Tick shots banned from final ends at Champions Cup

April 16, 2019, 3:37 PM

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling is testing out a new rule at the Humpty’s Champions Cup next week in Saskatoon.

A “no tick zone” has been created that will apply in the eighth and extra ends only.

Rocks that are touching the centre line in the free-guard zone may not be moved by the opposing team until the sixth rock of the end.

Should a team violate the rule, it is the non-offending team’s decision to replace the rock(s) to the original position(s) or leave as is.

This rule is a modification of the five-rock rule where teams cannot remove guards from play until the sixth rock of the end. Teams have been able to work around the five-rock rule, however, by ticking the guards to the side of the sheet, thus keeping them in play but essentially rendering them useless.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling had used a “no tick zone” at the Princess Auto Elite 10 during the past few seasons although that rule applied to all ends and not just the eighth and extra ends.

Even the five-rock rule was tested in a few Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events — first at the 2011-12 Canadian Open — before the series made it official in 2014 after approval from players during a summer meeting.

The 2019 Humpty’s Champions Cup starts next Tuesday at Merlis Belsher Place and features 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams who have won high-profile events in order to qualify.