February 05, 2010

The ABCs of Curling - T

illum_t is for...hmmm. Like 'H', T is for a lot of things in curling. There is a T-line, which crosses the centre line in the exact centre of the rings (or house). It is usually desirable to keep ones rocks "in front of the T." There is, of course, the "takeout" shot, in which an opponent's rock or rocks are removed from play - including the always exciting triple takeout.

T can be for timing. Several times a year I am asked by new curlers, "whatcha doing with that there stopwatch?" By measuring the time it takes a rock to travel between two predetermined points on the ice, one can extimate how much weight to throw for a given shot. By using two points close to the delivery end, for example, timing how long a rock takes to travel from the back line to the hog line, the sweepers can estimate how far the rock will travel and whether it will require sweeping.

Other things T can be for are Tap Back, a light weight hit, and twelve foot, the largest ring in the house. But, the most important T in curling is the T in Team. Curling is a team game like very few others. Each player throws the same number of rocks, and it is impossible, with so few members, to hide a weak thrower at any position. A missed shot at any point during the end can be disasterous. Even the very first rock thrown, depending on where it comes to rest, will have a significant impact on the outcome of any given end.

Curling is such a social game, that the team extends beyond the field of play. Pick the four best players available, and put them together on one team. They might win a lot of games, but if they don't get along off the ice, they won't be a team for long.

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Wil said...

Will you complete the ABC's in time for the Winter Olympics, Paul?

Call me Paul said...

Absolutely, Wil! Let's see, I started this in January of 2009, so that's an average of about 1.54 posts per month. I have six letters left to go, AND, they're among the toughest letters of the alphabet. What can I use for 'U'? I mean, seriously, what, in curling, is a 'U'? So, I'll probably slow down a bit... But, I'd say, yeah, I'll have these done in time for Sochi2014.