Sauchie and Bannockburn Curling Club

    Member of Scottish Curling

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Welcome to the blog of the Skip.


This is a place where the thoughts, trials, tribulations, celebrations and commiserations on being a skip (and no doubt comments on how to deal with a skip) will be posted as the season progresses along with any things Curling that may be of interest.


Help build up a store of useful knowledge by supplying helpful comments to any posts. Any interesting ones will be followed up in further posts.

By The Skip, Nov 1 2019 03:35PM

When stones are played into a house with stones lying it is important that the sweepers go all the way up the ice and anticipate any stones leaving the rink so that they stop it in time. This leaves the skip able to concentrate on getting the best result in the house without worrying about stones interrupting play on other sheets. It is not good to see skips sweeping stones while other stones leave the rink unattended. Accidents are possible and disrupted houses in adjacent rinks would also be unwelcome. I'm sure I would not be happy if a stone from another sheet hit any stones in play on my own sheet.

By The Skip, Nov 1 2019 03:34PM

During the play, if your opponents only have a single stone in the house and you have two or more, a great way to apply pressure is to remove their single stone if that is possible. This is especially true if you have last stone. It is a means of scoring more than one and you might have the luxury of sacrificing one of your own stones to achieve it.

Bear it in mind if you ever find yourself in the reverse position.

By The Skip, Nov 1 2019 03:31PM

The sign on the wall at Perth Ice rink says it all. When you have played your shot, don't lean on the ice with your hand or knee as this actually melts the surface of the ice and spoils it for any stones going over it. So it could actually ruin your own shot never mind anyone elses. So please, DON'T lean on the ice watching your shot progress down the ice, get up and look at it on your feet to ensure everyone can enjoy the game.

So anyone with wet knees after playing a shot is not good news. Let them know to try and avoid it next time.

Worst of all, I've just seen a young curler actually lie down on the ice to watch his takeout stone while sliding down the rink, unbelievable.

By The Skip, Mar 12 2019 10:51AM

Because there are no sweepers in wheelchair curling, there is total reliance on the player delivering the stone to get it right every time. So lining up the player, stone and stick with the skip's brush is critical. Very often the skip will tell the player to move their wheelchair to line up better, using their long sticks as a guide.

Zhuo Yan of China lines up her shot in the World Wheelchair Championships in Stirling, 2019.

The rest of us don't have that luxury if not playing with a stick, yet could you as a skip at the other end tell a player is not lined up correctly for their shot? As they push out it can become very apparent that there will be a problem, but by then it's too late.

Someone using a stick should walk out towards the brush so the skip might have a chance to influence the shot before it is made but there is very little time to do so.

So everyone setting themselves up to play a shot must align themselves with the skip's brush to ensure they slide out with their body and stone on the brush to deliver the shot as required.

Then you've only got handle and weight to worry about :-)

By The Skip, Mar 12 2019 10:31AM

There was a lot of controversy over brushes and directional sweeping, so much so that the World Curling Federation banned all but a single type of brush pad for their competitions, but the results of the controvery are still with us today. Basically, by using one sweeper to brush at more purposeful angles instead of two sweeping across the stone’s path, you had more control the stone’s curl. By sweeping into the curl it will cause the stone to draw more, by sweeping against the curl it will keep the stone straighter. The single pad type has reduced the effect of different brushes somewhat but most top teams still use it. In a demanding competition only one player is sweeping at a time unless weight is the issue. Hence you will hear a skip shout a sweeper by name to sweep to give the desired change in the stone's direction. Does it make a difference? Is it worth trying this at club level?

Bobby Lammie sweeping directly in front of the stone to make it go further, another rule change that allowed this type of sweeping, rather than side to side.

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