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Cedar Rapids Curling COVID-19 protocol

(updated February 2021)


Equipment: Members are encouraged to buy their own personal equipment. Sliders, brooms and stabilizers will be rented to members who need them at a cost of $5 per item per season. Those needing to rent equipment should indicate what they need when they sign up for league online. Those renting an item will keep it for the season and sign an agreement to pay for anything not returned or damaged.  

Self-check:  Each week, members must consider whether they have had any recent flu, cold, or COVID-19-like symptoms in the last week, or if they have any reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last week. If they have, they will be asked to stay home for 14 days unless they have received a negative test.  

Masks: Face masks with two or more layers (no bandanas or unfiltered exhaust valves) will be required upon entry into any part of the arena, not just the icehouse. Members must keep the mask properly covering their mouth and nose until they leave the building (except for things like a quick drink, but that should be far away from everyone else). 

Clothing: Curlers should come dressed to curl. Shoe changes will be made in the lobby while maintaining distancing. Bags can be brought into the icehouse for security, but must be left at 6-plus-foot intervals away from foot traffic areas and there should be no congregating at the bleachers, seats, hockey benches, etc.

Social distancing: At least six feet of distance between others will be required at all times, even with masks.

Hand sanitizer: Sanitizer stations are provided throughout the ImOn Arena and should be used liberally. Members are encouraged to carry their own sanitizer for their use during play.

Ice set-up: This is not as complicated as it seems. Each person will have just one job. There will be an ice set-up sheet at the entrance to the icehouse with specific tasks on pull tabs. Members will be expected to take a tab and complete that task. A Safety Leader will be identified each week. The Safety Leader is tasked with reminding and assisting members with this protocol at all times, and informing members of any additions or changes to this protocol.

Tasks include:

  • Hack runner (one person per sheet): Takes hacks to the Zam Room to be warmed. Runs the hacks out to be set on the sheets and stood on until hacks are frozen to the ice (or ask someone who is not busy to stand on the hack while they get the second one set).
  • Hack heater: Runs the hose in the Zam Room.  
  • Stone crew (4):One crew member moves stones out of the freezer to the designated transfer point. Another crew member transfers the stone to the ice. Another crew member sanitizes the stone handle and running band, and then slides it toward the appropriate sheet. Another crew member slides each stone in the proper position behind the proper sheet hack without touching the handle. The crew rotates positions as needed to avoid fatigue.
  • Set-up sweeper: Obtains set-up brooms (“horse hair” and “dust mop”) and sweeps before and after pebbling, using the same broom.
  • Rock boxer: Obtains the rock box and moves to the stone ice entrance, then calls out clean rocks to be pulled aside for the rock box (one complete color and sheet), then rock boxes the ice.
  • Pebblers: Obtains and fills the pebble cans, pebbles and then returns the cans to storage.     

Start configuration: A and C sheets will start the first end at “home.”  B sheet will start the first end “away.”

Game play:

  • Masks will be worn during play.
  • Hammer and stone color will be assigned by the draw master beforehand. For “pickup” games, teams will be organized utilizing social distancing.
  • No handshakes, fist bumps, elbow taps, broom taps etc., are allowed even if the other person does not mind or wants to. Give a thumbs-up to wish good curling.
  • Each player will wipe their stones with provided Clorox wipes.
  • No one shall touch another person’s stones or equipment. It should be kicked or pushed with a broom head if needed.
  • Only one sweeper allowed at a time.
  • The throwing team has full control of the sheet. Opposing skip cannot sweep rocks out of the house or sweep rocks put into motion by an opposing shooter. 
  • Each member of the non-throwing team must either be 6-plus feet behind a hack, or standing 6-plus feet apart between the hog lines (for A and C sheet, on side the sheet closest to the seats).
  • No one but the throwing team skip or vice-skip is allowed within 6 feet of the house. A sweeper may enter the house to continue sweeping a moving stone if the skip/vice-skip backs out of the house to allow the sweeper to continue sweeping.
  • Skips and vice-skips may confer regarding the next shot but one must be behind the house and the other must be in front of the house. At no time should two people ever be in the house.
  • Thirds must keep distance while scoring. One third in the house at a time. Thirds are responsible for keeping the score however they wish—no scoreboards will be used.
  • No measuring stones. If the thirds cannot agree, they will flip a coin, use “rock/paper/scissors,” or call it a blank.
  • No scoreboards—vice skips must keep track of and agree on the score at each end.
  • Accidental violations of these distancing protocols will not result in any penalty in the game play, but members will be encouraged to talk through what happened to avoid reoccurrence.
  • Cohabitating curlers will comply with all protocols.


  • Each team will be responsible for putting away their stones while social distancing. If a player is unable to move his/her two stones to the freezer, a teammate should help using social distancing and immediately wash/sanitize hands afterward.
  • Do not move your team stones to the stone doorway until the previous sheet has finished placing their stones in the freezers. Give them room to work.
  • Each team is responsible for pulling up a hack and moving it to the designated location.  
  • Players should gather their belongings and engage in any necessary changes in the lobby, where it is easier to distance.

Spirit of Curling: The Board, skips, and all members are strongly encouraged to demonstrate and spread the spirit of curling during all phases. CRC has always curled at home under less-than-ideal circumstances—this is just another wrinkle.  We curl because we enjoy the game and the friends, even family, that it creates. If needed, members should be reminded of the protocols with a sense of humor and kindness so that COVID-19 only changes, but does not ruin, the experience. We can only curl if we are together about “being apart and patient” right now.

Revisions: This protocol may undergo revisions as we gain practical experience on what works best and/or receive additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the United States Curling Association, United States Olympic Committee, state of Iowa, city of Cedar Rapids, ImOn Arena, or the informed judgment of local medical professionals. 


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