Curling with newbies!

Ottawa Curling Club logoCandice and I went to a curling party put on by Ottawa’s chapter of the McGill Young Alumni at the Ottawa Curling Club downtown today. Candice wasn’t too sure about curling, and I was worried it was going to be too basic, but it turned out fun!

We had about a dozen curlers total. Of those, only Eddie (the event organizer, Young Alumni president, and a member of that club) had serious curling experience. another three, including me, had been curling in a rookies’ program since September, and two others had curled but not recently, so I ended up coaching a bit. Eddie was all about the big picture, and I was more about suggesting to put the broom here and get your foot there and let go of the handle like this, so between the two of us we managed to get the basics across.

McGill University coat of arms Everyone got in a half-dozen or so deliveries and some practice sweeping, and the new curlers picked things up quickly and we split into four teams of three. The team breakup was a little odd: my sheet had me, one very occasional curler, and four newbies, while the other sheet had Eddie, the two other rookie-league curlers, and two newbies. The occasional curler and I each skipped a team, and I made sure Candice wasn’t on mine so I wouldn’t have to teach her!

The game went well, with the strategy ending up along the lines of “See if you can get some rocks in the house”. My two newbies were both doing alright, but couldn’t be much more different: one was very interested in specifics and details and the mechanics of what was going on, while the other one… just sort of threw rocks and swept (regardless of whether or not the rock needed sweeping) and that was it. But we got through four ends of pretty good curling considering, and my interested newbie got to skip for a bit.

Candice’s team ended up beating ours by one point, although where that point came from was open to speculation: I went to get the measuring stick to show how to tell if a borderline stone was in or out of the house, an out-of-play rock somehow showed up back in the house. I don’t know what whoever did that was thinking — the end was a five-ender to begin with!

All in all it went well, though. At the bar afterwards one of my newbies seemed interested in doing a rookies program next year (I made sure to mention Granite’s, Eddie seemed unimpressed). I don’t think Candice is going to be signing up anytime soon, but at least she knows what I do Sunday nights now!

I nearly came home with a broom, too. I’ve been using the club brooms at Granite, which are fine but are club brooms. I stopped in the Hogline pro shop on the way out, but I didn’t want to buy too good a broom for what I need, but at the beginner end of the price range I couldn’t tell if I’d see a huge advantage over the club brooms, especially as skip.

(Dammit, I should’ve bought a broom.)