Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What Is With That Ice at the Brier?

I have never heard so many complaints from the competitors in major tournaments/bonspiels about the ice as we have been hearing from the curlers at the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier in Hamilton. What gives?

Why are there so many "picks" this year as compared with other tournaments?
  • I simply do not believe it is because the curlers are using dirty equipment, as Dave Merklinger implied in one of the interviews he gave. Is there any reason at all to believe the equipment is dirtier this year than it has been in the past? (well, maybe dirtier shoes? See below.)
  • Also, I do not believe the problem arises from curlers' leaving their hands or knees on the ice too long and creating flat spots; again, the incidence of these behaviours this year seems no higher than in the past, when there were far fewer problems.
  • One possibility is that the curlers are tracking crud onto the ice from the walkways. If so, certainly those areas should be kept cleaner. And, as is done some some places (e.g. the Scotties), the curlers should wear shoe covers on their way to and from the ice. Quite frankly, I cannot believe they are not required to do this, but the TSN announcers say they aren't.
  • Another possibility might be from the ventilation system. If it is not well-filtered, all it takes is a few ducts to spew dust and crud onto the ice to create more picks.
Whatever the problem, I hate seeing the randomness that results from picks be responsible for some of the scoring. And surely, if picks are a problem, wouldn't you, as a curler, want to throw very slightly less weight and have the brushers keep the path clean? Why aren't the curlers adjusting better?

For an interview that Alan did with Dave Merklinger (ice-maker at the Scott last year and at the Brier this year), click here.



At 3/07/2007 10:28 p.m., Blogger curlerboi said...

The ice hasn't been that great but the teams will have to make the adjustment.

It seems like Kehoe is the only one not complaining...I'm use to the swingy ice at CFB Halifax.

Nice blog BTW!



Post a Comment

<< Home