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.


Have you every wondered about what a skip has to think about while he is standing at the head managing the play?

Well I did and so I thought about what a skipping app for your phone and the likes of Google Glass would look like and so ended up with the screen view above. It is fantastically busy but I managed to cram everything I could think of into one screen wit the option of adding or taking away more information if required.

So what does it all mean? I'm sure you can figure out the easy ones, stone being played etc.

Left to right, top to bottom,

Ends to play, current end with hammer, previous ends with hammer.

Previous stones played, FGZ is not in operation now, stone 6 being played.

Left side:

The score is red 3, yellow 5.

Time left is 23minutes and 9 seconds, green colour as estimate that is more than enough time to complete

Player is Murray

Draw % success is 85%

Murray is right handed.

Shot is Legal (released before hog line)

There is a gap because the view is skewed to the left side of screen.

There is an average of 23cm draw on this side of line

Middle (over stone):

Handle is ON and good (green tick)

Arrows indicate how wide of brush shot is, line shows where in relation to brush

Red arrows mean wide of brush (red shift), Blue arrows mean inside brush (blue shift)

Tags are showing where pickup happened and patch of ice with no pebble

The shot is travelling faster by +0.05 seconds

Right side: No sweeping required.

Currently, lying down 2 yellow

Strategy Target scoring 2

The tactics are balanced at moment (options for defensive and aggressive not in use)

The ice is keen at the moment (getting faster)

There is an alternative play that would be successful if used based on current line/weight of stone.

Bottom: Recording movie

Zoom is on

Arrows indicate Green = Called shot, Blue = present line

Player information is ON

Ice tag information is ON

Rink icon shows called and current line. Blink on it to call up overlay showing stones in house.


WOW that's a lot to keep on top of. Spare a thought for the skip.....................

By The Skip, Feb 19 2020 01:47PM

Decide where you want the next stone to lie to be of most value to you. It might not be where it would be counting as a shot, it might be a guard or some other position. Then how do you get a stone to that spot?

It might be that the player can deliver it straight to that position, good set it up and play it.

It might need another stone to be moved to that position. Is there a direct way to make that move?

Good, set it up and play it. If it requires several stones to be moved, how likely is it to be delivered?

If it is now out of reach in terms of possibility, then look for an alternative position that can be achieved.

Keep it simple.

By The Skip, Feb 19 2019 04:18PM

The trick shot it is called, chipping an opposition guard stone to move it off the centre line to open up the house for the side with last stone. I first saw this in the womens game but now many teams have tried it, even the new Scottish Men's Champions. When it works it is a good tool to use, but it requires exceptional skill to pull it off. Too heavy and the guard will be replaced if it goes out of play. Worse still, these stones can be knocked into the house. You are giving your opponent shots to work with. You can also have your own stone left where the original guard was. This might be slightly better but often it is not. That is a deliberate choice for the skip. Be aware of unintentional moves too, especially to your own stones, sweep them out of play to get them put back as guards or sweep them into the house to count later on. Remember the 5 stone guard rule too. This forces the team without the hammer to be more aggressive and go round guards.

This is a shot that leads need to practice if it is to be used. Weight and line are critical, back rink weight at least and only the edge of the stone must be hit. Not a lot of leeway for error. I have seen quite a few missed even at World level.

By The Skip, Feb 19 2019 04:03PM

The one call that many club curlers fear, the dreaded "Same again". If they played the last shot perfectly, can they do it again? No pressure, but it doesn't happen very often that it is repeated, so why do it?

If the last shot didn't work, what are the chances this time? Too light last time, look to see if there is a shot that can be stopped by a another stone as they are likely to play heavy this time. If a World Champion skip can be heavy in such circumstances, so can anyone else. Were they too heavy last time?, chances are they'll be short the next time, can you live with a guard? Make sure the shot will not block your future game play or help the opposition.

So think it through before simply saying "Same again".

By The Skip, Oct 22 2018 01:20PM

When the skip plays the last two stones of the end for their rink, it is vital that they achieve the best possible results they can and it is here that the third's judgement is vital. Third's must be able to judge the speed and likely destination of the stones and be confident enough to call sweepers on and off where necessary to ensure that best result. Skips will often follow their stones to make sure they are looked after by the sweepers where necessary but the third is best placed to make the proper decisions and should do so. Thirds who let stones play out without any intervention when it was required are letting the team down.

By The Skip, Aug 29 2017 02:44PM

Remember that when you are calling shots for the back of the rink that it will require more ice than if calling shots for the front of the house. So those take outs might need more ice or more weight if there isn't the room to get a shot through a port. This is one of the reasons why it is harder to defend a position at the back of the house because there is more room to get around guards.

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