Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thursday Night Women’s League at Cape Cod Curling Club-Alex’s First Time as Skip!

I am loving my Thursday night women’s curling league. There is a most positive something about the empowerment of women curling and then socializing at the end of competition. (And as I have brought it up often, the "winners" buy the "losers" drinks, but think we need to say the first place team buys the second place team drinks!) And the Thursday women are there to teach me the necessities of curling that I am still learning. I continue to be amazed that teammates, and even women on the opposing team, offer assistance and suggestions. Not only do they say, “amazing shot,” but they might say, “you really went for the broom but it curled so much,” or "this end of the ice is usually faster."  I am always seeking feedback, so I welcome positive and constructive comments from a teammate or another player. Maybe it’s because I am open to learning all I can about the sport of curling, but I also do hope I can be the one helping others in the future.

 This past Thursday was just great even though half the team was not there and we only had one sub but needed two! I’ve been playing Lead and my teammate, Alexandra (Alex), usually plays Vice-Skip but this evening she was asked to step up and Skip. Our one sub Linda, and I each threw 3 stones for each end and Alex threw two. This is also a great way to get additional practice in as you can use reflective practices to figure out what to do to improve withe each throw.

My family and others that know me can attest that I like to give grades for the performance of others and even myself. For my playing this past Thursday night, I give myself an A-. I played pretty well and had some great shots. I know I can get better, too, though. Figuring out the weight of the throw, the ice, and aiming to the broom. It was great as I threw three stones each end as there were only three on the team instead of four.

What I really enjoyed this week was the teamwork of my Skip and Vice Skip/Second. As noted earlier it was Alex’s first time skipping (Is that a real verb with respect to curling, I wonder?? Know it is a verb with respect to jumping or skipping rope but does the definition include curling? Well, I just looked it up and the definition of skipping does not include the intent with curling! The word, skip, is also not defined with curling in mind, so perhaps we curlers need to rewrite the definitions! For the non curlers reading this blog, here is the definition of Skip in curing:

The player who determines the strategy, and directs play for the team. The skip delivers the last pair of stones for his/her team in each end.

Alex usually plays Vice-Skip and assists the Skip, but this evening she was in charge of figuring out the plays and making the calls for our team. I was so pleased to be there for her first skipping in a league. Her hubby and in-laws watched as she made the calls and moved the team to be tied in the eighth end. What I particularly liked is that Alex contemplated the calls and there was a give and take back and forth with the Vice Skip.

Long story short-we lost the game in the eighth end with the last stone!! We had an amazing come back with great take outs and strategy, but having the hammer for our opposing team was our downfall.

Congrats to you, Alex, and thanks for letting me part of your history. I am honored and humbled. Well done! I liked your kind way of showing and being a leader for our team. I liked that you called, “sweep” and “stop” with a voice that made me feel I was part of the team’s strategy. Most of all, the way you spoke was a voice of authority, but also kindness with the edge of competiveness. I hope you pick me to play with you soon. Congrats on your first Skip position and what a great memory. A grade of A for you! I did play Vice Skip in a morning league one time last year, but I am much too young (in curling that is!) to Skip soon, but perhaps next year you can watch me Skip my first game.

Skip, Skipping, Skipped-these curling terms need to be added to the “regular” dictionary definitions.