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Types of Shots

Essentially, there are only two types of curling shots, the draw and the takeout. There are many variations of these two shots, however.

Draws are shots that are only thrown hard enough only to reach the field of play at the other end. Takeouts are designed to remove rocks from play.

As mentioned earlier, we intentionally rotate the rocks as we throw them. These rotations are called turns. A clockwise rotation (for a right handed person) is called an In-turn while a counter-clockwise rotation is called an Out-turn. The names originally come from the direction your elbow took as you were throwing. (the elbow pointed out as you rotated the out-turn and vice versa). This is no longer appropriate because the elbow shouldn't move at all but the names remain.

Below is a list of possible draw shots:

Guard

a rock thrown short of the house to be used as protection

Corner guard

a rock short of the house and off to the side

Come around

any draw shot that curls around another rock

Raise

Tapping a front guard into the house

Tap back

a heavier weight draw designed to push another rock back but not out of the house

Freeze

a draw that comes to rest touching another rock

Corner-freeze

a draw that comes to rest on the edge of another rock
Below is a list of possible takeout shots:

Normal

a takeout thrown with enough weight to firmly remove another rock (a normal takeout undisturbed should hit the back wall and bounce back about a foot)

Hack Weight Hit

a takeout thrown with enough weight to gently remove another rock (a hack weight takeout undisturbed should come to rest at the back wall)

Peel

a takeout thrown with very hard weight to remove rocks from play (undisturbed peel weight shots should hit the back wall and bounce back several feet)

Hit & Roll

a takeout that, after making contact with another rock, rolls to a designated place

Chip

a takeout thrown to strike another rock at an angle and remove it sideways

The Skip's Signals and How to Interpret Them

All shots called by the skip have an associated hand or arm signal. Hand signals were developed due to the length of the sheet of ice (the option is to scream to other players at the other end). Also, many curling clubs are so loud that talking is difficult.

Skip's signal can vary dramatically. Listed below are the most common signals used. There are two basic types:

1. Signals to determine the shot

  • Tapping the ice with the broom (intended resting point)
  • Right arm extended (in turn for right handers)
  • Left arm extended (out turn for right handers)
  • Tapping the rock with the broom (intended takeout target)

2. Signals to determine the weight

  • Tapping the hack with broom (intended weight)

The Anatomy of a Curling Shot Individuals do not make shots, teams do. Curling is one of the few sports (I can only think of one other, crew) where the whole team directly participates in every shot.

Described below is a sequence of events. One for a draw and one for a takeout. It may seem like a lot of things are happening at once, but it all flows together. When a team is functioning properly, all of these things should happen on every shot.

Note: It takes many months of practice as a team for all of these things to happen perfectly. Don't expect your league team to be able to execute in this fashion.

The Draw

  1. The skip decides on the shot to be called
  2. He/she communicates the shot to the other team members.
  3. He/she surveys the ice conditions and places the broom for aim.
  4. He/she communicates the weight required for the shot.
  5. At the other end, with the sweepers in place and ready, the thrower confirms the shot called and the weight required with the sweepers.
  6. The shooter focuses on the shot and throws the rock at the broom with the desired weight.
  7. The skip gives the sweepers an initial indication of relative line.
  8. The sweepers return with an initial indication of actual weight.
  9. If the weight is too light, the sweepers begin to sweep.
  10. The skip continues to communicate the line and may call sweeping if the line is tight.
  11. The rock comes to rest. The skip and sweepers were in communication the entire time.

Notice that during this sequence of events, the shooter only has two responsibilities, hit the broom, throw the weight.

The Takeout

  1. The skip decides on the shot to be called.
  2. He/she communicates the shot to the other team members.
  3. He/she surveys the ice conditions and places the broom for aim.
  4. He/she communicates the weight required for the takeout.
  5. At the other end, with the sweepers in place and ready, the shooter confirms the shot called and the weight required with the sweepers.
  6. The shooter focuses on the shot and throws the rock at the broom with the desired weight.
  7. The skip gives the sweepers an initial indication of relative line.
  8. The sweepers return with an initial indication of actual weight.
  9. The skip calls sweeping if necessary.
  10. The rock comes to rest, the skip and sweepers were in communication the entire time.

Again, notice that the shooter still only has two responsibilities, hit the broom, and throw the weight.


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