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Vol. 56 Issue 6: April 2013

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  • Terry Jones on the amazing sights and sounds of Edmonton 2013 – and the reverberations heard throughout the sport

  • PHOTOS OF THE YEAR

    Our annual look at the best curling imagery in the world

  • CURLING FANS: LET’S GET ROWDY

    Our Brier blogger loved this “new” spectator behaviour

  • CURLING TV / WEB GUIDE

    Think April means TV curling is over? Nope – our monthly Curling TV/Web Guide has the world’s most comprehensive curling TV and online broadcast details

  • THANKS FROM THE CHAMPS

    Team Brad Jacobs, Brier champions, have a special message for their supporters

  • THE DOMINION CLUB CORNER

    “Institutional arrogance” a partial factor in the struggles facing the rural curling facility

  • THE CURLING NEWS DESK

    Two TCN scribes win national awards… Canadian deaf curlers overcome Russian ethics in world final… Latest on the annual player shuffle… Nashville country star Eric Church sees his crew try the game in Sudbury… New song “Cover of The Curling News” makes waves… Who’s in and what to expect from the Players’ Championship at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens… and more!

  • THEY SAID IT

    Our popular spotlight on who said what – featuring David Nedohin’s new pants, TSN’s busted equipment, the Northern Ontario moose call machines, Team Homan’s Academy Award, Randy Ferbey’s newfound respect, Jon Mead on Edmonton’s apologies… and more!

  • THEY SAID IT – ON TWITTER

    An all-Twitter version of They Said It – including tick shots, K-Mart’s rocks, TSN geo-blocking, missing purple hearts, a Pope-ish curling smoke signal, the fear of Hulk Homan… and more!

  • WHEN THE SUN ROSE FOR ONTARIO

    Garnet Campbell and other western curling legends came to Toronto in the 1960s and kick-started Ontario’s competitive legacy – and Bradley Sumner played with them

  • WHEELS ROLL AT NATIONALS, WORLDS

    Eric Eales on Jim Armstrong’s come-from-behind world wheelchair curling victory, plus the 2013 Canadian finals

  • JUST FOR OPENERS

    Our Senior Columnist lets ’er rip on the STOH, the Brier and more

  • …and More! Don’t delay, subscribe today!
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Memories of Shorty

As the Twitterverse is indicating, today’s passing of Ice technician maestro Shorty Jenkins – at age 77 – is being met with sadness and some amazing memories.

Our 2008 blogpost first reported his initial hospitalization and sadly, from that day forward, the curling world has steadily heard less and less from one of its favourite sons.

The Shorty Jenkins Classic, the Brockville, Ont. event that is a mainstay on the World Curling Tour, is still going strong – and there’s no doubt the September 2014 edition will be an extra-special tribute to the man who loved to wear pink.

That blogpost, above, also provided a mailing address in Trenton, Ont. where friends and fans could send messages of support. Today, that address can receive messages of great memories.

What are some of your memories of Shorty? Write in the “Comments” section below…

 

 

 

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Bad math: Curling statistics are wrong

[Håvard Vad Petersson is the longtime lead for Team Norway and skip Thomas Ulsrud, currently battling at the 2013 world men’s championship in Victoria, B.C. This opinion column appeared in the February 2013 issue of The Curling News, and has been republished here – by popular demand – for all to read, not just TCN subscribers]

The author in action at ECC 2012

By Håvard Vad Petersson

For ’spiel after ’spiel, and championship after championship, the CurlingZone or Curl IT or Canadian Curling Association or CCT/WCT crews are doing an amazing job keeping fans updated on the results of curling competitions across the globe.

At some of these events, they also provide statistics telling fans and the media how each player is performing.

After being in the business for quite a while now, I would like to tell the curling world something: these numbers are more of a lottery than a fact.

I’ll admit that the numbers have been close to fair a couple of times in my six years of championship curling, but at least 90 per cent of the time they are way off.

I’ve seen teammates outcurl their opposition, but the stats have suggested otherwise.

I’ve seen teammates who were outcurled by their opposition, but those stats have suggested otherwise.

I’ve received texts from friends and family congratulating me on a flawless game, when the truth is that I was disappointed with my performance.

I’ve come off the ice expecting numbers in the 90s, only to be surprised by a 67.

I’ve seen our national coach’s numbers differ from the official stats by up to 25 per cent! Who is right?

Most fans don’t understand “Efficiency” stats anyway: do you?

I stopped looking at these numbers ages ago. If my team is playing well, that’s all I really need to know. But when I see games on television and these numbers show up on the screen in the sixth end, and the commentators use them to tell the viewers how the players are performing, I can’t help getting upset… because the numbers are most likely wrong.

Has anyone heard stories about young curlers getting upset and wanting to quit the game because their stats are low? I have.

My Canadian friends tell me that some provinces – like Ontario – dropped all statistics services for their major championships years ago due to “negative player feedback.”

Here’s one clear example of how the stats volunteers – and they are mostly volunteers, bless their hearts – are missing the boat completely.

On swingy ice, more and more teams (European teams, at least) are drawing their first stone to the tee line or even to the back of the four-foot when leading by three points or more. This is to avoid the come-around behind a rock in the front of the tee line. No one is afraid of a freeze anymore.

Will the statisticians ever pick this up? I’m starting to think the answer is no.

Luckily for us, the games are still being decided by the team that gets the most points on the board. Thank God for that.

Because the percentages are most likely wrong.

[WCF photo (top) copyright ® by Richard Gray – click on images to increase viewing size]

[If you like this story, subscribe to The Curling News – each print issue is packed with interesting and informative curling news and features, just like this one!]