Following the approval at the World Curling Federation Annual General Assembly by the Member Associations to authorise the World Curling Federation Board to take a final decision on the trial rules, three papers have been drafted to begin the consultation process.
These three documents outline the basis of the trial rules, updates to the initial proposals based on feedback received to date, rationale, benefits, challenges to overcome (concerns heard to date) and evidence base for the proposals.
Below you will find the paper for the trial rule of “No Tick Shots”. The papers for the other rules are available on the following links:
Trial Rule Two — No Tick Shot
Annual General Assembly Motion
If a stone is touching the centre line within the free guard zone it may not be moved by an opponent’s stone until after the fifth stone of the end has been played. If it is moved, then the delivered stone will be removed and the moved stone replaced by the non-offending team to the position prior to the violation.
To be considered given feedback so far, suggest changing the wording to:
If a stone is touching the centre line within the free guard zone it may not be moved by an opponent’s stone until after the fifth stone of the end has been played. If it is moved such that it is no longer touching the centre line, then, the delivered stone will be removed and the moved stone replaced by the non-offending team to the position prior to the violation.
Over the past few years the ability of the front end players to expertly execute the tick shot has vastly improved. The improvement has reached the extent that at the elite end of the game, it is very difficult to keep guards covering the four-foot area in play.
This has reduced the ability for teams to attack and come back from a deficit and it has also meant that in extra ends the team with the hammer is the overwhelming favourite to win the end.
- Encourages offensive play/reduces motivation for defensive play
- More offence = more interest and excitement
- More guards covering the four-foot area later into the end
- Keeps games interesting longer
- More stones covering the four-foot later into the end increases the opportunity for teams to stay in the game or make a comeback if they fall behind early
- Increases the likelihood for more precise shots being required later in the end
- May serve to reduce the number blank ends, in conjunction with Thinking Timer Per End (identified as a detraction in the April survey)
Challenges to overcome
One potential side effect of this rule change, is that it may direct more of the game into the centre of the house, by giving centre guards more protection from interference than corner guards protecting the sides of the house.
Another issued raised, is the use of the world championships and whether it is appropriate to trial rules at these events. This has been discussed carefully and whilst it is recognised it is not the perfect solution, there are very few ten end events with an elite level field and top officials that would allow these rules to be trialled effectively.
All have been trialled in one form or another at eight end events and trialling them at the world championships will give a full set of data to evaluate the benefits or otherwise of the impact.
Variations on the no tick shot rule have been trialled at some Slam events, typically limited to the final ends of a game. Feedback indicates these trials have been favourably received.
Input has been taken from the 2015 and 2019 Athlete Surveys, feedback reports from the Slam organisers, the World Curling Federation Fan Survey conducted in April 2021, social media feedback on the trial rules, comments from the Competition and Rules Commission and Athlete Commission, comments from World Curling Federation Member Associations, discussions with selected broadcasters and both World Curling Federation Marketing Agents as well as the Maximising The Value Group themselves.
Maximising The Value Working Group
The Maximising The Value Working Group was set up following the World Curling Federation Annual General Assembly in 2019, with the aim of looking at how to increase the interest in curling beyond the current traditional audiences both on and offline. This included not only looking at the length of the game but issues such as pace of play and understandability.
The Maximising The Value Working Group includes a broad range of voices from within the sport including those involved in playing, administering, hosting, marketing, broadcasting and officiating.
As athletes those involved have been to ten Olympic Games winning four medals and on the wider world stage have represented their countries almost 1,300 times in World Curling Federation Events winning more than 60 medals.
The Maximising The Value Working Group is chaired by World Curling Federation Vice-President (Americas), Graham Prouse.
If you would like to submit any feedback on this or any of the other proposed trial rules you can email your comments to [email protected]