REALLY Basic Curling Strategy
Six key decision factors on each shot:
- The score?
- Who has the hammer?
- What end is it?
- Early or late in the game
- Your team’s skill?
- Things change during a game
- Opponents skill?
- Watch each shot they make
- Ice conditions?
- Look for runs, falls, condition of the pebble, temperature
Two distinctive styles of play
- Aggressive or Offensive Style
- More rocks in play
- Finesse shots – guards, come around, tap back, freeze
- designed to score more than one point
- or hold opponent to one point
- Defensive or Conservative Style
- Reduces the number of rocks in play
- Take outs, hit and roll
- Keeps the front of the house as open as possible
- designed to keep the game close or hold a lead
- or force the opponent to one point
Ahead – throw into the house
Behind – throw guards
Yes – throw in the center
No – throw to the sides
You have the hammer advantage, and you want rocks in play. Use the 4 guard rule to your advantage and keep the center open. As play progresses, you may have center ice opportunities as the opposition tries to steal the end. Establish your centerline guards so you can get rocks in play behind the guards. Closer to the rings is better as the opposition will be faced with a difficult come around shot to move your rocks. Keep the center ice open.