Monday, February 22, 2010

Curling etiquette

So the grand controversy at the curling arena this week is the amount of noise happening in the place. At least one skip blamed the noise for distracting her when she was getting ready to make her shot, which she then proceeded to miss and cost her the game.

Curling is kind of like golf with that etiquette. Noise is good. However, noise when a player is making a shot, especially noise designed to deliberately screw up the player when they're trying to make the shot is frowned upon.

I've been going back and forth on this for a couple of days now, trying to figure out what I think of it all. The commentators for the curling basically said that the players should toughen up and deal with it. That most of them are thrilled with the crowd response, especially given the size of the crowds they normally curl in front of. Which is to say when the Olympics were in Italy back in 2006 they would be curling in front of dozens of people, as opposed to 6,000 crazed maniacs.

Still, I think there's a fine line between being enthusiastic and being obnoxious. Cheering for your team is one thing, deliberately making noise to try and screw up the other players is something else. And I'll forgive so much because there are a lot of people at the games who have never attended a curling game before, so they don't know the etiquette. And God knows I loved the singing of the national anthem during the Canada vs. Great Britain game the other night.

I don't know, I just wish we were a little better than that. You can rant and roar and cheer without being jackasses. There's a thin line between cheering for your team and just being obnoxious and I think we crossed that line a few too many times in the last few days. I don't mind the noise, but I do mind deliberately trying to distract players. That's just bad sportsmanship.

But, you know, other than that, it's been a fun week of curling. I still can't really find it in my heart to cheer for Kevin Martin, although I have to admit he's curling very well. I'm glad to see Norway doing so well. Those are magic pants, my friends. And it's always nice to see new people discover the sport. Of course, that also brings out the people who mock the sport a bit. Some of it is pretty harmless and meant in good fun, like the Simpsons episode the other week and Misery Loves Sherman, one of my favourite web comics.

Of course, there have also been some pretty negative comments as well, ones that have gotten me a touch annoyed. I had to resist the urge to start yelling at someone on a friend's Facebook page the other day. I'm very protective of my sport, apparently. I just resist the urge to be stupid about it. After all, I was the one mocking some people on Twitter and Facebook last night for losing their collective minds when Canada lost to the US in hockey.

At least the curling has been good. This has been a bit of a letdown of an Olympics. And I'm not talking just about the medal count. I honestly do try and not fixate on that too much. But this just feels like a disappointing Olympics. Between the weather problems, the security issues (both lax and overbearing, if possible). Even CTV's coverage hasn't been doing that much for me. I wish the CBC were doing it again.

I guess it's hard to live up to the months of hype, but I keep thinking it'll be nice next week when regular programing resumes. It's been fine and all, but I think I'm about done now.

Note: I nearly forgot this. A cute little quiz via Mental Floss, one of my favourite magazines. Can you tell the difference between a curling term and a Quidditich term. By the way, not as easy as you might think. I only got nine out of 11 and I had to guess a few times. Feel free to post up your score in the comments section.

Note 2: Pay no mind to this...I've signed up for something and they need this code in a blog post to verify it's actually my blog. EAVB_QTPRUADCUJ

Last Five
1. Dance hall days - Wang Chung
2. Babooshka - Kate Bush
3. River blue - Oh Susanna*
4. Walk away - Tom Waits
5. Fel like myself - Brendan Benson


Morena said...

Just did the quiz and got 7 of 11 correct. However, the only 2 I actually knew were Bonspiel and Wronski Feint. The rest were just lucky guesses.

Shanlee said...

7 for me too. I curl all the time and some of those terms I've never ever heard of. Ever. Thank goodness for bonspiel - it was really the only word I knew! :)

John Mutford said...

It's been forever since I've curled and I also didn't see the footage of her shot, but couldn't she have waited for the noise to subside? Was that an option?

towniebastard said...

I think they were deliberately making noise any time she got into the hack, or even when she was in the process of making the shot. Yeah, she might have been able to stop, but that kind of thing does get into your head after a bit.

Also, all teams are on the clock. So if you're sitting in the hack, waiting for things to get quiet, you're burning precious time you might need later in the game.

Anonymous said...

I'm of mixed feeling here too - on one hand, curlers are (or should be) used to a certain level of noise, because any numebr of oddities can be going on in the club while you're trying to curl. At hubby's annual work bonspiel, the guys would be curling to the joyful sounds of the wives drunken karaoking it up in the next room, piped in over loudspeakers. It was just an oddness of that club's sound system.

There are four sheets, all with games going, and all at different points of the game - while one is getting rady to throw a stone, another could be calling for more sweeping, cheering a good throw, etc. It's not for the faint of heart.

But malicious noise for the sake of noise... no. Not very Canadian. Feel free to sing the anthem, or cheer, etc, but not maliciously.

As for Kevin Martin - you don't gotta like the guy, but he's playing extremely well. Personally, I dislike Mark Kennedy and John Morris more. Don't have any real reason, except Mark seems over excited, and John Morris' name has always bugged me.

Oh, and I got 8 on the quiz. But that was pure fluke.


William Burton said...

Imagine for a moment if you will Derek Jeter stepping up to the plate only to be heckled by a verbally abusive fan. Derek swings and misses, he tosses a fit because a fan yelled or made some indirect noise that cost him a swing. Professionals should by now, know how to tune out distractions of any kind.

I couldn't imagine a goaltender in hockey sulking because fans were making noise. Look how poise they are. Curlers, take note.

The Perfect Storm said...

"Suck it up Princess" or words to that effect.

Although I bemoan the coarsening of the world, sport is already rather a dignified way to get your aggression out (check out that thing that the Trojans and the Athenians foisted upon us from 2000+ years ago).

I am always a little amused when Tiger (well, "that" too, but for another time) gets all huffy about someone sniffling, or a plane flying overhead while he's lining up a drive. Watch a clip of The Great One driving to the net, or Jordan (the Gretzky of basketball if you are not near a Google) and you will see sheer pandimonium.

They were great and did so in conditions that Tiger only experienced....well, also after a tournament win.

In other words if someone is intentionally trying to throw a match, then that is the issue. Noise and sports are like beer and sports. One was made for the other.

(Oh by the way, anyone know how the Greeks managed to do "ice" hockey back in the day?)