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2021.11.18

Canadian trials preview

The Canadian Olympic trials start on Saturday in Saskatoon, punctuating four years of the best Canadian curlers hurting the feelings of friends and reorganizing teams in order to position themselves for a run at a trip to Beijing in February. This is one of the best events on the calendar. Considering the strength of the […]

2021.11.02

McCarville’s crazy comeback

In the Canadian Olympic pre-trials last weekend, Krista McCarville trailed Mackenzie Zacharias 7-3 heading to the tenth end. The game wasn’t televised but the tenth end looked like this in text form: Even with lead Sarah Potts apparently hogging her second shot, Team McCarville scored four – and then stole one in the extra end […]

2021.10.19

2021 GSOC Masters preview

Not much time for me this week so I’ll just leave you with some probability tables based on the latest ratings for the first slam of the season, the Masters. (Naming the slams after golf tournaments is my least favorite thing about the slams, BTW.) It’s a triple-knockout format leading to an 8-team playoff. Here […]

2021.10.12

Decisions, decisions

The last couple weeks we’ve talked about the choices made by teams on their first shot of an end in the very specific case of when hammer is down one. But let’s expand that. Here’s the guard percentage for non-hammer in each end for various leads: The only decisions top teams really make on the […]

2021.10.06

Rachel Homan loves guards

Last week we looked at the tendency of the team throwing the first stone to guard and how that is strongly related to whether an end is even or odd. In this post, we’ll look at the tendency of the hammer team in these circumstances. Let’s get right to the graph. (This blog is going […]

2021.09.29

Brendan Bottcher hates guards

Throwing in on the first shot of the game might be cowardly, but later in the game, throwing in on your first shot is a matter of tactics. And looking at how teams handle this decision provides some insight into how modern curlers think about the game. If the difference in score is two or […]

2021.09.22

Watch City showdown

In a perfect world, I would have done a Monte Carlo simulation of the Canadian Olympic Trials process, which begins Wednesday night, but it’s kind of a pain to run a Monte Carlo for a triple-knockout, let alone a four-stage process involving a mix of triple-knockout and round robin portions and optional tie-breakers and playoffs. […]

2021.09.14

Coward’s curling

One of my favorite discoveries from shot data is that when teams tried a draw (as opposed to a guard) on the first shot of the game in the 2021 men’s worlds, they went 4-32 (11.1%). When teams tried to throw a guard on the first shot, they went 29-32 (47.5%). It’s pretty neat when […]

2021.09.08

Karrick Martin loves in-turns

Anyone who’s watched a broadcast of a major curling event has been confronted with shot percentages. And if you’re a nerd like me, you’ve considered better ways to measure a player’s performance. But I’m going to keep it positive here and note that I am thankful for any data that goes beyond points scored. On […]

2021.09.02

True win probability

Knowing one’s exact win probability at any stage of a curling game is not possible. However, it can be estimated using the past results from similar cases. If you’re up 2 with 6 ends to go with hammer, the past can inform us about your future. In the history of curling there have been tens […]

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