I was surprised by the results of last week's poll. Asked where you would want your lead's and the games's first stone to end up, two thirds of the 30 respondents called for a front stone, with half caling for a front corner.
This was what the coaches I encountered in BC were advising 7 or 8 years ago, and I'd thought tactics had moved on since then.
Yes a front stone is not immediately removable, and if I was relying on a steal to win a game, the standard play would be a front stone on the centre line. As the opening stone of the game? I don't think so.
I think the more experienced teams ask their leads to come into the house, and if you are going to do that, then why not throw to the wings, where it might be more difficult to hit?
Putting the first lead stone in the house challenges the opposition; hit it and maybe we can all throw a few stones to get the feel for the ice on our way to a blank end. And of course, because wheelchair curling is a game of misses, maybe you're sitting one as you throw your second stone.
Or maybe the opponent decides to come into the house in which case you can hit and perhaps lie two. Or they throw a front stone and then you have an opportunity to start the game lying two.
So I want my first lead stone in the wings, daring the opposition to hit it. If they do, I repeat. If they don't. maybe I begin the game sitting two.
Seems a winning strategy to me, even though it appears a minority view. Comments?