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.



Off Week Update

Hey all,

Thanks to all the Metro Leaguers who set me straight with the facts about last week.  The biggest news is that McLellan has won their first match!  It’s official, there are no undefeated rinks and also none who are winless.

Thanks also for the information about stacking the brooms, it was a tradition that I was not totally up to speed on but now that I have been enlightened, I will carry it on with gusto.

I hope everyone is having a great week off, the club’s schedule has “ice maintenance” listed as the activity for the whole week.  If anyone knows whether there will be some open ice for practice, let us know and maybe we can have a scrimmage this week to keep the rust off.

See you next week.