Curling, a fascinating team sport, is contested on ice where two competing teams take turns sliding specially crafted granite stones toward a designated target known as the House. This sport enjoys the distinction of being part of the Olympic and Paralympic winter games, featuring medal events in Women's, Men's, Mixed Doubles, and mixed Wheelchair categories.
Traditional curling teams typically comprise four players. However, the mixed doubles variant involves teams of two players, one male and one female. In Women's, Men's, and Wheelchair curling, teams may also include a fifth player known as the Alternate, serving as a substitute. Within each team, two key roles are designated: the Skip, who serves as the team captain and directs the game strategy, and the Vice-Skip, who assumes the Skip's responsibilities while the Skip is delivering their stones.
In team curling, each player takes turns delivering two stones in consecutive order during each End, which is akin to a round, while alternating with opponents. Teams employ a set of eight stones, all with the same handle color, either red or yellow, during World Curling events.
The positions on a curling team are commonly referred to as Lead, Second, Third, and Fourth. The Lead starts by delivering the first two stones, followed by the Second, who handles the third and fourth stones. The Third delivers the fifth and sixth stones, while the Fourth takes care of the last two stones. Although Skips typically play as the Fourth, this is not an absolute requirement.
In the mixed doubles format, both teams each deliver five stones in every end. The end begins with one stone per team pre-placed in the House, making it possible to score up to six points in an end. One player delivers the first and fifth stones, while the other handles stones two, three, and four. This exciting and strategic sport combines precision, teamwork, and skill, making it a captivating spectacle for players and spectators alike.