Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New rules show wheelchair curling is growing up

 The World Curling Federation has changed the rules of competition for WCF sponsored events, moving wheelchair curling closer to the regular game. Gone is the patronising 6-end limit, and gone too will be the incessant on -ice conferences before every shot that destroyed its appeal as a spectator sport.

Games will now be 8 ends (from 6) with each team allowed 68 minutes plus one 60 second time-out. The delivery zone is also expanded by 6 inches either side of the centre line.

The new delivery zone, from a rock at delivery "touching the centre line" to being "wholly within 18 inches either side of the centre line" adds approximately 6 inches of width to each side of the centre line. Its effect is to reduce the penalty, in angle reduction, of releasing near the hogline rather than the hack. Shots delivered between the hack and the near house must still be touching centre line at delivery.

This change also moves wheelchair curling closer to the angles available to regular curlers, who although expected to release their stones "in reasonable proximity to the centre line," had a wider range of angles available at delivery.

The CCA will adopt the WCF rule on delivery zone for the coming season but as yet have not committed to lengthening games to 8 ends. Though the CCA has different player eligibility criteria, they have otherwise typically followed the WCF's lead in rule making so as not to disadvantage Team Canada when they compete internationally.

CLICK HERE for a text file extract from the WCF's Rules Of Curling, detailing rules specific to wheelchair curling.

1 comment:

Bruce Cameron said...

All changes to the rules to benefit wheelchair curling are always welcome. However they shud be well thought out by obtaining a general consensus of all wheelchair curlers and not just the ideas of a few associated with Team Canada and/or the CCA. My point here is the new rule which allows the rock to be placed within 18" of the centre line to obtain angles similar to those available to able bodied curlers. Previously u cud position the rock anywhere along the centre line back as far as the hack if u wanted to change/improve ur angle. No u dont have to be a super strong person to through a rock in a wheelchair from near the hack. All wheelchair curlers representing their country are capable of throwing rocks from near the hack. If all wheelchair curlers threw from approximately the same place (which they all do) the angles wud be the same for all wheelchair curlers so why shud we try an emulate able bodied curlers when we are wheelchair curlers.
The eight end rule I like but for a different reason than that stated. Wheelchair curling tends to GENERALLY be a game of hi scoring ends. If u score or get a couple of big ends scored against u early in a six end game the focus seems to lessen or drift a bit. If u are up u tend to feel u have the game in "the bag" as there are only a couple more ends to play and if u are down u feel there is not much hope as there are only a couple more ends to play. The eight end game will keep everyone focused for a longer period. I have yet to experience "incessant on-ice conferences before every shot" as mentioned that something 8 ends will eliminate.
Lets Rock 'n Roll.....
Bruce Cameron