Focus on the Rules #3

by Brian Stuart on January 2, 2011

Where should you be when your team is not delivering?

1) Wandering into the next sheet.
2) Walking down the middle of your sheet.
3) Standing in the house talking to the opposing skip.
4) Standing beside your opponents who are about to sweep.
5) None of the above.

Yup. None of the above. There are places designated just for you, and those places are written into the rules!

Your skip or viceskip in charge of the house must be behind the back line. Your sweepers must be standing off to the side between the hog lines, and the teammate that’s about to deliver next should be standing well behind the hack and to the side of the sheet.

The part about waiting behind the hack if it’s your turn to deliver next is designed to save time.  This can save an enormous amount of time and it’s the primary reason most games do not get 8 ends in. If you’re delivering next, get your rock into position at the hack as soon as your opponent starts to slide out.  Don’t stand around watching your opponent’s rock.  That’s your skip’s job.  You’ve only got 150 minutes to get your game in, so be set in the hack and ready to deliver as soon as your opponent’s stone has stopped.

It’s really, really bad form to be moving when your opponent is set in the hack and about to deliver, or is in the process of delivering a rock.  If you’re next to deliver, and you’re caught up the sheet and can’t get behind the hack because your opponent is delivering, just stand still at the side of the sheet between the hog lines.  As soon as the stone leaves your opponent’s hand, hustle your buns down to the hack and get your rock into position.  Don’t stand there watching your opponent’s rock.  Get into position to deliver.

When I was a young man (…in the late middle ages!), these were unwritten rules.  It was etiquette.  Now it’s codified in the Rules Booklet:

R4. POSITION OF PLAYERS

(a)Non-Delivering Team:

(i) During the process of delivery the players take stationary positions along the sidelines between the courtesy lines(*).
However:

1) the skip and/or vice-skip may take stationary positions behind the back line at the playing end, but must
not interfere with the choice of place of the skip or vice-skip of the delivering team, and
2) the player who is to deliver next may take a stationary position to the side of the sheet, behind the hacks,
at the delivering end.

(ii) The non-delivering team players must not take any position, nor cause any motion, which could obstruct,
interfere with, distract or intimidate the delivering team. If such an action occurs, or an external force distracts a
player during delivery, that player has the option of allowing the play to stand, or of redelivering the stone after all
displaced stones have been replaced to their original positions.

(b) Delivering Team:

(i)The skip, or the vice-skip when it is the skip’s turn to deliver, is in charge of the house.
(ii)The player in charge of the house is positioned inside the hog line, and on the ice surface of the playing end of
the team’s sheet, while the team is in the process of delivery.
(iii)The players who are not in charge of the house or delivering a stone take positions to sweep.

* We don’t have courtesy lines.  They’re hash marks on the sides of the sheet 4 feet outside the hog lines.  They are there to encourage people not to stand right on the hog line.