is for...well, the most important 'P' in curling is the pebble on the ice surface, but we covered that one already, under I is for ice. From a strategic point of view, 'P' is for Peel. A Peel is a take-out shot intended to remove a guard, and roll the shooter out of play. The peel is a defensive play, designed to prevent one's opponent from placing a rock behind a guard, where it is protected. Here is a very high level example:
When a team with last rock advantage plays a peel, they are attempting to prevent their opponent from hiding a rock and stealing a point without the hammer. A team without last rock who peels away guards is generally trying to hold their opponent to a single point that end and get the hammer back with minimum cost.
It is widely felt that Kevin Martin's Team Canada lost the 2009 World Curling Championship by neglecting to play the peel shots early in the tenth end of the final game against Scotland. The shot Kevin needed to make on his last rock to win the championship was blocked...by a guard.
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