Field of Play
A regulation sheet of ice (playing surface) is 16' 5" wide and 150 feet long, set up to accommodate play in both directions. Most curling takes place in curling clubs, which commonly have two to eight sheets of ice. Curling also takes place in hockey arenas and ice skating rinks which can accommodate up to six sheets. The width of curling sheets in these clubs typically ranges from 14’ to 16’.
Each sheet contains various lines and a large target at each end called the house. The house contains four different circles - a 12' circle, 8' circle, 4' circle, and the button, which is the small circle in the middle. Sometimes the house is also called the rings. Only stones in or touching the house can score.
Curling ice is noticeably different from skating ice. The ice is made as level as possible, then sprinkled with droplets of water (pebble) that freezes on contact. Pebbling creates small bumps on the ice surface that allow the running edge of the stone (about five inches in diameter) to easily slide—or glide—down the ice.
Three common terms in the field of play include the hack, the hog line, and the house.
- Hack: This is where curlers push off when sliding on the ice to deliver a stone; it looks like a runner’s starting block.
- Hog line: Curlers must let go of the stone before it reaches the hog line closest to the hack from which they are delivering the stone. New curlers should also understand that the stone must cross the hog line on the far end in order for it to be in play.
- House: The target at the end of the curling sheet. A stone must touch the house in order for it to score a point.