CURLING - Hilarious, easy, team event anyone can play!

Curling is one of the oldest team sports, played on ice, similar to shuffleboard. The game dates back to medieval Scotland where competitors slid common stones of various sizes across frozen lochs. Today the stones are standardized, composed of 42 pounds of granite with plastic handles bolted into the rocks. Curling gets its name from the spin placed on the stone once it is released. It has seen a rise in popularity since becoming a medal sport in the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Not at all. Curling is played in rubber-soled shoes. Clean sneakers with a decent tread are suitable for curling. Please bring a clean pair to change into.

Yes. Although it is a sport, curling is a game of strategy. You need to be able to push a 42 lb. stone across the ice. Sweeping is probably the most strenuous, but if you are able to sweep your house, you’re good to go. Ages can vary from children to seniors.

Using a throw-stick is now an integral part of curling and many who can no longer throw from the hack are having a lot of fun and success using such a stick. Stick curling is a new sport which provides challenge and excitement for people of all ages on an equal and competitive basis, and in a social atmosphere.

Stick curling is appropriate for people with physical disabilities such as knee, back, heart, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, ankle, or foot problems, or just simply advanced age. The rocks are handled with a curling stick from a standing or sitting position (i.e. wheelchairs) enabling everyone to participate competitively. Wine Country Curling Club and Skatetown Ice Arena actively encourage wheelchair-bound individuals to play the sport.

The curling stone is a thick granite stone disc weighing between 38 and 44 pounds with a handle attached to the top. The handle allows the stone to be gripped and rotated upon release; on properly prepared ice, the stone's path will bend (curl) in the direction the front edge of the stone is turning, especially as the stone slows. The handles are colored to identify the stones by team.

To understand the sweeping with brooms, it helps to have an understanding of the ice and the rock first. "Pebbling" or spraying a fine mist of water droplets prepares the ice for a game. The rock which is thrown with a slight twist, rides up on the "pebble" and will travel or "curl" in the direction of its rotation. The sweeping causes a slight melting of the ice, thereby reducing the friction along the path of the stone. The harder the rock is swept, the further and straighter it will travel. It's important to note that every player on the team is involved with each stone that is played. The curling broom is also often used as a balancing aid during delivery of the stone. Curling brushes may have fabric, hog hair, or horsehair heads.

Beginner curlers can wear regular flat-soled tennis shoes. More advanced players wear special curling shoes. These are similar to ordinary athletic shoes except that they have dissimilar soles; the slider shoe is designed for the off foot (or sliding foot) and the non-sliding shoe for the hack foot. The slider shoe is designed to slide and typically has a Teflon sole. It is worn by the thrower during delivery from the hack and by sweepers or the skip to glide down the ice when sweeping or otherwise traveling down the sheet quickly. The non-sliding shoe, or hack foot shoe, is worn by the thrower on the hack foot during delivery and is designed to grip. It may have a normal athletic shoe sole or a special layer of rubbery material applied to the sole of a thickness to match the sliding shoe.

The hack is the foothold traditionally cut into the ice from which the person who throws the rock pushes off for delivery. The hack is usually made of metal and heated in warm water before being placed onto the ice. As the hack cools, it melts into the ice and freezes into place. The frozen hack creates a sturdy foothold to deliver the rock.

A game is played between two 4-person teams: • Each team has eight stones to push across the ice toward a circular target area, or house, the very center of which is called the button; the center of the button is the tee. • Once a stone is released, two teammates use brooms to fervently sweep a premeditated path that will place their stone closest to the button. The team leader, or skip, decides the best path for sweeping that will impact the trajectory or curl of the stone. • The object of the game is to position your stones closest to the button at each end, which is much like an inning in baseball, and is completed once all 16 stones have been played. A game may have 8-10 ends. • A point is scored for every stone nearer to the tee than any of the competitor's stones • Plays may include finesse shots which glide perfectly to their marks (draws), knocking out oppositional stones currently in the house (take-outs), or deliberately placing stones in the path of a perfectly placed stone (guarding) to prevent a take-out of your own stone.

Two hours.

Pebbling is the process completed by the ice arena to prepare the ice for curling. Water droplets are sprayed and freeze on the ice’s surface to allow the stones to glide down the sheet of ice toward their marks. Without this pebbling, friction would hinder the lateral movement of the stone.

Curling ice is not the same as hockey or skating ice. Typical arena ice is perfectly flat, but curling ice has tiny little bumps on it. Before the game, the ice is prepped with a fine spray of warm water (known as pebbling the ice), which melts and creates tiny bumps known as the pebble. The pebble has better grip than your common skating ice. This pebble also allows curling rocks to travel across the ice. A curling rock doesn’t move across skating ice very well.

Visit the Wine Country Curling Club website for dates/times - You can also click here to complete a short online form. You will be notified of upcoming sessions.

You’ll get an overview of the game, warm-up, curling etiquette and on-ice safety. You will also learn delivery basics of how to throw the stone and sweep before playing a mini-game (if time and space permit).


You do not need to bring any special equipment, although some people do use knee pads. All other equipment is provided.

Being warm on the ice is important. The arena stays a cool 45-55°F. We recommend players: • Layer-up with moisture-wicking synthetic materials or wool • Loose fitting athletic or sweat pants are recommended • Cotton is not great for keeping people warm • Wool socks are best to keep your feel warm • Hats and gloves are optional • Sneakers with decent tread are suitable for curling. Please bring a clean pair to change into so dirt and debris don’t ruin the ice surface

None. Rocks, hacks, brooms and sliders are provided. Optional equipment that you may want to purchase at some point include shoes, brooms, equipment bags and gloves.

Curling is a social game. It is customary to shake hands before and after a game and to wish the opposing team, “Good Curling.” The Spirit of Curling promotes good sportsmanship. Unlike other sporting events, slander is not encouraged during a game of curling.

Yes. Contact us at (916) 783-8550 ext. 115 for available dates and times. The cost is $30 per person, minimum of $1,200. Group size: 32-40. Team size: 4. Time: 150 minutes.

Learn to Curl classes for beginners, league prep training sessions, curling leagues, curling drop-in games and curling corporate team-building activities. Individual players also have the opportunity to travel to other rinks, domestic and international, to compete at Bonspiels (curling tournaments). All curling activities at Skatetown are hosted by the non-profit Wine Country Curling Club. Visit their website for dates and details.

The Mountain Pacific Curling Association, or MoPac. MoPac is one of ten regions in the United States and represents Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. MoPac has 17 member clubs and hosts the playdowns for the United States Curling Association, USCA.

The internet is a wonderful resource for the sport of curling. Here are a few links that we have found to be very helpful to obtain vital information on the sport of curling: • Rules of Curling: Club and Bonspiel Use: • The ever popular Wikipedia: • Curling Cheat Sheet: