The objective of curling is deceptively straightforward despite all the noise, shouting, sweeping, and chess-like strategy: get as many stones as you can as close to the centre of the target as you can.
The remaining step is to count the points. While curling strategy and technique might be complex, scoring is quite simple.
In case you were wondering how points are tallied in this game, here you go:
The house is the designated hit zone, and the button serves as its focal point. The team that plays the shot rock in an end is guaranteed at least one point. The shot rock is the rock closest to the button. (An ending could be compared to an inning in baseball.)
Yellow and red stone handles are being used in the Olympics. Therefore, the red team will receive one point if the nearest rock is red and the next closest rock is yellow. (In each end, only one team scores.)
Making a Final Tally
Two points are awarded to the team whose stones are closest to the button. If there are two more stones in the home, you get two points; if there are three, you get three points; and so on until an opponent rock is closer.
In most cases, the players will agree between themselves on which rocks count as goals based on a visual inspection. If it’s a toss-up, the referee will use a device that extends from the centre button to determine which option is physically closer.
The Tool in Question: The Hammer
The hammer confers a significant advantage on the team that throws last in an end. The hammer can be utilised in a variety of ways, including smashing the opponent’s rock(s) or just aiming at the button (a draw).
Because the team that scores the point with the hammer also loses the benefit of having the last rock, a single point with the hammer is often seen as a loss.
It is a theft if the team without the hammer scores.
A Loss in The Series
When all eight stones have been played, the end is considered blank, and the hammer does not move.
Sometimes teams would purposely blank an end to keep the last-rock advantage in the next one, especially as the game nears its final ends and the hammer becomes more valuable than a single point.