Time is Ticking, Hurry Hard and Hurry Up

Nugget Column #10 – Tuesday November 22nd, 2016

The Granite Club is back on the bell system, which isn’t news to our curlers themselves who have been involved in spirited conversation this fall surrounding the implementation of more strictly timed games.

Having made the decision to move league play off Friday nights this season to make the facility available for hall and ice rentals (wink wink nudge nudge to local businesses, groups, and organizations), the club’s Monday to Thursday evening schedule became busier and features more double start times than recently before.

It is therefor more important this season that games begin on time and finish in time for the next teams to go on the ice. This is however not the only reason that the club is promoting a strict 2-hour play limit. When games run late, staff and volunteers must work later; there is a better atmosphere when all sheets are at the same stage of the game and come up into the lounge together; varying body heat in the arena can affect the condition of the ice; and playing the sport of curling at its designed pace of play makes it more enjoyable for all involved.

Here are some tips to help you and your team do your part to keep games moving:

  1. Be on the ice 5 minutes before game time. This allows for handshakes, coin tosses, warm-up slides and still allows you to start on time (or early).
  2. Sweepers can get their own players’ rock out in front of the hack for them.
  3. Do not pull out the opposition’s stones in case they throw in a different order than your team chooses.
  4. As soon as the opposing player has vacated the hack, the next player to throw should move into position, clean their stone, and be prepared to take orders from their skip.
  5. At the beginning of an end when your team does not have hammer, the lead should, instead of helping put rocks away, be getting their rock ready to throw.
  6. Curling is not a democracy. Usually strategic input from other players is limited to when asked by the Skip or on the rare occasion that you feel a grave mistake is being made. General team strategy discussion should be reserved for after the game or in practice.
  7. Other than at the end of the game, rocks to do not need to be put away in order. If you are compulsive about this, have your skip help by putting the rocks that are out of play in the appropriate place as the end progresses.
  8. Skips must remain focused on the next shot and not be chatting with the opposing skip or players on adjacent sheets.

Nobody wants a game to end on a time violation so please give serious consideration to these tips provided and remember that when twenty minutes remain in your game and you hear “the bell”, you are permitted to finish the end you are in and play only one more.


Bobby Ray
General Manager
North Bay Granite Club