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The Going for the Gold Issue

This Web Exclusive was featured in Volume 3, Issue 1 of techlife magazine.

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Curling terms

Curling has a language all its own, and sometimes an interpreter comes in handy. Take, for instance, these unusual-sounding terms.

Hogged rock

No, there’s nothing porcine involved. Instead, it refers to a thrown rock that fails to cross the far hog line (a line in the ice 4.57 metres in front of the rings). Kevin Martin’s lead Ben Hebert had a hogged rock during the world men’s curling championship earlier this year in Moncton; suffice to say, he took a few jabs from his teammates.

Free guard zone

A rule introduced in the early 1990s that prevents guards (rocks in the area between the hog line and the tee line, excluding the house) from being removed until the fifth rock of each end.

Before that rule, Martin’s teams would take an early lead and then start hitting everything in sight, an extremely defensive strategy that bored fans and led to the rule change. Now, he uses the new rule to his advantage by employing an all-out offensive strategy early in games, using the guards to his benefit.

Peel weight

Diagram showing how peel weight affects curling rocks

Yellow: Team Martin’s Rock

Red: Opponent’s Rock

Nobody throws peel weight better than Martin. It’s considered the hardest-thrown takeout, and is delivered with malice aforethought in order to remove rocks or guards from play.

Martin throws peel weight more accurately than any player on the planet – a must because sweepers have basically no effect on the rock.

Around the clock

Diagram explaining the "around the clock" shot

Yellow: Team Martin’s Rock

Red: Opponent’s Rock

A rare curling shot that is all about angles: a thrown rock glances off a series of rocks and each deflection changes the direction of the thrown rock, almost to the point where it’s coming back towards the thrower. Martin made one of these to beat Randy Ferbey in a memorable game at the 2008 Alberta provincial championship in Spruce Grove. — Allen Cameron