April 22, 2009

The ABCs of Curling - N

illum_n is for nose, the exact center of the curling stone (as you look at it from the hack). When a take-out shot is thrown - that is, a shot intended to hit another rock and remove it from play - and it impacts slightly off center, the thrown rock will roll one direction or the other after it makes contact. If you don't want the stone to roll away, you must hit the rock in the house "on the nose." Of course, the terminology used is fluid, and popular expressions change from year to year. A few years ago, you might have heard someone express a plan to "beak" a shot (beak being a synonym of nose). The high level curlers this year were repeatedly heard calling for a shot to hit another rock "dead nut."

If you are Jeff Stoughton, the 2009 Manitoba provincial champion and Brier runner-up, N is also for "nice." Viewers of this year's Brier were amused by Jeff's use of the word nice to describe a take-out weight call. Most teams use specific terms to describe the amount of weight to throw on a shot. Some name the spot on the rink to which they want the rock to travel, like "back eight foot," "back line," "hack" or "back board." Some use a number system, such as the number of seconds it takes a rock to travel between hog lines. The lower the number, the faster the rock is travelling. The Stoughton team this year used somewhat more nebulous terms for their hit weight calls, like "up," "regular" and "nice." I understand next year they will unveil two new hit weights: "fine" and "OK, I guess."

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Anonymous said...

I knew there was a good reason my cats woke me at 4:30 this morning. Because Paul posted something. Or because they wanted treats. The jury is still out.

I know nothing about curling; will read this twice....~Mary

Call me Paul said...

Well, then, Mary, you should read them all. Twice.

Dornbrau said...

I attempted (and failed miserably) to curl my hair this morning. That is the extent of my curling experience. I think I may have out curled Mary... unless she actually knows how to curl her hair.