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Registered: Mar 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
USCA rules question - double touch
It was mentioned by an official at a USCA event earlier this year that "double-touching" during delivery was no longer illegal (releasing the rock then touching it again before it crosses the hog line).
I don't see anything in the rule book regarding this and in fact, as the rules read, this would still be considered a burned rock: "(a) Between the tee line at the delivering end and the hog line at the playing end:
(i) If a moving stone is touched, or is caused to be touched, by the team to which it belongs, or by its equipment, the touched stone is removed from play immediately by that team."
No exception seems to be made for the deliverer of the stone. Can someone provide clarification?
Because it's hazy and not clearly defined whether that same rule applies to the thrower, it's largely open for interpretation by the officials. I suppose it depends on where you define the stone as "moving". Is it immediately upon release by the thrower, or is it once it crosses the near hog line?
I guess I didn't really provide clarification, did I.....
I haven't officiated in CAN for 4 yrs but the last time we were told by the head official to ignore any double touches. Now that most major event have electronic hog lines and minor events don't use officials, it seems that this is no an ex-rule no matter what is in the book.
(this is my understanding only, not an official position of anyone, I don't have authority to speak for anyone at any time on anything curling related...I'm just a hopefully soon certified level 2...waiting for the paperwork to come back)
We are instructed in our training, our pre spiel briefs, and just about everyplace else to give the benefit of the doubt to the players, and not to interfere in other than clear infractions...if there is any doubt, we are to let it go (although keeping a watchful eye to see if a pattern has developed, and if the line gets pushed too far...).
Since there aren't hog line judges on 99% of deliveries at sensor handle competitions, there isn't anyone who is in a good position to see a "double tap"...the on ice officials are behind the shooter, or in front of them at the other end of the ice. Even if there are hog line judges at a competitive spiel, they're watching with laserlike focus on the hog line, not what goes on before then...they are also usually watching multiple sheets at a time as well.
So, it would be on the opposing skip to protest...and as they would (likely) be at the other end of the ice, they are also in a bad place to see accurately.
As such....it's almost never going to get called.
From a "Yeah, I get that...but is it *legal*?" perspective...there is a hole in the rules...the implication of the "You must release by the Hog line" is that the delivering curler gets to maintain control of the stone up until a millimeter short of the hog line if they wish...the intent of the "Touch is not allowed" rule is to prevent sweeper interference (purposeful or inadvertent) with a running stone.
I would argue (and have had other officials argue as well) that since the "no touching" rule is not in with the delivery rule, that the rules regarding delivery take priority over the no touch rule with regards to actions allowed or not during delivery, and since the shooter is entitled to control the stone through to the hog line, a "double tap" is not something that we should be concerned with.
The technology of the sensor handles is in line with this as well, as they just sense if someone is touching the stone at hog cross, not how many times someone has touched and released it while in motion past the T (good luck programming a sensor to do that...)
Again, that is NOT an official ruling, just what someone who acts as an official would think if confronted with the question.
If the rulebook is vague or has a gray area, let's use some common sense. Is there really any advantage to double touching a rock? What unfair advantage is the other team gaining from doing this? I don't care if a team is doing cartwheels up until the hogline, as long as they release the rock when they are supposed to.
My understanding is, as long as it's part of the player's regular delivery, it's legal. Since you don't know if a player "adjusts" their grip during delivery on a regular basis, it's not against the rules.
quote:Originally posted by mgulseth If the rulebook is vague or has a gray area, let's use some common sense. Is there really any advantage to double touching a rock? What unfair advantage is the other team gaining from doing this? I don't care if a team is doing cartwheels up until the hogline, as long as they release the rock when they are supposed to.