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How the Curling Scoring System Works

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"How the Curling Scoring System Works"
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Curling is that slightly peculiar-looking sport, that you sometimes see being played at the Winter Olympics, where the players are on ice sweeping a large stone. It's a rare sport that Scotland excels at, although the real powerhouse of the sport is Canada.

If you've ever wondered how the points are scored in curling, then here's a layman's guide:

Each team has eight stones in each end. For the term end', think game'. There are four players in each team and they play in turn, having two stones each. So the lead player in Team 1 plays a stone and is then followed by the lead player in Team 2. The lead player in Team 1 then plays his or her second stone and is followed by the lead player for team 2. Then the second set of players do the same and so on until all eight stones have been delivered by each team.

Still with me? I hope so! The players aim to get the stones inside a circular area called The House'. It is made up of three concentric circles. The first is coloured red. The middle one is white and the centre one is blue. You could think of the centre one as being a bit like a bulls-eye on a dart board.

The winner of the end is the team that has a stone inside the house and closest to the centre of the house i.e. the bulls-eye. And if you had two stones inside the house and both closer than the other team's best stone, then you'd score two points. If you had three stones inside the house and closer than your opponent's best stone, then you'd have three points, and so on.

In competitive curling, eight ends are played and the winner is the team with the most points at the end of the match. The sport might seem a little bit alien at first, if you've not been brought up with it, but I think the basic scoring rules are fairly straightforward and most people pick them up quickly.

It's a very skillful sport and is good fun to play. Some of the most enjoyable games I've played in have been when a bunch of my friends and I have played, most of whom are very much beginners in curling terms, so you don't need to be professional standard to enjoy sliding about on ice and trying to knock your opponents stones off the ice!

More about this author: Simon Wright

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