Ready, Set, Curl - Tips for your Speed of Play
With the new season knocking at our door, we wanted to offer some tips for one of the biggest challenges for league play: game speed. Most leagues play games in two hour time slots. Strategy is often determined by expecting to play eight ends, and we want to ensure we get them all in before our time runs out. Listed below are some great tips to save time and keep the game moving.
- After you have released your stone, clear the path as quickly as possible to allow your opposition to prepare for their shot.
- Once your opponent has released the rock, get down and set up your shot. Clean your rock and get your pre-shot routine done while your opposition rock glides to a halt. This means that once your skip has put his/her broom down you can square up and go. Saving 15 seconds every shot is 4 minutes an end, and that is the difference between six and eight ends in two hours!
- Rules dictate only the skip and vice of the delivering team are to be inside the hog line of the rings before a shot. Limit even these twosomes to the final two stones of the end and you can save an incredible amount of time.
- Once the final rock has come to a stop in an end, you can start to clear away any and all rocks which are not affecting scoring. If you are the lead for the team starting off the next end, seek out your number one rock and get it set up while everyone else finishes clearing the house.
- While your skip and vice debate the last skip stones of the end, the front end can grab the skip rock and even clean it while they await upcoming throw. It can save significant time and it makes your (emotionally fragile) skip feel special.
- Do your best to start your game on time. Head out to the ice surface five minutes early. If your ice is just being prepped, get your handshakes and coin toss finished in the lower lounge so when you get the nod from the Ice Tech Team, you can step out, slide, and start the game.
- Skips may make the calls, but everyone can think ahead on the shots. The further skips think ahead for strategy, the quicker decisions can be made. This is the single largest time eater on the ice. Save time on the easier decisions so you can think over the difficult ones. As the other players throw, you can mentally prep and line up your shot even before your skip has placed his broom down.
Try and focus on one or all of the points above in your first few games of the season and it will quickly become habit. Using your time wisely on the ice can make everyone's time more enjoyable; and it might even result in an extra win or two.