But was it cheating?

Calgary Herald columnist Al Cameron has launched a great new blog and today I noticed an interesting post he wrote about Russian skip Liudmila Privivkova’s team and an alleged (foot wedge) sweeping violation they committed that has caused somewhat of a stir:

Sweeping used to be the one big area where you’d find rulebreakers who used dumping techniques — in essence, moving debris in front of the rock with their brooms in an attempt to either slow it down or adjust its line — to some perceived advantage, although the big problem today, I think, is that nobody really understands the convoluted language of modern sweeping rules, so it’s tough to actually break the rules.

Here is the visual evidence from Youtube:

So, what do you think? We’d like to know.

For the record we think its looks a little suspicious and here is what Al Cameron thought:

First of all, I tip my cap to anyone who can use their foot that precisely to help make a shot, so I have an extremely hard time believing she did it on purpose. I believe it was purely accidental.

But — and this is a Sir Mix-A-Lot big but — I also have an extremely hard time believing she didn’t know her foot had touched the running stone, and therefore, it was up to Ezekh (the sweeper on left) to tell someone she’d done it. And, after a round of oh-so-Euro high-fives all around, she did no such thing. And that’s reprehensible. In Canada, a player who did that would be, quite rightly, ostracized as a cheat and would have a hard time finding a new team.

Looking for a Curling contributor!

[photopress:392_jones_jennifer.jpg,full,centered]
Are you a curling enthusiast? Are you an amazing writer and journalist? Then you are perfect for CurlingRink.ca.

CurlingRink.ca is looking for an outgoing individual who loves curling to join our team as a Curling Writer and Community Manager. The Curling Writer and Community Manager will contribute to our online community as well as explore the web for more content to incorporate in our site. With the bloggers’ excellent writing skills, he/she will post blogs about the Brier, the Grand Slam, what’s going on in competitive curling, and other events on our website for our up and coming online community.

If you have something to say – we’ll give you the avenue to say it. Please drop us a line if you’re that person, we’d love to hear from you. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk about curling at a national level.

Please send correspondence to: courses2007@ontgolf.ca

Greg Stremlaw named Canadian Curling Association CEO

[photopress:gregStremlaw3.jpg,full,alignleft]Following the departure of Dave Parkes in May, the Canadian Curling Association has named Greg Stremlaw as it’s new CEO.

Stremlaw, a native of Niagara Falls Ontario is not a curler but he surely knows his way around the business of sport. His resume has seen him helm a number of sports organizations and that experience serve him well in his new position. He will begin his duties at the CCA in May.

Currently a resident of Cambridge, Ontario, Stremlaw was most recently the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort in Kitchener, where he has been employed since 2002. Prior to that, he worked as Director, Sport Services & Bobsleigh/Luge for the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA) from 1996-2002, which included his role as Race Chairman/Race Director for all International World Championships/World Cup events in the sports of Skeleton, Luge and Bobsleigh.

He also holds degrees from the University of Miami (Masters of Sports Management) in Coral Gables, Florida, the University of Maine (Masters of Business Administration) in Orono, Maine and the University of Western Ontario (Bachelor of Arts in Commerce) in London, Ontario.

Certainly part of Stremlaw’s job will be to restore confidence in an organization that has seen it’s share of controversy. A number decisions made by his predecessor Parkes including ones involving the TV schedule have left the CCA struggling to gain the trust of the Canadian curler. It should prove interesting to watch how Stremlaw makes his mark in his new role.

One thing is sure, we’ll all be watching.

Curling stones from Ailsa Craig – Scotland

[photopress:ailsacraig.jpg,full,centered]Â

If you’ve ever wondered where curling stones come from, I uncovered this interesting story about Ailsa Craig, an island off of Scotland. Apparently there was a mass operation to gather stones from this protected island.

A MAJOR operation is under way to take 1,500 tons of granite from Ailsa Craig — to meet the demand for new curling stones. And Scottish women’s curling successes in Olympic and World championships have given a boost to the six-week enterprise. For it is envisaged the game will gain new popularity in the wake of the triumphs. And Ayrshire firm Kays of Scotland are ready to produce new stones to meet the anticipated demand. Mauchline-based Kays have exclusive rights for the unique Ailsa Craig granite, and the firm has ferried heavy lifting machinery from Girvan harbour on to the rock. A company spokesman said: “Weather held us back, but we finally got the machinery on to the island, and we’re now ferrying granite twice or three times each day.”

Kays stress that the operation, originally scheduled for a year ago, has been planned in co-operation with the conservation watchdogs at Scottish Natural Heritage. And it is understood that no blasting or quarrying is taking place — large granite boulders being simply collected from former quarries. Most of the larger speckled ‘Common Ailsa’ boulders will come from the south end of the island, while the rarer ‘Blue Hone’ will be collected from the north. Ailsa Craig’s large gannet colony — boasting more than 20,000 pairs — is located on the west of the island, and should be unaffected by work which is now at the halfway stage.

Makes for interesting read, check out the entire article here.

2007 – A Brief Recap – The year of Glenn Howard?

[photopress:howard07.jpg,full,alignleft] As summer approaches and many of us stop thinking about curling for the summer I thought it would be a good idea to recap a few thoughts as I enter my summer curling hibernation. So, with that – here goes:

  • The year of Glenn Howard? – A Brier win, a world championship, and handled it all with grace to boot. Hard to imagine a better year for Glenn and his team from the Coldwater & District Curling Club. Neat to see him finally establish himself as a leader in the sport and step out from his big brother’s shadow to a certain extent.
  • Will we see another Brier here in Southern Ontario again anytime soon? It was a great event to attend – but I would have to say at this point its a real longshot. The crowds were sparadic in Hamilton and as such it seems like centraizing Briers around locations like Edmonton, Winnipeg and Regina makes the most sense for the sport. It is a ‘big arena’ sport now it would seem
  • CurlTV – has it turned the corner? It has been neat to watch the progress of CurlTV as they try and establish themselves as an online ‘TV’ destination. The quality of the product has improved greatly in the past year, but the business model of ad and subscription supported online video remains to be seen. Maybe in ’07-08?
  • And what about CurlQuebec.tv ?
  • Curling on the Internet – seems to be coming along nicely. CurlingZone.com still appears to be the centre of the universe for the average (and avid) curler, but other sites like InTheHack.com with its news stream and the Curling Show with its impressive curling podcast interviews still have much to offer curlers online. And don’t forget blogs as well, the Curling News blog is the gold standard with upstarts like our humble blog (CurlingRink.ca) trying to add something as well. Look for more in ’07-08…

Have a great summer everyone!!

Team at CurlingRink.ca

Some photos from the Brier 1-2 game

[photopress:howard_gushue.jpg,full,centered]

Had a chance to take in tonight’s 1-2 page playoff game at the Tim Horton’s Brier in hamilton – between Brad Gushue and Glenn Howard. My first ever Brier game (hopefully not the last).

Despite the fact that Gushue played really well, Glenn Howard and his team just couldn’t get it together tonight. A number of uncharacteristic misses by the Ontario team led to a 4-0 deficit after 2 ends. Howard rallied in the 10th to make it interesting, but the 2nd half of tonight’s match was relatively uninspiring.

Here are a couple quick photos – and by the way – in case you were wondering, getting good seats for tonight’s game was a snap. We walked up for seats right before the match and had plenty of really good seats to pick from…Â

[photopress:pregame.jpg,full,centered]
Pre-game at the Brier

[photopress:howard_slide.jpg,full,centered]
Glenn Howard of Midland, Ontario

[photopress:nicholls_slide.jpg,full,centered]
Olympic champ Marc Nichols of NFLD

/* ]]> */