Ironman Curling Rules

Ironman Curling rules follow the same rules of curling with some exceptions given the outdoor conditions and this is a charity event.

We will outline the basics and the exceptions. The goals are for everyone to be active in the winter, enjoy the activity of curling.  If you do have any questions, please email us or speak with a volunteer on the ice level.

Curling rule basics in a Covid-19 world

  • Bow, curtesy in kilts, raise your brooms in salute. No shaking of hands or contact of any sort.   Time to resurrect an old tradition or start a new on. Sign language “Good Game”
  • There is no age limit for curling. We suggest the curler be able to throw or stick throw 42lbs of granite (give or take) as we do use regulation curling rocks
  • Ironman curling ice is regulation size at 150 feet, or 126 feet from hack to the T-line (on the button)
    • New since 2017 is the Family division with shorter sheets at a distance of 90 feet from hack to the T-line
  • Each game is 6 ends (or 60 minutes to start the final end, whichever comes first).  The colder it is the faster the game is played, funny how that works
  • Each team is guaranteed 3 games in both the Friends and Family divisions.
  • You can use any device to hurl the rock from one end to the other. You can also start from any position at or behind the hack line and stay between the side board lines as long as you release the rock before the rock crosses the closest hog line.
  • Rocks can leave the sheet you are playing on but must come to rest “fully in play” which means between (and not touching) the side board lines and fully over the far hog line but not fully past the backline of the house you are throwing to. We do not use side boards between each sheet of ice so please be on the look out for rocks coming from any direction. It takes a few ends to understand how the sheet works for both teams. Its always a great moment when someone figures it out.
  • Free guard zone is in effect (Click here for a Free Guard Zone explanation and some basic rules of curling.)
  • Snow plowing is allowed (unlike rule #4 under Sweeping in the Free Guard Zone link above), and may be necessary during heavy snow fall, however you are not allowed to leave the snow you have accumulated while snow plowing in front of the rock to help stop it. This would be similar to touching, or in curling terms, burning a rock as you are changing the natural path of the rock by allowing something to contact it (your snow pile). Please always clean the snow/debris away from the path of the rock when sweeping, shoveling or snow plowing.
  • Some people are new to curling or not aware of our rules, so please remind them and their skip and if needed you can also speak to an organizer for assistance.
  • Teams are encourage to dress up to stand out and show spirit. Your team may be in the social media or have a chance to be in media for interviews.  The in thing nowadays is helmets, masks and looking like superheros.
  • Please bring your own curling brooms and shoes.  *No loaner brooms for 2022* All types of brooms for sweeping are encouraged, so dig out that old horse or hog hair broom, you will be the talk of the Ironman.
    Tip: Sponge hockey shoes work well if it snows, and a large shop push broom (or possibly a shovel) helps clean a path for the rock.
  • Ironman recommends wearing two grippers so you have better balance and traction on outdoor ice. Curling with a stabilizer in your non rock throwing hand. Homemade stabilizers are encouraged as long as they do not scratch or pit the ice.  We also recommend wearing helmets for novice curlers.
  • Metal cleats or any type of spikes are strictly not allowed in the playing area as they will damage the ice surface. Medical exemptions may apply, but strict usage rules will be in place (i.e. No running to the hog line to deliver your rock shuffleboard style and then stopping suddenly with the use of spikes).

Who can Curl?

Many who participates in our event are curling for the first time which is fantastic.  So they don’t own their own curling equipment (curling brooms, shoes with sliders, stretchy curling pants, or custom jerseys or jackets) or even understand the technique used by a curler when sliding out of the hack to deliver their rocks. That’s no problem because many of our participants first learned about curling on our outdoor ice and picked up the rules and techniques as they played, and most use a shuffleboard approach to deliver their rocks along with any broom (or even shovel) they can find at home to deliver their rocks and help sweep the ice. Just grab any home broom and dress appropriately for light activity outdoors (winter jacket, warm boots, toque, etc) and you will fit right in. Better yet, get your team to all dress up with some crazy outfits and be the talk of the Ironman!

-This is a great fun video on the basics of curling: CURLING – a 2 minute guide

Family Division
The new Family division will be limited to playing on multi-purpose sheets that will have 4 houses per sheet. Family division teams will have the option of playing from the hack to the shorter green houses, which are 36 feet closer than the standard Ironman Championship houses. If even 1 player wants to use the shorter green houses then everyone must use the shorter green houses.
Multi-Purpose Sheets
The Family house hog line will be at 69 feet from the hack (at center ice, used for both Family houses) rather than the standard 105 feet from the hack. We hope this will make it easier to get more stones in play, and encourage everyone young and young-at-heart to participate in our FUN-spiel and keep active during the winter while raising funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. To see what all sheets will look like together, click here.

Note that Family division teams have no playoff games on Sunday, they only play their 3 pre-scheduled games on Friday and/or Saturday.

From the old Scotsman, words of wisdom

You bes’ leave the fancy curling gear at home, haul out the corn and old hog hair brooms, they work the best on outdoor ice.

To practice and get in shape for the Ironman, sweep the snow off your walk with a straw broom. When you’re finished, sweep your neighbor’s walk and when you’re done that sweep your other neighbor’s walk and when you’re done that pour yourself a dark ale.

During the weekend, if you wanna stay warm, layers is the key. Something colorful so your skip can see which player is ready to throw the rock. I always ware a kilt and carry me bagpipes so my skip knows where I am.

The best place to grab an ice cold ale is right next to the curling ice in the Ironman Patch. That’s another fancy name for beer gardens if you didn’t already know that. They also have delicious food available so you can have a quick snack or full meal to warm your belly in-between games.  If you need to go inside for a spell, there is the Redboine Boat Club clubhouse nearby that also has food and drinks available.

It’s the job of the third to mark down your team name on the next game branch on the Draw board at ice level, win or loss so you always know which sheet and time you play next. The trick is to look for the same 8 teams in your pool that came in with you, and if they are leaving the Patch, you bes’ be leaving too. If the third fails at this important task, he/she will be buying the next round after your game.

This Scotsman always stays at the Humphry Inn & Suites at 260 Main Street when I come to Ironman Outdoor Curling. Give them a call at 204.942.4222 or toll free at 877.486.7479 for those of you who live out of town like me, and be sure to mention Ironman Curling for potential discounts when you book at least a week early. I like discounts!

See you on the ice and Hurry Hard!