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 01:58PM

It is normal for teams with the hammer to want to keep the centre open for their last stone. So it makes even more sense for the opposition to block it up. So what follows is a competition to keep their stones around the button. Guards in the free guard zone play their part. For the team with the hammer it is still possible to chip stones on the centre line out of the way as long as they don't go out of play. They normally put guards away from the centre and play behind them. However, it becomes impossible to ignore the stones that the opposition put into the centre and they have to move them. Knocking guards away from the centre line if they are far from the house, or knocking them into the house if they are close to the house to move stones in the house are normal strategies. For the team without the hammer, it is then important not to line up stones to make it easier to knock out stones in the house.

Let battle commence.

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, 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, 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, Nov 27 2017 11:05AM

At the European Championships, the winners were the teams where skips played a steady game, whereas the losers had skips who missed shots. It is always possible to recover when another player makes a mistake but not so for the skip playing his last stone. No pressure.

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