Monday, November 14, 2011

Curling Recap: 11/11/11

End.......... 1234567 |TTL
--------------------------
Scheck....... 2302206 | 15
Allen........ 0020050 | 07

This wasn't the case last season, but this season, my biggest weakness as Skip has clearly been the start. My team has been outscored 13-5 in the first two ends this season; from the 3rd end on, we're about even (32 for, 31 against). Maybe this week's game, in which we trailed 5-0 after just two ends, is a good case study. So...how do we keep this from happening next time?

The first two ends are unique because we haven't figured out the ice conditions yet, and the ice is much slower in the first two ends than it is in the rest of the game. Maybe we're "too light" for our own good in the first two ends? Maybe I'm too afraid to call "taps" or take-outs early in the game because I haven't figured out the ice yet? Could be. Maybe I should call for more "back line" or "hack" weight shots early in the game; that way, if we're light, then we'll simply draw into the house. In theory. This applies to my shots as well, because I'm almost always light in the first two ends..

Starting off well was especially important in this game because we were playing against a good team. Opposing Skip Dan is one of the top Skips in the club, and he can usually pull out his final draw to the button when he needs to. And he generally calls a quiet game...except when he has a big lead, apparently. When we got a rock in the house, out it went! That is certainly what happened in the 7th end, when we absolutely had to score. (If we didn't have to score, my strategy would have been different, and I'd like to think that we could have held them to, say, two.) But in the 6th end, we were able to get lots of rocks in the house, their last take-out attempt missed everything, and we scored five. But that was the exception to the rule. I've gotten away from throwing guards once we get "early position" in the house, and I need to get back to that. I know I've played pretty well as Skip over the last two years, but this is the kind of game that makes me really think about what I'm doing out there. Maybe I should get go back and see how I called the strategy last season, when my team won the championship. If only I wrote up a detailed description of every curling game I ever played...

On the other hand, this other team is the first place team, having outscored the opposition 67-39. Maybe the fact that I'm even discussing strategy after this game, as opposed to shrugging my shoulders and saying "Well, they just played better than we did", means that I've come a long way. And even though we're a long shot to win the league championship at this point, we're still 3-3, and I'll take that. After all, it is kind of awkward when the League Coordinator (that's me) wins the league championship.

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