The stick allows those of us with more aches and pains than we’d like to acknowledge, a way of continuing to curl without having to get into the sliding position. If you can get onto the ice, you can still curl! The blockquote>
- Sweeping is allowed only from the hog line to the back of the house.
This allows those whose physical limitations don’t allow them to sweep to continue to curl. But it also increases the challenge to the thrower who won’t have the advantage of having team members affect either the line or the weight in the initial travel of the stone.
- Each team is made up of two curlers.
This rule evolved because with no sweeping allowed between hog lines, if a standard four member team was allowed, two team members would often be left with nothing to do. And two-member teams are easier to form and coordinate.
- One member of each team stays at each end of the rink and must not cross center ice.
This rule increases the pace of the game by reducing movement up and down the ice. It also means responsibilities are equally shared by the two team members and provides variety for each player.
- The two throwing curlers alternately deliver six stones each per end while the team-mate skips that end. Then roles are reversed and the partners throw the stones back.
This means that each player always has the opportunity to be doing something interesting. Eighteen stones are delivered per person each game compared to 16 (eight ends) or 20 (ten ends) in regular curling.
- All games are six ends. In case of a tie, an extra end is played with each player throwing 3 stones (skips and throwers exchange ends at the midpoint of an extra end).
Three ends of delivery times six stones per end means each person delivers 18 stones per game….about the same as regular curling. Games move along quickly and interest remains high for both players and spectators. The incidence of lop-sided games if greatly reduced and it’s seldom that a team surrenders before the end of a game.
- No stone in the free guard zone may be removed from play to delivery of the fourth stone of each end.
The free guard zone rule in regular curling does not allow removal of an opponents stone in the FGZ with any of the first four or 16 (i.e. one quarter) of the stones of each end. In stick curling no stone in the FGZ may be removed by any of the first three stones delivered ( three of 12…still one quarter of the stones), including your own team’s stone to balance the advantage of defensive play arising from the reduced number of stones.
- All stones must be released before reaching the hog line and from within two feet of the centre line.
Since drastically changing the course of a stone mid-delivery is possible with a stick, this was added so the game wouldn’t be changed unduly by releasing stones from near the sides of the sheet.
- Other rules and etiquette of regular curling apply.
Which of course means that the good parts of the regular game are retained and aches and pains don’t have to stop us curling.