Focus on the Rules #4

The Spirit of Curling.

Win graciously and lose gracefully… Read more about this, the first rule.

The preamble to the Rules of Curling is about the spirit of the game:

Curling is a game of skill and traditions. A shot well executed is a delight to see and so, too, it is a fine thing to observe the time-honored traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game. Curlers play to win but never to humble their opponents. A true curler would prefer to lose rather than win unfairly.

A good curler never attempts to distract an opponent or otherwise prevent another curler from playing his or her best. No curler ever deliberately breaks a rule of the game or any of its traditions. But, if a curler should do so inadvertently and be aware of it, he or she is the first to divulge the breach.

While the main objective of the game is to determine the relative skills of the players, the spirit of the game demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honorable conduct. This spirit should influence both the interpretation and application of the rules of the game and also the conduct of all participants on and off the ice.

This is an ancient game. The first written report of curling is from the Paisley Abbey in Scotland in 1541 where a latin text records a challenge to a tournament on ice with stones between two monks. Those time-honored traditions mentioned in the preamble have been passed down for centuries. You’ll notice them in some of the unwritten rules: the handshake before and after the game, congratulating your opponent on a shot well made, skips holding their brooms off the ice so they don’t distract their opponent, not hanging the score right away if you’re well up, and “broomstacking” after a game. You’ll notice tradition in the written rules too, so take some time to read them. They’re in the last half of the USCA Rules Booklet.