Second (curling)

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Curling positions

In curling, the second is the person who delivers the second pair of stones. On most teams, where the second does not act as skip or vice, the second will sweep for each of their teammates. Due to the free-guard rule, which prevents some early stones from being removed from play by the leads, the second is usually a curler with a high degree of proficiency throwing takeouts, peels, and other power shots. [1] Following the adoption of the 5 rock rule in 2018, [2] the role of the second has become more of a finesse role, as seconds often have to throw guards and other finesse shots. [3]

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In curling, a third is the team member who delivers the second-to-last pair of a team's stones in an end. The third is in charge of calling, strategy and directing the sweepers when the skip is delivering their stones, but sweeps for the lead and second. The vices of each team are responsible for determining and recording the score after each end, and in most clubs, will determine by lot which team begins a game with the hammer and what colour stones each team will use. The third position requires a curler adept at executing shots with a high degree of accuracy, especially draws and other finesse shots, as the third needs to set up the house for the skip's stones.

In curling, the lead is the person who delivers the first two stones of the end for their team. On most teams, where the lead does not act as skip or vice, the lead will sweep for each of their teammates. Because of the free-guard rule, which prevents leads from removing most of an opponents stones, leads are usually proficient at throwing guards and other draws, and throw few takeouts or other power shots. In some regions, such as Eastern Ontario and the Eastern United States, the lead is responsible for determining who has hammer, using random selection, such as flipping a coin. However, in most regions, this is the responsibility of the third.

Doubles curling is a variation of the sport of curling with only two players on each team. Mixed doubles is the most common format of doubles curling, where the term 'mixed' specifies that each team is composed of one man and one woman. The term mixed is also used to describe a specific format of 4-person team curling where the team consists of two men and two women and the throwing order alternates genders, see mixed team.


  1. Weeks, Bob. "Curling For Dummies Cheat Sheet" . Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  2. McCormick, Murray. "Curling's new five-rock free guard zone rule designed to generate offence". National Post. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  3. Wyman, Ted. "The evolution of the second position in curling has brought more finesse players into the Brier". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 9 March 2021.