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From the Hack

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Nora Peter - From the Hack

This weekend was the start of our very busy bonspiel season at the Tillsonburg Curling Club with the 61st Tobacco Belt Men’s Bonspiel heading the list.

The club was hopping all weekend thanks to the 22 teams, the numerous local sponsors and our wonderful volunteers. Several Tillsonburg teams did well in the spiel and many former Tburg curlers returned to participate in the spiel and take home some cash! As usual curlers enjoyed the hospitality extended to them by the club, the great ice, the great food and the friendly volunteers.

Our Senior Women’s team travelled safely to the snowbelt this weekend to participate in Regional Playdowns in Kincardine. The team of Wendy Young, Shirley Ireland, Tina VanderWallen-Howey and Diane Burgess lost their first game with a 6-5 score to a Highland team which knocked them to the B side of the draw. They played Glendale Curling Club of Hamilton in their next game and handled them easily ending the game after six ends as winners. Their 3rd and what would be their final game was played against a team from the Sun Parlour Club in Leamington. This game would go only six ends as well but this time they were on the wrong side of the scoreboard and with the second loss would be out of the competition. The Ladies felt they had played well and had been up against teams that play together all the time in competitive events.

The Oscar nominations were announced on Friday and TCC members had a close look as they gear up for their own Academy Awards Celebration with their Night at the Oscars! Rec League Bonspiel sponsored by Kelsey’s coming up this Saturday. Daryl and Lorna tell me there are 14 teams set to go. The ‘meet and greet’ on the red carpet begins at 9:30 a.m., the awards will be handed out after the banquet, and then the ‘after party’ begins. Many celebrities will be at the club on Saturday and the paparazzi and autograph hounds will be jostling for the best place to get a view of them on the ice!

The Rec League Bonspiel often foreshadows the teams who will do well in playoffs so take note of the teams that do well in the spiel. I checked out the current standings and found it interesting that the Top 6 teams and the Bottom 6 teams really haven’t changed, just changed position up or down a little. But the teams from 7-16 have made some major moves in the standings since I last checked in.

Team Grumpies and Team Sheet Disturbers have jumped up six and eight positions respectively to join the Top 8 tier. Also on an upward move were On the Rocks climbing six spots to sit in 9th, and Sweep This up four to 10th. On the downward slope Rock On has dropped eight spots to sit 14th, while Rolling Stones, Domino’s Delights and Rock-U have joined that downward move, slipping five or six positions to join that second tier of eight teams. Looking at the standings, only 10 points separate the teams in that middle tier with a number of those teams missing games, so I’m sure there will continue to be lots of movement in the standings before the playoffs begin.

CURLING TIPS

Last FTH I reminded you of some of the etiquette of curling, this time around I would like to give you some tips to help speed up your games. If you are the ‘on-deck’ curler, be ready. Too often I see curlers taking time to put on a slider or find their stabilizer or their stick (even me!). Let’s think ahead so others aren’t waiting every time.

At the completion of an end when clearing the rocks, there is no need to put them into meticulous order and the lead of the team who won the end should be getting ready to throw, not sorting the rocks out. You should be able to pull out the rock that you are throwing even if they aren’t in perfect order.

That’s another tip – do not set out the rock for your opponent – for one, this has proven to be a tripping hazard, but also you don’t know which rock your opponent might be throwing and that would cause a delay as the player exchanges the rock. We all have our moments when we forget it’s our turn or we don’t have our equipment, but let’s try to be ready and keep the game moving.

The curling blogs have been going crazy the last couple of weeks with the news that Glenn Howard was knocked out of his regional playdowns, and then after dropping out of the Skins Game this past weekend to play in the Challenge round he was knocked out in two games and will be sitting on the sidelines when the Tankard comes to Dorchester in two weeks. Definitely a time of change on the curling scene and here in Ontario. Some of the younger teams like Kean, Epping, Frans and Balsdon will get their chance to represent the province.

Interestingly, Wayne Middaugh also entered the Challenge Round, came through the B side, and will be at the Tankard. Middaugh of course left Howard’s team and hasn’t been doing as much competitive curling this season, but put together a team and will be someone to contend at the Tankard just because of the experience he and some of his team have at this level. Curlers can still get Tankard tickets on-line and be sure to mention the club’s name.

As to our elite curlers the Continental Cup was entertaining though the European contingent never really seemed to get into the fun of the event, except for Thomas Olsrud and his team. If you haven’t seen the video of Thomas and his team putting their pants on without using their hands you should check it out on-line – pretty funny. I should have asked the ‘fancy pants team’ at the Tobacco Belt this weekend if they had practiced that trick!

The Pinty’s Skins Games in my opinion were not as interesting as the ‘All-star team format’ that was used for the past two years. Much more fun to watch teammates playing against each other and dissing each other’s play, I think, and the Womens’ Skins is boring – they just don’t seem to have the personality shown by the Men.

Anyhow, curling does rock!!

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