Players ‘deliver’ the stone by holding it by its handle and pushing from the hack using one foot towards the skip at the opposite end of the rink.
There is a lot to remember and there is as much discussion about the delivery as there is about a golf swing!
It is important to note that great strength is not necessary and a good delivery depends upon timing and coordination. It takes a lot of practice to refine the technique and to remain steady throughout the delivery. An efficient action is more likely to result in a straight shot with the correct weight and which achieves it’s target.
Stones are usually delivered with a twist, referred to as the ‘handle’ and it is this that causes the stone to curl or draw either to the left or right as it travels. This is the effect that gives the game it’s name and it transforms an otherwise simple idea into a real challenge where no two games are alike. The ability to curl a stone means it is possible to come around other stones and offers a greater variety of ways to approach the house.
Once the stone has been delivered the skip has the option to call the remaining players to sweep in front of the stone. The sweepers slide along the ice with the stone ready to sweep if called to do so. They should do this without touching the stone. Sweeping is useful as it can keep a curling stone straight or cause it to run further, doing this at the right time can result in a far better shot than an un-swept stone.
It is well worth taking a course of lessons to get the best from the game as a good coach can demonstrate an effective way to deliver stones and provide instruction on other aspects of the game.