Monday, February 11, 2013

Curling Recap: 2/1, 2/8/13

After a one-week weather delay, it's time for the Triangle Curling Club Winter League! My re-entry into playing Skip has gotten off to a good start.

Career game #206: 2013 Winter League - February 1, 2013

End........... 1234567 |TTL
Franklin...... 0230000 | 05
Allen......... 1003112 | 08

Career game #207: 2013 Winter League - February 8, 2013

End........... 12345678 |TTL
Allen......... 01032040 | 10
Wright........ 10200201 | 06

The biggest change to my Skipping approach for this season: the stopwatch. Every opponent rock, I timed from the "far hockey blue line" to the "hockey red line" (because those lines are easier to see from a distance than the actual curling lines), to give me a read on how fast the ice was playing. The main idea was to help me know how hard I need to throw it when it came my turn, and from that perspective, it only helped me a little; I still need more reps in order to translate the stopwatch times into my weight. But actually, the thing the stopwatch helped me the most with was mental focus. As in, it keeps me mentally engaged on every shot, because when you're the skip, you need to watch EVERY shot, from BOTH teams. On that end, I felt like I read the ice better than I ever have before in these two games. I'll definitely be keeping the stopwatch.

And, the ice conditions were also conducive to my old-time strategy of "get early position, then guard the heck out of it". It was not particularly take-out friendly on either night, which played to our benefit. But I have to give credit to the rest of my team, mostly. They played very well both weeks, and rarely did I have to make any major "rescue" shots. Usually, we were in pretty good shape by the time my turn came up, and I just had to throw a guard. (Which I sometimes made, and sometimes didn't; I left at least three rocks short of the hog line last Friday.)

Anyway, I'm going to move on, because it's a big week in our curling world, for a couple of reasons:

1) For the first time since the last Winter Olympics, there is live curling on American television this weekend! NBC Sports Network is airing the U.S. Finals this Saturday at 10:00 AM (women's) and 4:00 PM (men's). The more obscure Universal Sports Network is also airing the semifinals the day before. Go watch! Increase those viewership numbers so that they air more curling! (If you're wondering why NBC Sports Network is airing the national curling championships this year, it's part of a promotion for next year's Winter Olympics.)

2) As for us, Amber and I are heading to Detroit for a quick two-day bonspiel this weekend, that I'll talk more about later in the week.

Curling takes place much of the year, but the season peaks in February, March, and April, which is when the national (U.S. and Canada) and world championships take place. My favorite time of year!

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