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

Ironman Curling Rules

  • Shake Hands before and after each game, but in a Covid-19 world there’s no shaking of hands or contact of any sort so instead you can bow, curtesy in kilts, raise your brooms in salute, use sign language for “Good Game”, resurrect an old tradition or start a new one.
  • There is no age limit for curling. We suggest the curler be able to throw or stick throw 42 to 44lbs 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 Recreational 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 Championship and Recreational 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 as long as you stay between the side board lines and 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. It’s always a great moment when someone figures it out.
  • A 4 rock 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. It’s more fun if everyone follows the same rules.
  • 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 superheroes.
  • Please bring your own curling brooms and shoes. 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. Curl 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 (or in the clubhouse) 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 participate 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!
Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits Crazy Outfits

Recreational Division

The new Recreational division will be limited to playing on multi-purpose sheets that will have 4 houses per sheet. Recreational division teams will have the option of playing from the hack to the shorter green houses, which are 36 feet closer than the standard Championship division houses. If even 1 player on a team in the Recreational division wants to use the shorter green houses then everyone on both teams must use the shorter green houses.
Multi-Purpose Sheets
The Recreational house hog line will be at 69 feet from the hack (at center ice, used for both Recreational 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 charity. To see what all sheets could look like together, click here.

Note that Recreational 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 an Ironman 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 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.

See you on the ice and Hurry Hard!