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Hey Coach: Rule book… do you have one? Do you know what it says?

It is my opinion that every team should have a rule book tossed into their broom bag to ensure that they thoroughly understand the rules and, if need be, can quickly turn to the revised rule book should the need arise.  I had the opportunity to go and watch the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts this past week and watched a number of things happen that teams were not aware of. See this link: http://curling.ca/content/GoCurling/rulesOfCurling.asp for a downloadable version.

The first arose when there was a tick shot played late in the game by a team trying to steal.  The non-throwing team decided to send up one of their front end players to sweep the rock that was ticked to see if she could get out of bounds and then returned to its orginal position as a center guard, as they were trying to steal.   Rule 11(2) clearly states that only the skip or vice skip of the non-delivering team may sweep/brush their team’s stone(s) after it is set in motion.  Had the rock gone out of bounds, it didn’t in this case, and the non-offending team been aware of the rule they could have brought in the official and possibly kept the rock in play, near the side line.

If you had the opportunity to watch the game live on Shaw Cable here in Western Canada you would have been made aware of a situation that arose in the 5th end whereby a rock in the free guard zone was hit.  Neither team, or the officials, realized the violation had occured it was only the heads up play by play of the television crew that ensured the television audience knew what could possibly be going on and what might arise.  The game continued and it was only at the completion of the final that the two teams were made aware of the violation.   You can see this rule under Rule 12.

Rule 9 – Touched Delivered Stone in Motion, refers to a burnt rock.  There are three options for a burnt rock and we will list them as a, b, and c.   The first, a, is when a rock is burnt the non-offending team can decide to return the rocks to the way they were and take the burnt rock out of play.  The second, b, is letting the rocks stand as they were at the completion of the shot.  The third, c, is moving the rocks to a position that the non-offending team think would have happened had the rock not been burned.  This rule, C, can only be enacted if/when the rock is burnt inside the far hog-line.

What we have to understand in our game in regards to burnt rocks is that it is simply not allowed in our game under the current rules of play and as the non-offending team you are within your rights under our current set of rules to return things to the way they were and remove the offending rock.   We also have to ensure that if a rock is burnt the offending team doesn’t just decide to stop the rock without giving a quick and immediate heads up to the non-offending team who may decided to let it keep going.

The moral of the story is ensure you understand the rules with which our game is played under.  Know your rights at the team on either side of a rule and ensure you have one teammate who generally knows the rules and can keep your team up to date on the changes and interpretations.

Yours in curling,

Paul Webster