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<smallfont><b><a href=CurlingZone > Chat Forums > General Curling Chat > Rock Talk > The evolution from Moncton Rule to FGZ

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04-06-20 05:12PM
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curlingclips
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The evolution from Moncton Rule to FGZ

I'm a new fan, so I'm still figuring out the lore and history of the sport.

From what I understand, the FGZ rule was born from Russ Howard's Moncton Rule idea.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/curling/gl...ession-curling/

As a quick summary, Moncton Rule was "first 4 rocks of an end (ANYWHERE) can not be removed from play (ANYTIME) by either team (ANYONE)".

From this, they made three changes.

re: ANYWHERE, they changed it so that it only protects rocks in FGZ (outside the house above tee line).

re: ANYTIME, they changed it so that the protection is only temporary.

re: ANYONE, they changed it so that you can remove your own protected rocks.

Does anyone know why these changes were made? I can see why the ANYONE aspect is perhaps not really necessary, and that the ANYTIME aspect needed to change, because it added quite a bit of unnecessary complexity to the viewers (How to keep track which rocks are protected? What if rocks are transferred between throwers?).

But why change the ANYWHERE aspect by defining the FGZ? That's a lot more complicated than just saying the rocks are protected regardless of where they are. By defining FGZ, we now introduce more complexity with the biter bar, visual inspection on the lines, how do you even use the biter bar if there's a rock covering the pin, etc.

Can anyone shed a light on this bit of history?

Note that mixed doubles kept the ANYWHERE and ANYONE aspects of the original Moncton Rule (neither team can remove any stone), and dropped the ANYTIME aspect by making the protection temporary and only for the first 5 stones of an end (2 pre-positioned + 3 thrown).

Last edited by curlingclips on 04-06-20 at 06:05PM

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04-06-20 05:47PM
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I found this article from Don Landry, who also advocated that we restore the ANYWHERE aspect of the Moncton Rule to prevent the prototypical first end blanks.

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/e...-141306362.html

quote:

You've seen it a million times. First stone into the four foot. Team with hammer then has a choice: Toss up a corner guard and mix it up or - and this happens far too often - hit the first rock out of the rings. Then the other team follows suit. And so on and so on.
[...]
That doesn't happen solely in the first end, but the lion's share of times, that's when you get it.

In what other sport do you get opponents ever tacitly agreeing to not trying to score? Yet we get it in curling time and time again.

There's a possible solution to that.

Instead of only stretching the four-rock rule out to be a five-rock rule, why not modify it further and make it illegal to hit any rock out of play - be it a guard or a stone in the house - until after the fifth rock comes to rest?

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04-07-20 12:27AM
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On a related note, I just got Brian Chick's e-book, Written in Stone: A Modern History of Curling, and it was mentioned that the Northern Alberta Curling Association had written some 6-7 pages worth of anti-FGZ manifesto in 1992.

Unfortunately this was not included in the book itself, but does anyone know where I can find and read it?

//edit: of course I'll also take other sources of information regarding people's viewpoint on Moncton Rule/FGZ at this time as well, with a specific interest from those that were against it.

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04-22-20 11:55AM
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Paul Savage on Curling Legends claimed that they used to practice a game called "bugger", where they weren't allowed to hit for the entire game! He said this predated Russ Howard & Moncton Rule. Sounds quite believable to me that this rule existed, regardless of when and who came up with it.

http://curling.libsyn.com/podcast/e...l-savage-part-1 (about 9 minutes in)

On a somewhat related note, I found this timeline of all the rule changes for baseball, starting from 1857(!!).

https://www.baseball-almanac.com/rulechng.shtml

It'd be nice to have something like that for curling.

Last edited by curlingclips on 04-22-20 at 01:05PM

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04-30-20 07:42PM
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Clarification. ANYTIME is not accurate. Any rock could be removed after the first 4 rocks of the end. The simplest way of considering the difference is what you said, ANYWHERE. Note, Canada adopted the 3 rock FGZ in 93-94 season (though some bonspiels played in the season prior used the rule). I grew up in Manitoba and we used to also practice with a one hit per end rule. We learned it from the older juniors, and they learned it from their elders, and so on.

I posted the drag shot from the semifinals of the Moncton 100 (search on YouTube). I have the last 2.5 ends of the game and will post it eventually as well.

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05-02-20 12:17AM
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This article from GSOC made it clear that at least at the very beginning, Moncton Rule is ANYONE can't remove the first 4 rocks ANYWHERE at ANYTIME.

https://thegrandslamofcurling.com/w...five-rock-rule/

quote:
In the 1980s, Russ Howard came up with the “Howard Rule” based on a practice drill his team used where the first four rocks in play could not be removed at any point during an end regardless of where they were placed. This kept more rocks in play and made for a more interesting game. It was used at an event in Moncton, which is why it’s also referred to as the “Moncton Rule”, and was a hit with the players.


It may have evolved by the time of the Moncton 100 footage that you have so that the rule was essentially "no takeout for either lead".

The timeline and debate of this evolution process is not very well documented, which is why I'm quite interested in it.

Last edited by curlingclips on 05-02-20 at 12:24AM

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05-02-20 12:40AM
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Not correct. Rocks could be removed from play after leads rocks. According to Bob Weeks in Curling Etc "The rule stated that leads could not play takeouts on rocks anywhere between the hog line and the tee line." As I said, also have a copy of the semi-final and you can watch the play. Will post on YouTube eventually.

Jonathan's article might be incorrect or it could be strangely written in that the Howard's practice would not allow those 4 rocks to be removed but the bonspiel clearly allowed for any rock removed after lead stones.

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05-02-20 12:44AM
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Very interesting. Ian Tetley sent me the official letter they received and it states an even stranger rule (that was eventually replaced by Howard Rule)...

"We'd also like to suggest our own blank end rule as follows: Each team will be given an allowance of two (2) blank ends per game and may use them at any time during the first 9 ends, without penalty, If, however, further blank ends are used, then a penalty (loss of the hammer) will be imposed. there will be no carry-over of unused blank ends permitted. Both of these amendments are suggestions only at this time. As mentioned above, they will be discussed at the team meeting before any final action is taken"

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05-02-20 03:38PM
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I'm not trying to argue with you about what the rules were at the Moncton 100. You have the footage (among other things) so I'm sure you know a lot better than me.

The rule evolved over time, is my main point, with many variations and changes along the way. Examining this process is what I'm interested in, and the Paul Savage comment suggests that perhaps their "bugger" rule may be the grand daddy of it all (no takeouts for the entire game, period!).

For what it's worth, George Karrys did unearth the Northern Alberta anti-FGZ paper, but hasn't posted the content yet. This, and other documents like it, would be a fascinating read.

https://twitter.com/gonzocurl/statu...0034137095?s=21

Last edited by curlingclips on 05-03-20 at 03:22PM

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06-16-20 10:57PM
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curlingclips
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This video from 1991 is fascinating!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uoo-VYRmp1A

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