At the time this was believed to be the debut of the sport as a full medal event at the Olympic Games but in 2006 the IOC confirmed that the 1924 curling tournament, thought by many to be merely a demonstration tournament, was also an official event within the Olympic program. Curling had also been a demonstration sport in 1932, 1988 and 1992 whilst a similar sport, eisstockschießen, popular in some Alpine nations, was demonstrated in 1936 and 1964.
In 1998 men and women both had eight-team tournaments which were contested on a round-robin basis with four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. Any teams that had an equal number of wins would face a play –off or series of play-off if it was to decide semi-final qualification.
The tournament took place at the Kazakoshi Park Arena in Karuizawa. Since the town of Karuizawa also hosted the equestrian events at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics it became the first city to host events at both Summer and Winter Games.