In curling, the team you play on is called a rink. The rink is made up of four players: the lead, the second, the third (also called the vice, vice-skip, or mate), and the skip. Each player has specific duties:


The lead throws the first two rocks of the end and then sweeps the next six. The lead must be very good at throwing guards and a strong sweeper.


  • Develop a good delivery.
  • Learn to get the stones in play.
  • Learn to throw draw weight.
  • Aim for the skip’s broom: keep your eyes on the broom during your delivery.
  • Develop an effective sweeping technique.
  • Know what “in” and “out” turns are.
  • Learn to “Pick up” sweeping when a rock looks slow.


The second throws the third and fourth stones of the end and should be strong at playing takeouts. The second sweeps the first two stones and then the final four of the end. The second and the lead need to be in sync when sweeping together.


  • Develop a comfortable “take-out” delivery.
  • Learn to adjust your weight from draw to take-out and vise versa.
  • Be able to pick-up sweeping on slow rocks.
  • Have an effective sweeping technique.
  • Concentrate on your delivery: when throwing the heavier take-out rocks, make certain you concentrate on your form and not on pushing the rock.
  • Know the in- & out- turns.
  • Hit the skip’s broom regularly.


The third (or mate or vice), who throws the fifth and sixth rocks of the end, must be good at all shots, but especially draws. It is the third’s job to set up the shots that will be thrown by the skip, and to help the skip discuss the strategy of the final two stones of the end. The third also posts the score at the conclusion of the end.


  • Have a good delivery.
  • Hit the broom.
  • Call sweeping
  • Be able to adjust weight to make a draw or take-out.
  • Learn the strategy of the game.
  • Have a good sweeping technique.


The skip is the captain of the team and decides the strategy. It’s the skip’s job to tell the other players where to throw their shots and when to sweep. The skip also delivers the last two shots of the end. The skip must be good at all types of shots.


  • Hit the broom.
  • Have a good delivery.
  • Call the shots for the game – set the strategy.
  • Understand the basic strategies: If you have the last rock (hammer), you want the front clear so you will have an open last shot.
  • If your team throws first, clutter the front to prevent the opposing skip from scoring with the last rock.
  • Call sweeping.
  • Adjust weight to make draw, guard or take-out.
  • Give correct broom for the shot being called.
  • Be able to focus and perform under pressure