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Doubles Curling Introduced to North Bay

Nugget Column #07 – Tuesday November 3rd, 2015

Canadian curlers will have another chance to win Olympic gold, beginning with the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The International Olympic Committee made this announcement on June 8th, 2015 and already curling clubs around the world are introducing this fun, new variation of curling into their schedules this winter.

North Bay will not be left behind on this opportunity with a league already scheduled to begin on December 3rd, 2015. Interested participants are able to register as an individual or a team in one of either a competitive division or a recreational division. Play will endure seven weeks with games scheduled for 7:00pm and 8:30pm on Thursday nights.

Beyond the obvious difference, a two-person team as opposed to a four-person team, the core elements of the game itself remain intact. In our league teams can be mixed or of the same gender, and include both young and mature curlers.

In Doubles Curling, teams of two have only six stones, of which five will be delivered and one is pre-positioned.

Prior to the start of every end, the team with “choice” (no longer automatically the hammer) will place their team’s stationary (pre-positioned) stone, and their opponent’s stationary stone, in either a position bisecting the centre line, midway between the hog line and the front of the house (a half-way centre line guard); or, in a position bisecting the centre line and where the back edge of the stone is in alignment with the back edge of the four foot. If they choose to place their stone as a guard they will deliver first. Therefore, should they choose to be behind the button, they will have the last stone in the end.

The player delivering the team’s first stone of an end must also deliver the team’s last stone of that end. The other team member shall deliver the team’s second, third, and fourth stones. The order in which players deliver (their position) is permitted to change from end to end.

While the team is in the process of delivery, the non-delivering player must be positioned inside the hogline at the playing end of the team’s sheet (Skipping), OR, in a position beside the thrower to sweep the delivered stone. After delivery, either or both players may sweep their stone and any stones set in motion that belong to their team.

Doubles Curling utilizes a Five Rock Free Guard Zone rule such as you would have seen this past weekend at the Masters Grand Slam of Curling event on television; however it is modified to state that no stone in play, including the pre-positioned stones and those in the house, can be moved to an out-of-play position prior to the delivery of the fourth stone of an end.

There’s nothing quite like playing Doubles to understand it. If ever you were to get four people together, please let us know and we’d be happy to help.

Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club

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