So, you’re watching mixed doubles curling for the first time in the Winter Olympics and wondering what’s going on?
We’ll admit, the rules can be confusing — especially when regular curling is tricky enough to figure out — but we don’t judge and are here to help.
While it’s played on the same kind of ice sheet and using identical equipment and rocks, there are some key differences from the traditional four-person team event. Here are the rules you need to know.
A brief history of mixed doubles curling
Mixed doubles curling started as part of the Continental Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament with Canada and the U.S. teaming up to take on the rest of the world.
A world mixed doubles curling championship has been held annually since 2008. Switzerland leads the way with six titles while Russia and Hungary have won two each. Canada has yet to win a world mixed doubles curling title with its best result being silver last year.
A total of 39 countries competed in the 2017 world mixed doubles curling championship as the sport has caught on globally. In 2015 it was announced mixed doubles curling had been added to the 2018 Winter Games schedule and make its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Number of players
Each team consists of one male and one female player as oppose to four players of the same gender in the traditional game that we’ll see later in the Winter Olympics.
Number of rocks & scoring
Teams have six stones each although they actually only throw five of them.
The team with the hammer (throwing second in order) has one rock pre-positioned on the centre line behind the button in the house with one rock from the opposing team guarding it about a broom-length away from the top of …read more