Curling is a team sport that is now an official Winter Olympic Sport. Teams of Men and Women both Adult and Junior from all over the world compete at the Olympics and in World Curling Federation events. Recently the game has added a Two-person version. Typically a 4-person team takes turns in the delivery of the stones.
Players alternate from each team in the delivery of a stone down a sheet of ice towards a target area called the House. This house is made up of coloured rings that are embedded in the ice with the smallest ring enclosing a 2-foot section called the Button. Each team has eight stones to deliver and these stones or rocks can be hit out of play or tapped back. The team that has the most stones in play closest to the Button scores one point for each stone that is closer that the opposition.
A typical game usually consists of eight ends and a competitive game is 10 ends however a game can be called by the losing Skip earlier if they deem that the effort is unsuccessful.
The curler will deliver the stone with an In-turn or an Out-turn handle release. This will cause the stone to curl in the direction that the Skip has chosen. Sweepers can elect to sweep a stone if needed or they can elect not to sweep. The sweeping is determined by many factors including the type of shot, the commands or instructions of the Skip, the input of the player that delivers the stone, the skill and experience in the sweepers , ice conditions and the score of the game. These sweepers have a brush or a broom and will sweep rapidly across the face of the rock and ahead of the rock in the direction of travel with the rock. They can not touch the rock with the brush or broom without that rock being removed from play because it has been BURNED.
A great deal of strategy and teamwork go into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. This gives curling its nickname of “chess on ice“.