The Game

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For the most part Vision Impaired Curling, during competitive events, follows the Canadian Curling Association's (CCA) rules of play. The Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championship is an example of a competitive Vision Impaired Curling event. In addition to the CCA rules, the Rule Book Module for the competitive Vision Impaired events is followed. The OBCC loosely follows these rules for its in-house recreational curling.

A curling team has a maximum of four players who are totally or legally blind (visually impaired). In most cases at least one of the team members is totally blind. The position that a team member plays (lead, second, third or skip) is based on their experience and preference. Each team has a coach and possibly a guide. As in most sports the coach educates and instructs players in the mechanical techniques of the game and game strategies. In addition the coach will describe the shot that the skip is requesting of the curler delivering a rock including weight, turn, what the shot is meant to accomplish and ensures the curler is lined up correctly in the hack. For totally blind individuals the coach uses a number of different methods, including verbal cues to assist the curler in determining the line the delivered rock is to follow. For visually impaired players the coach places a broom, within the line of sight of the curler, along the line between the hack and the location of the skip's broom, as a point of reference for the team member delivering the stone. The guide's main role is to assist in the sweeping of rocks and ensuring other team members are aware of rock positioning and proximity while they are sweeping.

Often aids such as flashlights or lighted brooms will be used by the coach to help a player line themselves up to the skip's broom. As well some players like to use monoculars or binoculars to help orient themselves to the location of the skip's broom. Laser pointers are not permitted.

Other than what has been described above all aspects of the game are the same as those followed by fully sighted individuals.

Coaches and guides also work one-on-one with curlers (new and experienced) to teach and enhance their skills. New players will often spend a few weeks with a coach or guide before being introduced into a game, allowing them to become comfortable on the ice and with the basic mechanics of the game.

To see an end of Visually Impaired Curling being played, view the video at the following link: