What are the rules of the Elite 10?

September 26, 2018, 7:00 PM

The Princess Auto Elite 10 is a one-of-a-kind tournament in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling with unique match play rules.

Here’s a basic guide to understanding what’s going on.

What is match play?

Teams compete to win the most ends per game.

How do teams win an end?

By either counting two or more rocks with the hammer or stealing at least one rock without the hammer. It doesn’t matter how many rocks beyond those amounts teams are sitting in order to win an end (e.g. counting two or even eight results in winning the end).

A checkmark on the scoreboard indicates which team won the end.

What happens if it’s only a single for the team with the hammer or a blank?

Neither team wins the end and the hammer switches for the following end. In match play, this is called a push.

When there is a push, do points carry over like in a skins game?

No, there are no carryovers in match play. All ends are worth one point each should a team score.

How is hammer determined to start?

With a pre-game draw-to-the-button shootout. This score is also recorded for possible tiebreaker scenarios.

What does AS mean?

All square. The game is tied.

What does dormie mean?

The team that’s behind on the scoreboard has to win out the remainder of ends in order to stay in contention for the victory.

What does 2 & 1 mean?

The final score indicates how many ends the winning team was up by and any ends not played. In this case, the winning team was up by two and won after seven ends. A final score of 3 & 2 would mean the winning team was up by three and won after six ends.

If it goes to the full eight ends, the final score will just say if the team won 1-up or 2-up (if they were already in the lead and also claimed the final end).

What happens if the game is all square after eight ends?

A draw-to-the-button shootout between the two teams will determine the winner.

The team that would have the hammer in a regular extra end will have the choice to go first or second in the shootout. As in the pre-game shootout, the player will first deliver a rock towards the home end with the help of his brushers.

Should both teams cover the pinhole completely, the same shooter will then deliver a second draw to the button without brushers. Should both teams cover again, a third stone will be delivered by a different player with the help of one brusher only, then no brusher if both teams cover again and so on until a winner is determined.

Why a shootout?

Due to the nature of match play (score two or more or steal), it could take all day and night to determine a winner otherwise.

Is the five-rock rule in effect?

Yes, all Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournaments are played under the five-rock free-guard zone rule including the Princess Auto Elite 10.

Teams cannot eliminate stones sitting in the free-guard zone (outside the house from the tee line up to the nearest hog line) until the sixth rock of play.

What’s the “No Tick Zone” rule?

This is a rule specific to the Princess Auto Elite 10.

The zone is simply the centre line. A rock touching the centre line in the free-guard zone may not be ticked off the centre line or raised into the house (by the opposing team) until the sixth rock of the end.

Are there any other Elite 10 rules?

Yes, there are two more to know.

Timing devices: No timing device of any kind will be allowed on the ice.

Thinking time: Each team will have four minutes of “Thinking Time” to play each end. Clocks will be reset to four minutes to begin every end. If a team runs out of time, they cannot deliver any more rocks for the remainder of the end. Teams will be allowed three timeouts (one minute, 30 seconds in length each) during the game.

How were the teams selected?

Based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit rankings.

How does the round-robin work?

Ten men’s teams are split into two pools and will play four round-robin games against the teams in their pool.

Regulation win (within 8 ends) = 3 points

Shootout win = 2 points

Shootout loss = 1 point

Regulation loss = 0 points


The six teams with the best round-robin records overall, regardless of pools, will qualify for the single-elimination playoffs. The top two teams advance directly to the semifinals with the other four playing in the quarterfinals.

A tiebreaker round may be required.

If playoff-bound teams are tied in points, the team with more regulation wins will be ranked higher. If teams have the exact same record, the total pre-game draw-to-the-button distances is used.