Special Olympics Ontario Curling

Rules Supplement


Canadian Curling Association (CCA) Rules of Curling and Special Olympics Canada (SOC) Official Curling Sport Rules will govern Special Olympics Ontario curling competitions, with the following clarifications:

  1. Teams must have a minimum of four (4) players to start the game/competition (as per their pre-registered team roster) if a player becomes injured and cannot continue, teams will play with three (3) players. Each player listed on the roster must be physically capable of performing the delivery and sweeping responsibilities of his/her assigned position.

2.          Divisioning games will be two (2) ends.  Each team will be required to play all players whose names appear on the final team roster.  The position played (i.e., skip through lead) during the divisioning round must be as outlined on the Team Entry Form.

The Divisioning Committee will comprise individuals who are familiar with the game of curling and who are not considered to be in a “conflict of interest” with any of the competing teams.  During the divisioning round, each member of the Divisioning Committee will observe each team.  The Committee may request that a team play an additional end should there not be a consensus on that team’s ability level.  The Divisioning Committee and official-in-charge have the authority to stop a divisioning game after one end.

After the completion of the divisioning round, the Divisioning Committee will meet to finalize the divisions and post the competition schedules.  Decisions of the Divisioning Committee are considered final and are not open to protest.

3.            The number of ends constituting a “regulation” game, minimum of four (4) to a maximum of six (6) ends, will be determined by the event format such that athletes are not required to play more than 18 ends in a single day.   Ends played during divisioning and tie-breaking are not included in the 18 end maximum.

4.            Time limit and mid-game break:

Four (4) end games, no new end will begin after 1 hour and 10 minutes; there will be a three (3) minute mid-game break.

For four (4) end games, no new end will begin after 50 minutes; there will be a three (3) minute mid-game break.


For six (6) end games, no new end will begin after 1 hour and 20 minutes; there will be a three (3) minute mid-game break.

5.            Championship (and Consolation) final games may be included providing their inclusion does not exceed the maximum number of ends/day of 18.   In situations in which Championship (and Consolation) final games are not included, the first place team in each pool following the completion of pool play will be declared the winner of that pool.

6.             A coin toss will be conducted between the opposing vices prior to each game.  The winner of the coin toss will have the choice of throwing the first or last rock in the first end.  The team throwing first rock will have the choice of handle (rock) colour.  The vices will inform the official-in-charge as to the outcome of the coin toss (i.e., hammer/rock colour).  If possible, team names will be posted in the lounge once rock colours are determined.

7.            Games tied at the end of regulation ends/time limit will be decided by a "draw to the button".   A one-minute break is permitted between regulation ends and extra ends/draw to the button.

8.            Draw to the button”:  The rock may be thrown by any one of the team members. The team with hammer has choice of throwing first or second.  The delivering team may hold a target broom and sweep the delivered rock.  The non-delivering team may not sweep the delivered rock. In order to score, a delivered rock must come to rest in contact with the house.  In the case where the first thrown rock comes to rest covering the pin, that team will immediately re-deliver.

9.             All games will be played to a win (see point #7).  In a round robin format, points will be awarded as follows:

Game scores will be recorded for the purpose of tie-breaking.  Vices are requested to post the final end score before leaving the ice.  Points scored in the tie-breaking procedures described in points #7 & #8 (i.e “draw to the button”) will not be used in the tie-breaking process.


i)     The minimum number of curlers required to start a game is four (4), if a player becomes injured and cannot play the team may continue with three (3) players in that game. Beginning a new game with only three players is only permitted in extenuating circumstances and must be approved by the head official.  

ii)    In the case in which a team is unable to complete a game as a result of dropping below three athletes, the non-offending team will be awarded the win and one “point for” per uncompleted end.  

iii)   Teams unable to field the minimum number of curlers to begin any game of the competition will be disqualified.  In the case in which this situation arises after the competition has begun, the records of all games involving that team shall be deleted from the standings.

iv) In Best of Three and three team division formats, three games must be played in     qualifying competitions (when applicable).

10.          Ties in the standings will be broken based on the following in games between the tied teams:  head to head win/loss; points against (averaged across the number of ends played); points for (averaged across the number of ends played); “draw to the button”.  Once a team is eliminated from the tie, the process starts at the beginning and is applied to the remaining tied teams.   If a tie still exists, the process is applied to all games played by the tied team(s).   In the case in which one or more of the tied teams has/have not played each other, the tie-breaking process moves directly to all games played by the teams involved in the tie.

11.         With the exception of the “Curling FUNdamentals” and “Adaptive” divisions, coaches will be permitted to access the playing area only during timeouts and Fair Play timeouts (see points #12 & #13).  In “Curling FUNdamentals and “Adaptive” play, the Host Committee will provide on-ice monitoring of the athletes.

12.         Timeouts:  Two timeouts per team per game, of a maximum duration of one minute each, will be permitted during regulation ends.  In the case in which a game is tied at the completion of regulation ends, an additional one minute timeout per team may be taken during the extra half-end.   Timeouts may be called by either a coach (from behind the glass) or by an athlete (from the playing surface).   The team requesting the timeout must advise the official-in-charge prior to entering the playing area.  Only the team in control of the house may call a timeout during an end.  Only the team delivering the first rock of the next end is permitted to call a timeout between ends. The official-in-charge will begin timing the timeout once both coaches have reached the playing area.   Coaches must enter the playing area together.  Coaches may not step onto the ice surface during timeouts.

13.         Fair Play timeouts:  Fair Play timeouts may only be called by the official-in-charge.  Only the coach of the team for which the timeout has been called may go to the home (i.e., glass) end of the playing area to speak to the athlete(s).   Discussion between the coaches and the athlete(s) is to be limited to the issue for which the Fair Play timeout was called.  

14.         Substitutions: Alternate (5th) players must play a minimum of two (2) regulation ends/game.  For other than extenuating circumstances (e.g., injury, sickness), substitution is permitted only between ends.  If substitution is required during an end of play, the substitute enters the delivery position of the player being substituted for.  Players may then "re-order" themselves to start the next end, if they choose.

One re-entry per player will be permitted to accommodate the requirement to utilize the alternate.   Should one of the starting players be injured or become ill, the alternate may re-enter the game to play in the position vacated.  In such cases, the player replaced may not re-enter the game.