The Rules of 'Beer League' Curling

Do You Have the 45-Pound Stones to Curl?


It’s one of those winter sports that glides under the radar. But this month, curling will reclaim its moment in the spotlight during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The question is, do you have the 45-pound stones to curl?

We explore what it takes to be a pro at curling, but more specifically, "beer league" curling. 

Coyotes Curling Club in Tempe, Ariz. is home base for curling in Arizona. It's a standalone venue only for curling because curling ice differs from regular ice used for hockey and ice skating. 

Before we get into the rules of "beer league" curling, Darryl Horseman, a director at Coyotes Curling Club, has a very important rule about wardrobe, specifically about wearing tight jeans. 

"Don't blow your crotch," laughs Horsman. "True Religion jeans would make a mess."

Rule 1: Don't Blow Your Crotch (a.k.a dress accordingly)

The ice used for curling is not perfectly flat. There are little beads of water called "pebbles" on the ice that help the 40+ pound stone glide to the other end. 

Those beads of water help you with the second rule of "beer league" curling, as so eloquently described by Horsman, who by now we should mention is from Winnepeg, Canada. So make sure to add a little Canadian accent to his quotes. 

"If you do not get the rock past the hog line, you have to buy the first round of drinks."

Rule 2: Get the Stone Past the Hog Line

The "hog line" is the minimum distance you have to throw the stone or your throw is not counted. It's represented by a thick black line near the scoring circles. The line received its named from Scottish curlers who would put an actual pig at the other end of the ice, signifying the minimum distance needed for a stone to count. Hence, the "hog line." If you fail to throw it far enough, the first round of drinks are on you. 

A common question people new to curling have is "What does sweeping actually do?" Sweeping warms up the ice ahead of the stone, helping the stone slide farther and straighter. 

Scoring is simple. Teams will throw their stones down the ice toward the center of the scoring circles at the other end. The middle circle is called the "tee" or the "button." Other circles around the tee are called the four footer and the 12 footer. Teams score a point for every stone closer to the center than their opponents. In summation, players are looking for a good push off the hack with a stone passing the hog line, curling around a blocker, pass the 12 footer and nuzzling right up on top of the button and "Bob's your uncle!"

Rule 3: Learn the Lingo

Coyotes Curling Club has events all February for beginners interested in curling in celebration of the Winter Games. Good luck and happy curling! 


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