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Game Play in Allotted Time

This guide is intended to help inform teams of various ways to complete 8-ends within the 2-hour time limit (approximately 15 minutes per end). The hope is for everyone to take ownership and be comfortable providing and receiving comments/reminders in a positive manner for the good of the game.

At the start of a curling season, Convenors are asked to review this document with the skips in their league.  In turn, Skips should review the document with their teams so that everyone knows the expectations and is more receptive to guidance and assistance. Skips should encourage their vices to approach them if need be
and be receptive when they do.


1) Please arrive at the rink well in advance of your game. Give yourself plenty of time to put on your equipment, socialize and catch up on the latest gossip with your fellow curlers. If you wish to practice, please throw rocks on your own sheet allowing time to arrange rocks and clean handles prior to start time.
2) Have all players on the ice at least 5 minutes prior to your start time. Proceed with greetings, salutations and coin toss prior to start time. During coin toss Skips can proceed to the far end of the rink to be ready to call ice for their Lead.
3) Once a player has slid out of the hack, the next opposing player should then pull their rock out and start the cleaning and setup process so they are ready for when the skip calls the shot.
4) Assist your team members by helping to get their rock and if a call was not clear or heard, perhaps another teammate can enlighten them.
5) If players require a stick to throw, or use a “crutch” as a sliding tool, they should consider this as part of their own equipment so they don’t have to share, which can take time. Also, make sure you have an efficient way of bringing your stick/crutch to the opposite end of the ice.
6) Team members should not offer various strategies or criticize their Skip. This can cause Skips to second guess every decision and to be out of their comfort zone. Let the skip make their call. If a team member doesn’t like the call, save it for after the game. Perhaps the Skip was thinking 2 or 3 moves ahead.

7) After the coin toss:
a. The lead for the team that loses the toss, should immediately pick out their first rock to be thrown and begin the process of cleaning the rock and getting set in the hack.
b. The Lead from the other team should be on the backboards and be ready to get into the hack as soon as the opponent has slid out of the hack.
8) At the conclusion of an end, the leads of both teams should go directly to the back board and start getting ready.
a. The lead of the team that scored should get their rock, clean it and be ready in the hack for your skip’s call while others clear the house.
b. The other lead should be ready to get into the hack as soon as the other lead has slid out.

Seconds and Vices
9) NEW: Utilize a “NEXT-UP” Approach - When you are returning to the delivering end for your first shot – IF THE OPPONENT IN THE HACK IS NOT READY OR IF THEIR SKIP HAS NOT YET CALLED THEIR
SHOT, THEN YOU CAN ADVANCE TO THE BACKBOARD. This will enable you to remove your gripper and be ready as soon as the opposition has slid out.
10) Since the Seconds and Vices will be clearing the rocks after a completed end, while the leads get ready, If time does not permit the organizing of rocks by 1-2, 3-4 etc. at the back board by the time the first shot of the end is called, then organize them after the first rock is thrown. Skips can do their part by organizing rocks during the playing of the end as rocks are removed from play.

11) Although everyone on the team is responsible for playing as promptly as they can, the Vice is in the best position to monitor progress throughout the game.
12) NEW: Do a “TIME CHECK” after each end to see if the game is running behind (15 min per end). If it is, assess if it is due to team member tardiness or a delay in shots being called. The Vice can either assist team mates to be ready for making shots or can inform their skip that the game is running behind.
13) Vices should confer with each other if slow play is observed. By acknowledging the slow play by either team, it helps to remind each vice to follow up where required.
14) When determining scores, have a good look and if it is not readily apparent which rock is closer, then measure. Measuring devices are at both ends of the ice near the middle sheet.

15) Should always observe what shot is being called. This is imperative since they are the ones who will be judging the weight as the rock travels down the ice.
16) Make sure you set the Skip’s rock at the hack and observe the shot that the Skip has called for themselves. Sweepers can ask for clarification but Skips should not have to explain the entire shot but keep their strategy descriptions brief.
17) You can also clean around the area where the rock will be delivered.

18) Skips can strategize with their Vice, from time to time. An entire team consultation is rarely required.
19) The sweepers should have been observing the shot you have called for yourself, so you should only have to clarify where the rock should end up and the intended weight you plan on throwing.
20) After an end has concluded be ready to start the next end. Don’t waste time chatting with your team. If you want to chat with the other skip, do so while calling the next shots.
21) Skips should be efficient in their strategies. Anticipate the shot you will most likely call based on the opponent making their shot. If you are taking too long to think about each shot, then review strategy resources available on the club’s website or on line.
22) If your vice comes to you and indicates that the game is running behind and it is not due to team members being tardy, then accept that it might be your “thinking time” in making decisions.

In closing, please try and be efficient with your time, be encouraging, be supportive, be patient. Let’s all do our part by following the above which should allow all games to be completed within their designated time and greatly increase the enjoyment for everyone.

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Founded in 1873, the Orillia Curling Club  includes six sheets of professionally maintained ice, a full service lounge with viewing area, change rooms with locker space and shower facilities. We welcome all skill levels to come out and enjoy curling.