An "Average Joe" takes on the US Curling team

Lol I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about. Thanks for the link.


i watched this video last week, and learned so much i kept pushing it on everyone i knew. it helped me appreciate it so much more. and seriously, curlers have RIDICULOUSLY good hip and knee mobility and flexion.


Olympic curling is nice and all, but without the whisky I fail to see the attraction.

If you want to lose some your faith in humanity, listen to the on-mic chatter in the Canadian mixed doubles team (this year it was John Morris and Rachel Homan). Morris mansplains and shouts her down constantly the entire time. It’s brutal to listen to. He did this last time with his first partner Kaitlyn Lawes, too.

Point is, separating activities by gender is not just about physical strength. It’s also about creating a space where women can succeed on their own terms without having to deal with patriarchy. Separate education, for example, has been shown to benefit girls more than boys.

Not saying everything should be separate all the time, but listen to John Morris dress down his teammate for five minutes and you will see why it sometimes matters.

I adore womens’ curling* but don’t watch any mens’. The men argue with each other and play very aggro. The women play supportively and much more thoughtfully. It’s a way more entertaining and strategic play style and I would much rather listen to people cooperate than listen to them fight.

*and being Canadian, I don’t just remember it exists every 4 years :wink:


Nor do I. I’m saying there is a mixed-gender event.

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Respectfully, you gotta give Canada some credit there. While evidence is clear it was invented in Scotland, it was really Canada that made the sport what it is. Arguably Pat Ryan singlehandedly converted it from “stupid bar game” to “serious sport”. He seemed to be the first one to look at it and say, “what happens if we actually try to be good at this?”. Ironically, he was hated for a long time for that. Lots of people wanted it to stay a silly bar game that you could play while drunk and smoking.

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Very good points. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

I wasn’t thinking of mixed as a replacement for play by gender but rather an additional competition (which clearly already exists). Maybe the dynamic would be easier as a team of four rather than mixed doubles.


Just gonna leave this here …

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20 yrs ago my friends and I thought it would be funny to enter a rural bonspiel, get drunk and make fools of ourselves ( “Hurry HARDER”). I didn’t even know the rules.

Let’s just say the organizers and fellow participants did not take kindly to this…

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Oh sure- happens all the time. They also occasionally kick a stone by mistake while dancing around them. I saw it happen half a dozen times in this year’s Olympics. There are various rules around this. For example, a stone touched with a broom while in motion gives the opponent the right to remove that stone from play or rethrow it if no other stones were moved.

All these rules have a “sportsmanship” clause whereby the two teams simply agree it was no big deal and put any stones back that moved in a way they shouldn’t have. In practice, this is what always happens. Everyone is just honest about it and a good sport about it. Reporting a broom touching the stone is honour-system, since only the sweeper is likely to know that happened.

Crazier things happen, even. In the Olympics this year, China threw one of Canada’s stones by mistake. Even this happens more than you’d think. All teams play both colours (like chess) so you can forget which you are in the moment. They mark the position of the stone with feet and swap it out for the correct colour. All in good sportsmanship.

To the question of changing the course of the stone with the brush, that’s very difficult to do by contact. The stones are very heavy and you’d have to really get in its way to affect it. A little graze with the broom while sweeping isn’t going to do that, but players still report it to the other team as a show of good faith.


A few years ago, Spouse and I both entered a historical fencing competition. I did a couple open events and Spouse did a women’s tournament and a mixed beginner’s tournament. After the women’s tournament, Spouse was thrilled at the experience she’d had – even though she’d been roundly defeated she had a chance to do good clean fencing, try fun techniques, and see others do the same – and got to enjoy the company of other women partaking in a common pastime.

Then she did the beginner’s tournament. Afterwards she was utterly defeated, not to mention covered in bruises. She said she couldn’t do anything like technique, at least against male competitors, because it was like every dude just wanted to assert dominance with a metal (or in this case, nylon) stick. She’s never competed again.

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Physical differences still come into play. Men can throw harder which makes it easier to get out of trouble, being able to throw a peel in 6 seconds vs 7.5 means you have a lot more margin of error when it comes to doubles and triples. And the men can also sweep harder which gives a bit more control of the rock. Overall this makes men’s teams a bit stronger and the elite men’s game tends to have a few more rocks in play (since they have the cleanup ability) which makes for more interesting strategy.

Of course, the difference isn’t nearly as extreme as with most other sports, top women’s teams will sometimes play men’s tour events and a women’s team even won a game at an elite-level event, but there still is a difference.

I didn’t think it was quite that bad, but he certainly seemed to be alternating between talking over her and reminding himself that he should be listening to her as well. I think the big problem is that going straight to the Olympics without the benefit of a trials was too much pressure for Morris (especially since he doesn’t really have a regular team he plays big events with) and he was almost frantic with non-stop input being the result. Certainly, Homan seemed to handle the pressure a lot better and seemed to be making better shot calls.

An oldie but certainly still a goodie:

I’ve never heard of a rethrow. The non-offending skip decides and either it gets ignored, or the rock gets pulled and any moved rocks replaced, or the non-offending skip places the rocks where they think they would have gone without the contact.

Even a little tap halfway down can easily turn into a couple inches at the other end, which can make a huge difference to the outcome of the shot.

I can’t find the video but there was actually a controversy a few years ago where at a European mixed doubles event the guy seemed to deliberately redirect the rock with his broom to win the championship.

Curling is a very simplified game of chess that requires each move to be made by pushing a 42 lb block of granite down a 150 foot sheet of ice (it was invented by the Scots, obviously), imparting just enough spin to make it go where you want, while teammates vigorously tweak the velocity and amount of curl by surgically modifying the ice conditions in front of the object.

If you have ever tried to learn how to curl, you’ll know what I’m talking about: watching the pros do their thing is jaw-dropping.

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You are entitled to your opinion on the matter, but I found it so bad that I couldn’t watch a second match with him. He was literally arguing with her over every shot and saying things like, “tell me one bad thing about this shot” that she disagreed with while he walked away from her. He was arguing with her about shots during the shot while they were sweeping it. Multiple times she would suggest a shot, he would override her, then the shot would flop and the announcers would ask, “why didn’t they just [shot Rachel suggested]”. It was disgraceful.

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There was one rethrow during the Olympics due to an illegal contact. I think it was Canada vs Korea womens’, but I don’t recall exactly because I watched about 200 hours of curling in the last week. :sweat_smile::rofl:


The fact that there is an Olympic Korean Womans curling team gives me hope that maybe things are not a dark as they seem and things will turn out ok for all of us. It is an unexpected and wonderful thing

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This really shows up in the strategy of the different groups, as well. You see a lot of men throwing bullets just to clear the field when they get in trouble, whereas the women tend to think their way out of trouble more. The men also blank the end a lot more often as a tool to hold the hammer. It’s like someone with a really good break in pool. When you can hit that hard, you can muscle your way out of needing as much skill or strategy (not meant as a dig on the men, it’s just a different style of play).

All reasons that I vastly prefer watching the women- not least because they aren’t asses to each other quite as often either. :joy: