A Lead, Second, Third and a Skip Walk Into a Bar…

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 11:00
Senior Marketing Manager

Now that I have your attention, lets talk Skip Strategy 101. If you had the chance to read our last Curling Headline ‘Skipping for Beginners,’ written by the world’s best athlete Rachel Caputo, you’re now a Skip all-star. If you haven’t read it, take a minute to do so. I’ll wait…

… Great! Now let’s build on that with the basics to a Skip’s strategy and some tips. Remember, as the Skip, you’re calling the game, determining the pace, and you’re responsible for knowing your team/the ice well enough to get’r done.

  1. Give Two, Take One.
    • What does it really mean to win an end? If you have the hammer, you want to take two or more points. If you do not have the hammer, you want to give up no more than one point. Confused? Here’s an example. Even if you have a ‘poor’ first end, if you aim to take at least two points in each end or give up no more than one, the game is yours.
      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
      0 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 8
      4 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 7
  2. You throw the final two rocks; set up the end to give YOU the best plays for your skills.
  3. Adjust where you lay your broom (indicating where you want your players to aim to) based on each player themselves. Each player may throw a bit of a different spin; you’ll need to adjust where you have them aim based on how much they tend to curl their rock.
  4. You should be dictating play! Your opponent should be responding to your shots and not the other way around.
  5. Setup and Remove ‘Good’ Rocks.
    • A ‘good’ rock is one your opponents will have to deal with later.
    • Take out your opponents ‘good’ rocks when you have the chance.
    • Never chase a ‘bad’ rock. Chasing ‘bad’ rocks is a newbie Skip’s first mistake.
  6. Know your team. Adjust the shot you call based on who’s taking off from that hack. If you know your teams strengths and weaknesses, cater to that.
  7. Whenever possible, within the same turn, try and give your teammate the same type of shot. Consistency is key.
  8. Talk to your sweepers! Ask them where it is. Ask them to gauge the weight. You’re all in this fight together.