Monday, January 9, 2017

Curling With My Hubby Now!

A few weeks ago my husband, Billy, and I played in the Cape Cod Curling Club Bonspiel for new curlers in the past few years. It was designed to provide an opportunity for those in the Learn to Curl Class to experience a streamlined version of a bonspiel (fancy name for a curling tournament). The brand new curlers played Lead or Second and then the curlers who were in the class last year played Vice Skip and Skip. The Skip was an experienced curler who could assist as needed. And we played 6 ends instead of 8 to play more games.

What fun we had as we were even assigned to the same team. I played Vice-Skip and Billy played Lead. The Vice Skip was a big move up for me as I am most comfortable playing Second now.

For the non-curlers out there in cyberspace, the four positions on a curling team are:
Skip,Vice Skip, Second, and Lead
Each has a unique role in the strategy and playing of the sport. The Lead throws the first two stones and usually is asked to set guards in front of the house and then sweeps for all the other players. Second, thus the name of the position, goes second and is asked to do take outs and more difficult placement shots. The Second sweeps for all other team members too. Then the Vice Skip, who also holds the brush for the Skip, has more difficult shots as there are more stones in play. The Vice only sweeps for the Lead and Second. Finally, the Skip throws the last two stones and often determines the outcome of the end. The Skip is the “captain” of the team and calls the delivery. This position is critical as they must read the ice and what is happening in the house. As a beginning player last year I was happy just doing what the Skip told me to do and enjoyed setting the guards. This year I enjoy the Second spot better as I need to place the stone with a draw in and take out the stones of the other team. During the past bonspiel, though, I played Vice Skip and became more acquainted with the parameters of what that entails. While it was fun, there is much to learn about how to work with the Skip, read the ice, and place the broom for the Skip to throw the last stones. For now I want to stay with the Lead or Second position.

This week I took Thursday morning off from work and played the morning open curling time at our club (Cape Cod Curling Club). This is where I played my first full 8 ends last year after the learn to curl class. My hubby completed his class this past fall, and now he is curling in the open sessions. What fun we had (would you agree Billy?) curling in a social time. We just signed up to curl in the Sunday night league together. He will play Lead and I will play Second on a team and we will curl each Sunday for 10 weeks. Stay tuned and I will share how that works out but I can’t wait. I had all the fun last year curling and now that he has the time to curl he has “fallen” for the sport too. I will be doing the Thursday night Ladies League as well but Sunday night will be “our” curling time. In the future we hope to take advantage of the travelling opportunities with the Club.

In my next curling blog, I will share the PowerPoint about Curling I am creating to talk at Rotary about the sport, its history, and why so many people are enjoying this amazing sport. Until then….

Good Curling!