A Team Sport

I haven't written a lot about this league because it's been tough.

We're playing well, but most of our games needed just a tiny bit more.

There have been exceptions.

I've been a bit under the weather, which hasn't helped.  I missed a game, and from what my rink-mates have said, it was another one of those decided by inches -- in the 9th end.

That said, I know where I want to play next league, and I hope we're all playing together next league.

One of the great things about Curling is that every player has some role in every single shot.

When you're delivering the rock, if the Skip asks for Tee weight, you should really be a little light.  Without sweeping, the rock should stop about six feet short.  Your rink-mates will pick up those six feet by sweeping the rock in.

Throw just a tiny bit heavy and they can't fix it.

It's up to the Skip (or the Vice) to call strategy, and that means calling for the right target, and the right delivery -- reading the ice and telling the sweepers what to do.  When the plan works, it works well.

When things work very well, you score threes, fours and the occasional five.  Sixes take talent and luck, sevens are unusual, and eights get reported in the Curling News.

Another thing I love about our team is that we just plain have fun.  The banter in the front end is constant, and at least one of my teammates is constantly messing with my qi.

For most of this league, I've been playing Vice and it's been a real learning experience -- playing in the back end gets you into strategy, and there is a whole talent reading ice that affects the last critical rocks, delivered by the Skip.

I've played all four positions on various teams, with varying results.

Lead is probably where I should play, where the shots are pretty consistent.  It's a good position to work on that perfect weight, and it is often one of the Lead's rocks that scores.

Second is like Lead, but with takeouts -- a little more variety.  For a beginner in their first game, I think Second has a tiny bit less pressure.  You can take queues from the lead.

Vice gets you into strategy, and reading the ice from the scoring end.  Strategy is always a good learning experience.

The Skip sets the overall strategy, and generally speaking, has the coldest feet.

At least for now, I'm back at Second, and I'm good with that.

Saturday starts playoffs, and we've got the early draw, and I think a well-matched opponent.

Whatever happens, it'll be fun.

Posted March 18, 2011