What Is It? As its name suggests, in triples curling curlers compete in teams of three. All ends consist of six rocks thrown per team, with each player throwing two rocks.
Why Are We Doing It? MCC board of directors feels that triples curling fits better into the current set of COVID-19 related restrictions and concerns including smaller teams and shorter games.
Because this has typically been a training game, there are many rule variations out there.
MCC Triples Curling Rules
Triples Curling is an exciting new discipline that has been developed by Curling Canada. As its name suggests, curlers compete in teams of 3 when playing Triples. Each game consists of 6 ends, with each end consisting of 6 rocks thrown per team, with each player throwing 2 rocks. Unless otherwise indicated, Curling Canada’s rules apply to Triples, including those related to the Free Guard Zone rule.
Game Structure: Triples games consist of 3 ‘Sets’ of 2 ends each. Each Set can be seen as a 2-End ‘Mini-Game’, with each team playing with the hammer for one of these ends and without the hammer for the other.
Hammer: In the first end of Set 1, hammer is determined by a coin toss, with the winner automatically getting hammer. Hammer in the first end of Set 2 reverses from the first end of Set 1. Hammer continues to rotate so that each team will either get hammer in the odd Ends or the even Ends.
Positions and Throwing Order: One of the unique features of the Triples discipline is that curlers play each of the 3 positions (i.e., Lead, Middle, and Skip) for one Set of the game. Teams can determine which player starts in each position during Set 1. However, from that point onward the rotation of players must be as follows:
Set 1: Player 1 = Lead, Player 2 = Middle, Player 3 = Skip
Set 2: Player 3 = Lead, Player 1 = Middle, Player 2 = Skip
Set 3: Player 2 = Lead, Player 3 = Middle, Player 1 = Skip
Sweeping: Only one player (i.e., the current sweeper) is allowed to sweep rocks until the far hog-line. Neither skip is allowed to sweep before the far hog line to help maintain proper physical distancing.
Tied Games: If the game is tied after Set 3, each team can select a curler to throw a tiebreaker stone and another curler to sweep. Closest stone to the button wins the game.
Example Game (H = team with hammer):
|Team A||Team B|
|Set 1, End 1 – Player one skip||1 (H)||0|
|Set 1, End 2||0||2 (H)|
|Set 2, End 1 – Player two skip||0 (H)||2|
|Set 2, End 2||0||1 (H)|
|Set 3, End 1 – Player three skip||4 (H)||0|
|Set 3, End 2||1||0 (H)|