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It all comes down to good timing for the Trail Curing Club

New curling timeclocks arrived last week and volunteers are still needed to assist for Tuesday's competition.
Cal and Marlene McKerracher test the timing equipment as the Trail Curling Club readies for the Senior Men’s and Women’s B.C. Championships starting Tuesday.

With the clock ticking down to the start of the Men’s and Ladies Curling championship at the Trail Curling Club next week, organizers are realizing that timing is indeed everything.

Volunteers are still needed for the big event and the most critical aspect of the championship that needs attention is timers and on-ice judges, says organizer Cal McKerracher.

“We need eight of those (judges) per game and we need eight timers. It’s a huge undertaking.”

The time clocks only arrived last week, and the committee chairperson will be training volunteers on the new timing format throughout the week at the Trail Curling club until competition commences Tuesday.

“They went from the regular timing to this ‘think’ timing,” explained McKerracher. “With the regular timing, as soon as the rock stopped they shut the clock off, and when they got ready to go, they started it again. But this one here, they start it when they deliver and shut it off when they hit the T-line.”

“Thinking time” is the allotted time for each team to complete a game.

According to Curling Canada Association rules, the time clocks run while a team deliberates about choice of shot. The clock stops when the delivering team’s stone reaches the near tee-line. The thinking time allotted each team in a 10-end game is 40 minutes.

Designed to level the playing surface for those teams that spend more time making draws, than those who play a take-out game, think timing also encourages team’s to plan their shots much quicker than before. Teams that take too long to plan shots will be penalized, while smart teams  can bank time by having a thought-out strategy — in essence, saving time by having a game plan.

Think timing was first adopted and introduced by the CCA in 2011 for the Canada Cup of Curling event in Cranbrook to help remedy the growing trend of too-long-for-TV three-hour games.

It’s the first year the think timing scheme has been adopted by Curl BC for the provincials.

In the hack: Eight mens and eight ladies teams arrive Monday with pre-event practice, team meetings, and their opening banquet at 6 p.m.

Competition starts Tuesday with draws going at noon, and 7 p.m., and the opening ceremonies taking place before the second draw at 6 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday the draws are at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Friday will see the last draw go at 9 a.m. and any tie breakers resolved during the rest of the day.

The semifinal goes at 9 a.m. and the final at 2 p.m., with the closing ceremonies scheduled for 5 p.m.

Jim Bailey

About the Author: Jim Bailey

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