Mixed doubles curling
The inaugural Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials kicked off today and will be held from March 14-17, 2013 at the Leduc Recreation Centre and Leduc Curling Club in lovely Leduc, Alberta.
What's the consensus on mixed curling? From what I've heard it's mixed. (See what I did there?)
Personally, I don't really have an opinion yet. It might be one of those things that grows on me.
I've talked to some curlers and they hate it. Many of the curlers I've talked to call it a novelty. They hate the chasing up to the rock and sweeping. They hate the fact that curling associations are pushing mixed curling as the next big thing, even going as far as to suggest that mixed curling will be part of the Olympics in by 2018.
In the spirit of openness and honesty, I've never given mixed doubles a shot. Maybe I should play it a few times before I make my opinion.
Saying that, the more that I've thought about it, there is some things I like about mixed doubles curling.
Here's a list of things that intrigue me about the discipline of mixed doubles:
One: It gets more women involved. Curling is largely a male domain. Heck, the other night at my curling club's mixed league, of the 32 players on the ice, only six were women.
Anything that can get more women involved is a good thing.
Two: Different strategy. With more rocks in play it looks like a fun game. Additionally, with only two players, it gets both players involved in strategy and forces you to make different shots. At the very least it's good practice for regular curling.
Three: Helps people make the leap from a novice curler to a more experienced curler. In mixed doubles curling you have to be a good all-around player. I see a lot of curlers who have become one-dimensional over the years because all the do is play lead or skip. Mixed doubles will help you step up your game the more you play.
Four: My men's team will end up only going in two bonspiels this year. Know why? With four guys with different family and work schedules it's just too hard to get us all together at the same time. It would be easier with just two teammates.
Five: Offence. The mixed doubles curling offers a lot of offence. Who doesn't like offence?
Six: Fast. With only five rocks for each team an end I will assume that mixed doubles can get a game in in about 90 minutes, which is good for curlers and for television.
Seven: More curling. Are you going to argue against more curling?
Saying that, mixed doubles has a lot of room to grow. It will be interesting to see if any curling clubs start up mixed doubles leagues in the future or offer up mixed doubles bonspiels. People have to try it before they knock it.