the wrong rock. As well, it can be dangerous, if the curler is not expecting the rock to be there, and accidentally trips on it.
- Do not leave your fingers, palm of your hand, or your knee on the ice, as this results in “flat” spots in the ice.
- At the conclusion of an end, all players remain outside the rings until the opposing thirds have agreed on the score.
- At the end of the match, the winning team generally offers to buy a drink for the losing team. This is generally reciprocated.