Nugget Column #08 – Tuesday November 8th, 2016
A new curling format is sweeping the nation and appealing to the young and young at heart who are seeking a faster, more physically active alternative to the traditional roaring game.
Doubles is a relatively new variation of curling that can be played in as little as 75 minutes between teams of two (as opposed to four) throw only five stones (as opposed to eight) while remaining constantly involved in strategy and sweeping too.
The game is played on the same sheet of ice as traditional curling, and is scored in the exact same manner, however each end (round of play) begins with two pre-position rocks already in the playing area. The team with hammer begins the end with a rock bisecting the centre line and touching the back edge of the four-foot ring; while the team that throws first already has a centre line guard. The team that scored in the previous end forfeits the choice of hammer to the opposing team for the next end (unlike traditional curling, you could choose to not take last rock advantage).
One player on a doubles team throws the first and fifth rocks while the other player throws the middle three. These positions may change from end to end at the will of the team. While one player is delivering, the other play may choose to position themselves beside the thrower ready to sweep, or at the opposing end of the rink acting as the skip.
Doubles curling utilizes a free-guard-zone rule that dictates that no stone in play, including the pre-positioned stones and those in the house, may be move to an out-of-play position prior to the delivery of the fourth stone of an end.
New last season: once per game (not in an extra end), each team with last rock advantage, has the option to place the pre-positioned stones in a power play position. This move the rocks from the centre line to either corner bisecting the eight foot and twelve foot rings.
Being that doubles curling (specifically mixed doubles) will be included for the first time at the next Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018; this format is sure to explode in popularity over the next few seasons, and for good reason.
Those people interested in playing doubles curling in North Bay are invited to attend “Drop-In Doubles” every Wednesday night at 8:15pm, beginning November 16th and ending December 21st.
Participants are asked to RSVP on a week-by-week basis, and may do so as a team of two or as an individual. Anyone who requires instruction in doubles curling will be assisted in this regard.
There is no additional cost to unlimited curling members, and only a $10/person/game charge for one-league curlers or non-members.
An Open Doubles League will be initiated in our winter season (January 4th – February 15th).
To RSVP for Drop-In Doubles or register for our winter league, please go to northbaycurling.com/doubles.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club