One of my goals for the new year is to blog at least once a week. But, since I blog on at least 4 different sites that will mean one post a month. This website has been the hardest to keep going, and I’m not sure why. I really like curling- I curl in three leagues, love in-house and away bonspiels, but I’m not sure if there’s enough to blog about. On the flip side, when I do have something to write about I know it doesn’t fit on my other blogs. So, we’ll give it a try, and we’ll see how it goes! Expect posts on curling books that I’ve read, my experience looking for new curling shoes, and my time at under-5 spiels.
So I saw a tweet today linking to a poll asking people if they like the 5-rock rule. I was hoping these would be more of a description about what the rule is, but no, just the poll. I Googled “What is the 5-rock rule?” Nothing helpful came up- there was a Yahoo! Answers question with no answer. After more digging, I figured it out, so here, fellow people curious about the new rule, is the new 5-rock rule.
I’m assuming you’re acquainted with the sport, if not, start with the Wikipedia article, specifically the Free Guard Zone rule section. The blue shaded area in the image below (labeled “FGZ”) is the Free Guard Zone.
Normally, the lead’s stones can’t be removed from play by the other team’s lead, so long as they’re in the FGZ. Basically, the 5-rock rule says that the first 5 rocks cannot take out the lead stones that are in the FGZ. Essentially, the final lead stone, even if it is in the FGZ, isn’t really a free guard because as soon as it is thrown, it can be taken out.
That’s all, nothing crazy!
Hey all, I know I started late in the season, but wanted to drop a quick note saying my curling season is officially done so updating here is going to be pretty sparse.
Highlights this season included winning the Valentine’s Day bonspiel with my fiancee only a week after we got engaged, buying my first curling broom (very happy with it!), traveling to Washington, DC for the Kayer 5 and Under ‘spiel and being able to show my family what it is I do.
That said, I can’t wait for next year! See you all in October (or so!)
After spending the weekend in DC for the Kayser I had the pleasure of watching an awful lot of elite curling on TSN piped into the clubhouse. Between that and watching the Brier online this week I’ve been trying to see what the elites do differently that maybe I could pick up. Clearly my delivery needs work but I also thought maybe I could improve my sweeping. I tried to keep an eye on where they are in relation to the stone, where they grip the broom, the angles, the motions, etc. After winning our Monday league game (and not being able to lift my right arm above my shoulder on Tuesday) I feel like I was either doing something right… or wrong.
So here’s what I did. My upper hand gripped like I was holding a remote control such that the end of the broom was at my elbow. My other hand was gripping the top of the broom with that arm out stretched. I kept the broom at a 45 degree angle and swept with the broom head parallel to the direction of travel. I tried to get my body as horizontal as possible and put most of my weight on the lower hand while using the upper arm to actually do the sweeping. I still kept my gripper on but tried to shuffle step my feet to stay with the rock instead of walking.
Here’s where I think I went wrong. First, I’m an amateur. Not only am I new, but I’m not in nearly as good of shape as I should. So I hope to spend the off-season doing both interval cardio training, and some arm strengthening. In the short term I really need to find some good stretches. I don’t know why I’m having difficultly raising the one arm up but I’ll bet more strength and flexibility would help.
What are your favorite tips and tricks to get the most out of sweeping?
How do you stretch your arms before a game?
What do you do to stay in shape in the off season?
As usual my friends ask me what I’m up to this weekend, and as usual my response includes a bonspiel of some sort. This week is different though because I’m working on the committee to organize the event- I’m not actually playing! Starting today is the 2011 Tijuana TAM (it took me a while to realize/learn that TAM stood for “The Albany Mixed”- how about that?) Clearly this year’s TAM is Tijuana themed and tonight’s dinner looks awesome- smoked turkey and spinach quesadillas…. mmmmm. Hopefully my responsibility for dinner tomorrow night turns out OK- if not well enjoy all the other fun activities to take you mind off it. Anyways, thanks to all the teams who are participating, and good curling!
I’m really excited to say that I’ve ordered my first broom. I’m kind of reckless when I buy things though and fall in love with something way more expensive or fancy than I really need (see: laptop with solid state hard drive). But anyways, I ordered a . Not only is it carbon fiber, but it has the finger grooves. This is important to me because I sweat when I’m sweeping and my hands get slippery. I also bought an extra faceplate- but not just any faceplate! This one is a BalancePlus EQualizer- those are the ones patented by the University of Western Ontario after doing research for the Canadian Curling Association. They’re supposed to increase amateur’s effectiveness by 50-100%!
So basically I won’t be able to blame my bad performance on the club brooms anymore…
Read more about the EQualizer at Balanace Plus
Just got back (OK, a couple of days ago) from the 2011 Kayser Under 5 Mixed Bonspiel for the Grand National Curling Club. This is my first full year curling, and while I wasn’t able to get a team together my fiancee was so we went down to the Potomac Curling Club together. The Albany Curling Club sent two teams- one with a 4th year skip and 3 first years, the other with 3 second (or maybe third) year curlers and one first year. The one team (loaded with first years) lost twice, won once, and then lost in the C event quarterfinals. The other team won twice, lost, won, and then lost in the D event semis.
It was a pretty intense experience. Everyone was relatively (5 or fewer years) new to the sport but it was incredible how competitive (and good!) everyone was. It felt a little cramped most of the time in the club, but it was a fun atmosphere to watch in. The location of the ‘spiel was good too because we were able to go into Washington DC a couple of times to see the sights (can’t say that about coming to Albany for a spiel!) Worst part was having someone steal/take my fiancee’s broom. Once we got back to Albany we saw photos posted online with someone using it but we still haven’t gotten it back.
All in all though, we’ll definitely be going to the Kayser next year (can’t be any further away! OK, well maybe somewhere in Maine, but you know what I mean…) We’re hoping to square away some U5 teams over the summer so we can play together during the season before the Kayser.