The Five Rock Rule – Your Questions Answered
Q: What is the five-rock rule?
A: The five-rock rule is simply an increase from four to five of the number of stones that will be deemed to be in the Free Guard Zone (FGZ).
Q: What has changed?
A: This World Curling Federation (WCF) ruling (approved at the WCF Congress in September 2017) will be implemented for the 2018-19 season with stones prior to the delivery of the sixth stone of an end deemed to be in the FGZ.
In the 2017-18 season, the only competition played under the new rule will be the Scottish Curling Mixed Championship as it is leading onto the World Mixed Championship in October 2018 which will be played in accordance with the new WCF rule.
Q: Why is this rule being implemented by WCF?
A: This rule is being introduced to keep more stones in play and to make for a more interesting game, particularly when one team has a significant lead in score.
Q: What does this mean for my club?
A: A recommendation will be made at the 2018 RCCC AGM to change the current ruling R6 (referred to below) to be in line with the new World Curling Federation ruling. All members will have the opportunity to vote on whether they would like this rule change to the game. If the recommendation is approved at the AGM in June, the ruling will take effect for the start of the 2018-19 season and will be applicable to all competitions being played under RCCC rules.
The current Royal Caledonian Curling Club rule R6 reads:-
The Free Guard Zone (FGZ) shall apply for any game, match or competition played under RCCC rules excepting The Grand Match and the Points Competition.
A stone that comes to rest between the tee line and the hog line at the playing end, and excluding the house, is deemed to be within an area designated as the FGZ. Also, stones that are in play, on or before the hog line, after striking stones in the FGZ, ae deemed to be in the FGZ.
If, prior to the delivery of the fifth stone of an end, a delivered stone causes, either directly or indirectly, an opposition stone to be moved from the FGZ to an out-of-play position, then the delivered stone is removed from play, and any displaced stones are replaced to their original positions, by the non-offending team, to their positions prior to the violation taking place.