The Spirit of Curling
While curling can be a highly competitive sport, nothing is more important to the game than the spirit of curling. This concept is at the heart of the attitude and approach curlers are expected to exemplify both on and off the ice, and sets a code of sportsmanship that all players are expected to adhere to – one that is considered so important that it is included at the start of the official rules of curling.
While competing, the spirit of curling compels players to compete fairly and honestly, while taking no action to gain an unfair advantage over their opponents. This is particularly important in curling, as at most levels of play, there are no officials enforcing the rules. Instead, curlers are expected to admit to their own fouls and violations at all times. In addition, it is expected that curlers will never attempt to distract opponents or act in an unsporting manner, such as by cheering for an opponent’s missed shots. Players shake hands and wish each other “good curling” both before and after each match as a sign of respect for their opponents and their own teammates.
The spirit of curling extends to conduct off the ice as well. Curling is an inherently social sport, where competitors typically sit with each other for drinks, snacks, and lively discussion after a hard-fought match: an activity colloquially known as “broomstacking.” Winning teams buy the first round of drinks for their opponents, with losing teams reciprocating by purchasing the second round. Broomstacking is not only an important tradition that helps build the curling community, but many curlers also believe it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport.