House Rules For The Missoula Curling Club:

· Bring separate shoes for curling. Change shoes prior to entering the ice to keep ice clean. Salt and dirt will track onto ice, changing the conditions of the ice.

  • Everyone should help bring stones onto ice before games and return them to the storage locker when the session is finished.
  • Games will be six (6) ends. Ends are like innings in baseball.
  • There is a 90-minute time limit for each match. If you have less than 15 minutes left in the 90-minute game, you cannot start a new end.
  • Teams normally consist of 4 to 6 members, each throwing 2 stones, in the order you set. The 4 players who start the end must remain the same position throughout the end. In the event where a team is playing with only three players, the lead and second will deliver 3 stones each per end and the skip will deliver 2 each end.
  • For the Recreation League, you may substitute players in between each end, if your team so chooses.
  • For Competitive League, to be more aligned with USA Curling rules, USCA R3 applies regarding teams and players and alternates (for MCC substitutes also apply as alternates during the regular season games)


(a) A team is composed of four players. Each player delivers two stones, in consecutive order in each end, while alternating with an opponent.

(b) A team declares its delivery rotation, and the skip and vice-skip positions, (this means a skip can deliver from any of the 4 positions but must maintain that position during the game unless (d) ii applies) prior to the start of a game and maintains that rotation and those positions throughout that game subject to (d) (i). A team that deliberately changes its delivery rotation, or positions, during a game will forfeit the game, unless it was done when bringing in an alternate player.

(c) If a player is missing at the start of a game, the team may either:

(i) start the game with three players, the first two players delivering three stones each, and the third player delivering two stones, in which case the missing player may enter the game in the declared delivery rotation and position at the start of an end; or (ii) start the game using a qualified alternate.

(d) Where a player is unable to continue to play in a game, the team may either:

(i) continue play with the remaining three players, in which case the player who left the game may re-enter only at the start of an end.

(ii) bring in a qualified alternate at the beginning of an end, in which case the delivery rotation and the skip and vice-skip positions may be changed (the revised rotation of play applying for the remainder of that game), and the replaced player may not re-enter the game.

Definition of a player leaving a game: A player that delivers fewer than two stones in an end is considered to have left the game, except where rule R5 (i) applies.

(e) A team may not play with fewer than three players, all players delivering all their allocated stones in each end.

(f) In competitions where alternates are allowed, only one alternate can be registered and used in that competition. If there is a violation, the offending team will forfeit the game. To clarify For MCC the substitution rule for the Competitive League will be: In the event a team only has 2 rostered team members that show up for a game and the team has a substitute, the team can play the game with 3 (not 2 subs to make it 4) and does not have to forfeit. (you can also play with 3 from your team and 1 sub) No two team members and 2 subs, you need to play with only one sub as in rule R3 (f) above. Only one named sub/alternate can play for a team in a match. In this situation for our club, a substitute can be considered an alternate like USAC rule R3. No substitutes allowed for Competitive League playoffs. Teams must play with rostered players including their previously identified alternates.

(g) If a player delivers the first allocated stone of an end and is unable to deliver the second allocated stone, the following is the procedure for the remainder of that end. If the player is the:

(i) first player, the second player delivers the stone

(ii) second player, the first player delivers the stone

(iii) third player, the second player delivers the stone

(iv) fourth player, the third player delivers the stone

(h) If a player whose turn it is to deliver is unable to deliver both of the allocated stones during an end, the following is the procedure for the remainder of that end. If the player is the:

(i) first player, the second player delivers three stones, then the third player delivers three stones, then the fourth player delivers the last two stones

(ii) second player, the first player delivers three stones, then the third player delivers three stones, then the fourth player delivers the last two stones

(iii) third player, the first player delivers the first stone of the third player, then the second player delivers the second stone of the third player, then the fourth player delivers the last two stones

(iv) fourth player, the second player delivers the first stone of the fourth player, then the third player delivers the second stone of the fourth player.

  • Begin the match by flipping a coin, this is done by the Lead, and the opponent Lead will call it in the air. Whoever wins, decides if they want Hammer or not. (Hammer means you throw the last stone on the first end. Then the other skip picks which set of rocks to throw. (Color)
  • Whichever team scores, the Hammer moves to the team that did not score.
  • Introduce yourselves to the other team, shake hands and say “Good Curling” to each other.
  • Non- hammer team throws the first stone. Seconds and Vice-Skip sweep for the lead unless the skip is the lead, then the second and third will sweep while the vice skip is skipping. When player lets go of the stone, other team should begin setting up the stone for their turn. When the stone motion stops, sweepers move to the side and stay between the Hog lines and try to not distract other players. Skip leaves the house and stands behind the hack as other skip takes over the house.
  • Until five stones have been played (three from the team without the hammer and 2 from the team with the hammer), stones in the free guard zone(the area between the hog and tee lines, excluding the house) may not be knocked out of play by an opponent’s stone. These are known as guard rocks. If the guard rocks are removed, they are replaced to where they were before the shot was thrown, and the opponent’s stone is removed from play and cannot be replayed. This rule is known as the four-rock ruleor the free guard zone rule.
  • Only Vice Skip look and decide which stones are closer and what the score is. Measuring with the measuring instrument can be done after all rocks in the end have been delivered to determine the scope if so necessary.
  • Always compliment good shots, by raising your brooms. Never comment on an errant stone.
  • If at the end of 6 ends the score is tied, the skips that skipped the last end played will each throw one stone and the winner will be determined by which stone is closer to the button and is still in play between the Hog Line and the End Line. If both stones end up out of play, the skips will deliver another stone each to complete the match and determine the winning team. The team that scored the most recent point in the match will throw first. The vice-skip will skip for each team, sweeping is allowed, however the vice skip may not sweep the opponents stone if it passes the T line. This is known as a Shootout or a Draw to the Button.
  • Skip report scores by writing them down on the posted schedule inside the cabinet door before you leave the rink that night of play.
  • Unless specified in the Missoula Curling Club House Rules, games — especially in the competitive league — will be governed by the rules set forth in the USA Curling guidelines. A copy of the guidelines can be found here.


All rules stated and posted by the rink are to be followed, with special adherence to the following:

  • No Smoking under the canopy or inside the rink.
  • No glass at the rink.
  • No beer, alcohol, or sodas to be on the ice, whatsoever!



  • For newer curlers, sliders should be worn when delivering or waiting to deliver a stone.
  • Step on to the ice with your “gripper” shoe first and be careful! Never use your slider foot for your first step on the ice.
  • Sliders should be removed (or covered with a gripper for curling shoes) after a player’s turn to deliver is over or when one is leaving the ice.
  • Never stop a rock with your hand. Your fingers can be crushed, especially if the rock hits another rock while you are trying to stop it! Never use your feet to stop a rock as you can lose your balance and fall. Use a broom or brush to stop a rock.
  • Always carry a broom or brush with the broom head down, which you can use to avoid or break a fall in case you lose your balance.
  • While sweeping, if you can’t keep up with a fast shot, back off. Don’t risk a fall on the ice.
  • Before you step on the ice, take note of the ice conditions. Sometimes the ice is wet from the cleaning and will be more slippery than normal.
  • Never go on the ice when your balance is impaired from sickness, medication or alcohol.

For More Information On Curling:

  • Read a book on the basics of curling.
  • One good example: Curling for Dummies by Bob Weeks.
  • Visit an Internet site designed to teach the basics of curling.
  • One good example: CurlTech’s The Curling School at In particular, new curlers should review the following sections: “Overview of curling”. “The Delivery by CurlTech,” “Sweeping,” and “Appendix A: Curling Terms & Lingo.”