Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More athlete scrutiny: ice marks

TORONTO (Not Calgary Again) – More whispers abound, this time that the CCA is looking closely at what curling countries are doing about the new World Curling Federation rule regarding athlete “damage” to the ice surface.

The rule came out in the fall – highlighting a three-step disciplinary process for said damage – and Scotland, for one, jumped on it immediately.

That’s right, folks. The final step in the process is heavy: player expulsion from the game!

There are also reports that the CCA has quietly spoken to certain athletes (and they have been doing so throughout the season) about their own chances – or likelihood, barring changes to personal tendencies – of being nabbed in this web.

It’s a web which gets spun very seriously a little over a week from now in Gangneung, Korea at the Mount Titlis World Women’s Championship and then next month at the 50th anniversary Ford World Men’s in Moncton.

The above funny photo (by Anil Mungal, of course, courtesy of Capital One) is from the fall Tour season, and is light in tone.

But John Morris took some serious flak at last year’s Brier – and the one before that – regarding knee and hand prints on the ice and to be perfectly fair, he “didn’t do anything different than (he’d) been doing all year.”

Check out some of the players in Calgary after they’ve released their stones, or as they sweep, particularly with dual grippers on their shoes.

As the worlds draw closer, have you noticed any differences?

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