Curling Etiquette topic of the month: Sweeping!! February 2016



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Curling Etiquette topic of the month: Sweeping!! February 2016

Sweeping should be conducted in a side to side motion crossing the entire face of the stone. When you stop sweeping, do not lift your broom straight up, but be sure that the motion finishes out of the path of the stone.

It is the sweepers’ responsibility to communicate the weight of the stone to the skip. Sweepers should plan to call out the weight, upon the thrower’s release of the stone, halfway between the hog lines, and as the stone crosses the hog line. Communicating the weight helps the skip make the proper sweep calls. If the sweepers feel the stone is too light to complete the play as called by the skip, they should immediately begin to sweep and not wait for the skip to call it. However, sweepers need to continue to listen to the skip’s calls as the skip may alter the call due to the lightness of the stone or the line of the stone.

If you “burn” the stone (touch the stone with your broom or foot) prior to crossing the far hog line, notify your skip and stop the stone. A stone burnt prior to crossing the hog line must be removed from play.

However, if you burn the stone after crossing the hog line, allow the play to finish and notify both skips. The opposing skip has the right to determine the course of action by:


  1. Allowing the play to stand

  2. Removing the burnt stone and returning all affected stones to their original position

  3. Place the burnt stone and all other affected stones how they would have come to rest if the burnt stone’s path had not been altered.

If you accidently move a stationary stone, which did not affect the current play, the opposing skip will return the stone to its original position. If moving the stationary stone affected the course of moving stone, the opposing skip has three options:

  1. Allow the play to stand as is

  2. Remove the moving stone from play and return all affected stones to their original position

  3. Place the moving stone and all other affected stones how they would have come to rest if the moving stone’s path had not been altered.

As soon as the delivered stone comes to rest, the sweepers must leave the house and return to the sides of the sheet between the courtesy lines.

Sweepers should always be aware and avoid blocking the line of sight for the opposing team. Sweepers should not cross back and forth across the sheet as they return to the courtesy lines on the delivery end of the sheet, but rather decide what side of the sheet to walk down as they leave the house. Sweepers should stand motionless as the opposing team delivers their stone and only return to movement after the thrower has released their stone from their hand. It is considered very bad form to distract anyone in the hack.



Sweepers should always be prepared to sweep their throwers stone by standing to either side and in front of the thrower. Be conscious of not blocking the view of the thrower by standing too close. When the skip is throwing, sweepers should have the stone in front of the hack for the skip. Sweepers can also put their teammate’s stones in front of the hack to help speed up the play.

Questions / Comments: Please contact Fran Walsh


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