Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Defining Moment

I have no idea how many curling games in total have been played since the adoption of the four rock rule but Sunday's Scotties final in Kingston I feel was a "corner turner" in the way the game will be played and I for one could not be more delighted. Finally, and full credit to Coach Earle Morris, a team demonstrated the "bump tick" as a shot that should be played, not just as a late-in-the-game tactic, but as a way to play with last rock advantage (see "Last Stone Disadvantage" [02/25/13]) at other times as well. Thank you Team Homan and Coach Morris! You have lifted the veil of mystery on a shot that's not that difficult to play with tremendous upside.

To that end, I have a newly minted drill for your team to illustrate the point above. I call it "Birds On A Wire".

Place the eight stones of one colour along the centre line, evenly spaced, with one just off the 12', another just inside the hog line and the other six, as stated, evenly spaced between the two. The team takes the other set of stones to the other end of the sheet and playing as a team, shooter, brush holder and brushers, they attempt to knock the "birds from the wire". In other words, the team has 8 shots (two per player) to move the eight stones on the centre line, off the centre line without removing them from play. The shooters remain wherever they come to rest. See how many shots it takes to accomplish the task.

In the drill, you can set your own parameters to success. You might, if your facility has four foot lines, set the standard that the "birds" must come to rest outside those lines, but still in play of course.

I hope you'll discover that the "tick" (never a good word choice in my view) is not difficult! I also hope you'll employ it more frequently as Team Homan did on Sunday night.

Let me know how it goes. I unveiled "Birds On A Wire" last night in a practice session with a masters team at the Glen Meadows CC. They scored eight on the first try so there you go. Match that!

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