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Line of Delivery

This is an excerpt from Curling: Steps to Success by Sean Turriff.

Throwing your shots down the right line is the next critical component in developing your overall shot-making abilities. Sliding down the proper line starts with a good understanding of what the slide path actually looks like. Being able to properly visualize the path is an important skill. Beginning curlers often don't understand that although the target can be practically anywhere across the sheet. At the throwing end, this translates into a fairly narrow range across which you will be required to slide. Figure 5.4 demonstrates this for a right-handed curler. A target variation of 12 feet (3.7 m), or the entire width of the house, results in a window of approximately 3 feet (1 m) at the throwing-end hog line and less than 2 feet (0.6 m) at the throwing-end tee line.

Figure 5.4 Slide window for right-handed curler.
Slide window for right-handed curler.

By the time you get all the way back to the throwing hack, you can see that very slight line variations result in considerably different slide paths. We have already covered how to set up and slide toward a specific line, and now practice is required to build your skill in this regard.

Shot Drill 6 Cup Canyon

For this drill you will need eight plastic cups. Set up a target at the near hog line, and use pairs of cups as gates through which the line to the target travels. Place the first gate pair of cups on the back line, the second pair at the tee line, the third pair at the top of the 12-foot circle, and the final pair halfway between the hog line and the top of the 12-foot circle. The distance between the cups should be approximately 1.5 times the width of the stone.

Line up along the path and deliver the curling stone without touching any of the cups. Repeat this drill four times, changing the target setup each time.

To Increase Difficulty

  • Place the gates closer together - just slightly wider than a stone for maximum difficulty.
  • Place the target as wide as you would possibly need to throw rather than simply up the middle of the sheet.

To Decrease Difficulty

  • Open the width of the gates, and keep the target closer to the center of the sheet.

Success Check

  • Keep your head up and your eyes on the target rather than on the cups. Focus on where you want to slide rather than the path through which you are sliding.
  • Keep your body square during your slide, with your stone positioned in front of you throughout the delivery.
  • Slide as closely as possible through the center of the allowable opening.

Score Your Success

Score 1 point for each gate successfully navigated for a maximum of 16 points.

  • Your score ___

Shot Drill 7 Pop Goes the Weasel

Set up one set of stones, as shown in figure 5.5, with all the stones in contact with each other. You will attempt to deliver a stone that contacts the lead stone directly on the nose. The objective is to promote all eight of the original stones into the rings. Each shooter is removed after each shot is completed, but the original stones are not moved from where they end up as a result of the shot. This can result in some fairly complicated situations if your line is not precise.

Figure 5.5 Stone setup for pop goes the weasel.
Stone setup for pop goes the weasel.

This can be played as a team drill, with each player throwing two stones each. The skip will call line, and the brushers will be involved to help manage the line.

To Increase Difficulty

  • Do not remove shooters after each shot has been thrown. This makes the resulting situations much more complicated.

To Decrease Difficulty

  • Reset the original stones that did not make it into the rings after each shot.

Success Check

  • Slide square to your target brush, and trust that it is in the right place to make the shot requested.
  • Throw the appropriate weight because this affects the amount of curl on your shots.
  • Make sure you have a clean release and the appropriate turn on your shot.

Score Your Success

Score 1 point for every stone that is in the rings once you have thrown all eight stones.

  • Your score ___



Learn more about Curling: Steps to Success.

More Excerpts From Curling: Steps to Success