Men and women currently compete in team and mixed doubles events. All events consist of 10 teams. The sport is played on temperature-controlled sheets of ice, and the two opposing teams take turns to deliver a 44-pound (19.96kg) stone towards a series of concentric circles. The object is to get the stones as close to the centre of the circles as possible to score more points than the opponent, using sweeping instruments to affect both the accuracy and speed of each stone.
In the team event, the teams are composed of four players. The “ lead” in each team throws first, followed by the “second”, then the “third” (also known as the “vice-skip”) and finally the “skip”, who is the captain of the team. A match starts with the leads alternating throws until they have both delivered their two stones. The seconds then throw in the same manner, and so on. Up to two players sweep each of their own team’s delivered stones.
In mixed doubles, teams are composed of two players. Each team plays five stones per end, taking it in turns with the opponent to launch each stone. One player from the team delivers the first and last stone, and the other player delivers the second, third and fourth stones. The player delivering the first stone and the last stone can change from end to end.
One match consists of a number of “ends” or rounds of throws. The score for the end is determined when all stones for an end have been delivered. A team can have one or several stones closest to the centre and therefore score one or several points in each end. The team with the most points after all ends (10 in the team event and 8 in the mixed doubles event) have been completed, or after the opponent has conceded, is the winner.