score-boardThe thirds in a team decide the outcome of each end.

The score is recorded on either one of two types of scoreboard, the baseball style or the traditional club style. At Inverness & Elgin the baseball style is used and it shows the result of each end as it’s played.

The alternative scoreboard shows total shots on the backboard and teams place end numbers to show when they achieved this score.

Stones have to be in the house to count for scoring and the teams earn a point for every stone that is nearer the centre than the opposition.

Occasionally it is difficult to tell which stone is closest to the centre and there are measuring instruments alongside the rink that are available to settle any potential arguments. In the past the broom would have been used to accomplish this however we now have sophisticated devices to do the job. In competitive play an umpire would carry out this task.

A winning score is recorded on the scoreboard and the winning team plays first in the next end.

Having the ‘last stone’ is an advantage and is referred to has ‘having the hammer’. In competitive matches having last stone advantage is an important strategic element of the game and it can result in play that is often confusing to the newcomer.

8-enderA rare occurrence is the blank end in which no stones score. This can be the result of careful tactical play which has allowed teams to remove opposition stones. In competition play this is often seen when teams are reluctant to take a single winning shot but prefer to keep a last stone advantage until they have an opportunity to score more than one shot in an end

An even more rare occurrence is the end in which a team has all their stones in a scoring position. This is referred to as an ‘8 ender’ – a perfect score. This can be the start of great celebration and it is likely to have a significant bearing on the outcome of a game.