Super Subs?

We’ve all been there, trying to get a sub to play for us last minute. But what is the etiquette on subs?

When you have a newb subbing, it is usually pretty clear cut. They throw lead, and you go about your business. But what if you get a sub from the club list who is experienced, or a skip on another team?

I realize it is sometimes hard to ask an experienced curler to throw lead in a relatively less competitive league. But having them skip or vice skip can also be unfair to your opponent.

We’ve all played teams where a really good skip can win a game on his own. If I put a team of Pete Fenson and 3 first-time curlers out on the ice, I’d bet $100 Fenson’s team beats any team in our league if he’s allowed to skip. Same team with him throwing lead probably loses every game.

In asking around, it would seem that the etiquette of subs is that they really should not throw anything other than lead or 2nd. This way they can affect the game, but it still comes down to the team’s skip and vice to close out the end.

Agree? Disagree?

Good curling.

Experienced sub (Nick) and newb sub (Joel) both throw lead or 2nd on team McGovern.


When To Take/Not Take The Points?

Teams complain about it all the time.
“We were giving up 2, and lost by 1.” Or “We gave up 3 to a team with the same record as us?”
Handicapping for a novice league can be good and bad. To set the discussion, let’s first go over how the handicaps are made…
From what I can tell, the old dude who hangs out at the counter shuffles the teams around every 5-6 weeks or so based pretty much on record alone. You get moved into the categories A-B-C-D.
If an A team plays another A team, the match is even up. If an A team plays a B team, they give 1 point. If an A plays a C team, they give 2 points. If an A plays a D team, they give 3 points. Get it?

The purpose of this it would seem is to make sure new curlers have a chance to compete. We’ve all probably faced a team in playdowns from Tuesday night where we’ve been buzz-sawed after 3 ends. That is no fun for either team.

And we’ve also all been the newb before in the league. And probably needed a season to get the hang of things… and having a couple points to start at least made it competitive.

So back to the original question, when should you take the points?

Here are my thoughts on when to take/not take the points:

Take the points:
1. You’ve only been in the league 2 years… You don’t know all the teams yet, and you are still learning your way.
2. You are playing a team that you’ve never beaten… If a team always beats you by 3-4 or you shake early every game, at least make it interesting.
3. You have a record below .500 in league standings… standings are not everything, but if you’re team ends up 1-4 because you started the season as an “A” team from the previous year, by all means take the points and get back some of that respect you are truly due.
4. You have new curlers on your team… Nothing is tougher than trying to get new team members acclimated to the league while you get killed on a nightly basis.
5. You are playing with only 3 guys… This is iffy for some teams, but if you are short on guys, taking the points at least makes you feel better for playing short handed.

Don’t take the points:
1. You’ve beaten the team in a prior season… show them you can play them straight up.
2. You have a record above .500 in league play… sure winning games is nice, but the respect of fellow curlers is really what this league is about I think.
3. You have a “ringer” sub from either our league or another league. Nothing is more frustrating than giving up a point to a team whose sub is the skip from another team throwing lead for you that night.
I think most skips/teams in this league respect guys more when they don’t take the points. I know when we’ve refused taking our point, other skips have taken notice or thanked us… even when we lose those games.
Anyway, this is by no means set in “stone”, and feel free to discuss in the comments section. I’d like to know what other teams think of taking/giving points.


Question of the week – Burned stones

I was looking up the rules on burned stones as it relates to etiquette, and actual rules. It seems at least once a game, a team would be better suited to burn a rock prematurely rather than letting it finish its course. Is this illegal, or just a dick move?

Looking up the official curling rules, it lists a lot about burned stones and moved stones being replaced, and being up to the discretion of the non-offending team’s skip.

But nowhere does it mention anything about burning a rock purposely.

Examples of why a team might burn a rock on purpose:
-It will end up short of its destination and guard an opposing team’s rock.
-It will raise an opposing rock into a scoring position.
-You will end up taking out your own rock.

I only remember one occasion where I thought I saw a team purposely burn a rock on another sheet. I didn’t say anything, but thought it was a dick move.

So anyway, bottom line is I can’t find any rule that says you can’t burn a rock on purpose. But if you are doing that, don’t expect the other team to sit down for beers with you after the game.