The Case of the Reversing Ice

Golf and curling stand alone in the importance of the understanding of the playing surface and its relationship to performance. Golfers, serious golfers had better understand the basics of turf management if they are to perform satisfactorily. Curlers, serious curlers also need to understand that their playing surface, as it’s prepared and maintained also plays a significant role in the performance of the team. Ice is alive! It’s not an inanimate object! It changes due to a dizzying array of

Performance Benchmarks

It’s November here on Canada’s Left Coast, actually I suspect given today’s date it’s November everywhere (what a grasp of the obvious) but whereas golfers around the country likely have packed it in for the 2012 golf season, hackers here on Vancouver Island only get out the “rain shoes” as play continues through the winter. Why the reference to golf? I can interview golfers as they come off the 18th green and by asking one question about their round, I

Strategy & Tactics 101

There is no area of our sport which has caused more discussions (usually involving salt & pepper shakers and/or drinking glasses on table tops following games) than “strategy & tactics”, although I dare say most of the discussions would have been described as only “strategy” discussions. I rarely hear the word “tactics” so let’s deal with that first. Strategy is/are your plan(s) whereas tactics are the actual shots you’re going to play to execute the plan(s). Knowing that, through participant observation

UWO research team surveys curling strategy

Nicole Westlund, a graduate student studying sport psychology in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, along with her supervisor, Professor Craig Hall, are undertaking a study of curling strategy. The goal of the study is to “validate these [strategy] scenarios for use in future research involving varsity athletes”. For the survey, Nicole is soliciting experienced curlers who have played competitively, or in a structured league,

My favourite team drill

“Pickup Sticks”, a drill described in Bill Tschirhart’s Drills to Die For, has become my all-time favourite team drill and in this article I’d like to share some of the reasons why. I was introduced to “Pickup Sticks” by Bill personally at the 2010 Team Glenn Howard Fantasy Curling Camp, where Bill was one of the instructors for the weekend. Since then I’ve used the drill with my bantam, junior, University, and Little

Statistics for Womens’ Curling and What is “Control”?

We’ve finally gathered data for Women’s Curling events. This data is taken from 4-rock games played during Provincial, Scotties (i.e. Canadian National Championship), World Championships, Olympic Trials, Olympics and WCT events over the last several years. Unfortunately our sample size is larger (more than double) for the men’s events. However, we have enough numbers to give some indication of general trends and comparisons with the games of their opposite sex counterparts. So what do we find? Tied with Hammer Within 1-2%