Sunday, February 20, 2011

Minnesotans want to know why they can't roll and deliver

FOX 21 News

Shawn Corbin and Scott Anderson took up wheelchair curling when they visited the Duluth CC on a Courage  Center Duluth sponsored learn to curl night.

“There was no one here to teach us how to shoot from a wheelchair [so we] kind of developed a way to simulate their sliding release,” Shawn told Eric Gullickson, FOX 21 News.

“We tried several different methods of delivery,” says Anderson, “We didn't realize there was one standard way to do it. And we came up with this method and thought this is really the best method or most practical way to do it.”

They feel the WCF rule mandating a stationary wheelchair needs to be changed but have been told the rule exists to make the sport as inclusive as possible.

Shawn is skeptical. "I don't know who exactly wrote the rules, who they were writing them for,” he said.

“If curling from a stand still position worked the best the able bodied curlers would do it too,” added able-bodied teammate Jeff Anderson. “It imitates actual curling much more than a stationary delivery and pushing a rock.”

Watching the video, both delivered stones with impressive weight and direction, but the front of their chairs moved considerably during release. They should find that a stationary delivery, once practiced, would produce far greater accuracy and weight control than propelling their chair and rock before pushing, unbraced, at the target.

3 comments:

Dick Wicklund said...

Eric, This is Dick Wicklund, Curling Director in Duluth. I don't believe our wheelchair curlers want to change their delivery. It is our goal to have the WCF recognize this delivery method and perhaps it will expand participation. Requiring a stationary delivery is no different than changing the rules and banning a tuck slide. Able bodied curlers without disabilities have many different deliveries from flat foot to tucks, challenging the hog line to release in the house. Why not think outside the box and perhaps have 2 division for wheelchair athletes, stationary and the rolling delivery. I would invite any group of stationary curlers to Duluth to compete against our accomplished athletes and open their eyes and minds to infinite possibilities. I believe the there should be on preconceived boundaries for able bodied persons or those with disabilities. ISN'T THAT WHAT THESE PROGRAMS ARE ABOUT???

Eric Eales said...

I sympathise with the freedom to deliver however you wish, and accept that the reason given for a stationary delivery is weak. But it is not a boundary in the sense of making it more difficult to get a good result from a throw. Throwing from a moving chair is a boundary to accuracy and weight control.

My point would be that if the guys wish to become competitive among high performance wheelchair users, then they should deliver the stone in a way that gives them the best chance to throw accurately - both for weight and direction.

What they are doing right now in my opinion, is limiting their skills. Fine by me if that's what they want to do. But they won't get on a national team that way even if the rules allowed it.

Chairs are braced at delivery for a reason and it is not to encourage participation. It is to avoid what you can clearly see in the video - sideways motion as the stone leaves the stick. How good are they at draws, to the 8 foot say, without sweepers?

I just think it would be a mistake to go off on a campaign for one reason, while success in that campaign would be to their detriment.

Dick Wicklund said...

Eric, These guys are quite accurate and can hit the 4 foot with great regularity. Throwing from a moving chair is not a boundary to accuracy and weight control. They compete in one of our leagues against able bodied curlers. 3 wheelchair curlers and an able bodied lead. We have adjusted our rules so that when they compete, the game is either no sweeping or their opponent provides a second sweeper to assist their able bodied lead. Their record through 12 games is 5 wins and 7 losses. They are also going to compete in our mixed bonspiel in March. 2 male wheel chair curlers and 2 able bodied gals. Yes, you may share my email. I invite any and all wheelchair curlers to make a visit here, watch and learn, expand your horizons!!