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03-01-21 10:35AM
Icebound is offline Click Here to See the Profile for Icebound Click here to Send Icebound a Private Message Find more posts by Icebound Add Icebound to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Icebound
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
Posts: 35

5-rock FGZ Issues

In a game which... by its very nature... the last rock is a huge advantage... it appears that introduction of the 5-rock FGZ has only made this worse.

Historically, teams with the last rock in the first end would win about 60% of their games (National championships Men and Women... Brier and Hearts).

With the introduction of 5-FGZ, that has up-ticked. Last Year's Brier, it was 65%... This years Hearts, even worse at just under 70%! (69.4 in the 9-draw round-robin, 68.1 overall)

Of course there could be many factors, but it is undisputed that 5-FGZ over 4-FGZ favored the hammer team by allowing an additional protected corner guard... while offering no advantage to the non-hammer team (compared to 4-FGZ).

Although 3 years of 5-FGZ can be considered a small sample, the trend seems clear.

The question is, Is this what we really wanted?

I suppose the goal of increasing the number of rocks in play has been met, although that is hard to measure quantitatively. It hasn't shown up in the scoring... last year's Brier actually dipped to 1.30 points per end average, against the long-term 4-FGZ average of 1.35. This years Scotties did show an increase to 1.46 from the long term 4-FGZ average of 1.39.

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03-07-21 09:43PM
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cnpeters
Hitting Paint

 

Registered: Feb 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 103

Doesn’t 70 seem about right?

I mean if we allow that having hammer first is a 55/45 advantage between equal teams, then we figure that the best eight teams are going to win the draw to the button almost every time against the maritimes, Yukon, and Nunavut, and then they’re going to beat them every time in a non competitive game, 65-70 seems about right.

I don’t see a problem here. It’s more fun to watch when it’s a mess between good teams. Have 6 free guards. Eight. Fifteen. I don’t care, they’re all the best at this damn sport, let them figure it out. Chaosfest is way more fun than Blankfest.

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03-07-21 10:21PM
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IN-OFF-FOR-2
Super Rockchucker

 

Registered: Mar 2013
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Posts: 1405

A little back handed jab against teams from Atlantic Canada I'd say. Do the math, brier wins in the last 25 years for Atlantic Canada vs BC, SK and Quebec combined......with 7-8 times the population. Google it.

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03-08-21 09:33AM
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cnpeters
Hitting Paint

 

Registered: Feb 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 103

Sure.

Anyway, back to the point of first end hammer in the 2021 Scotties - I'm not entirely sure why 70% is unreasonable. The better team is going to win the hammer most of the time, and the better team is going to win the game most of the time.

And.. when there's the kind of discrepancy of experience between the professional teams and the non-professional teams, I see no reason to expect that percentage to be anything other than 70%. I think it says more about the talent/experience/opportunity deficit between the best 6 or 8 teams and everyone else than it does about the hammer.

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03-08-21 12:02PM
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Bmalky
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2019
Location: Brantford, ON
Posts: 31

I believe the biggest point is the team with the hammer in 10 has an even bigger advantage now. With the tick shot now the norm, how many teams steal the 10th for a tie or win? The team with hammer can put up two guards safely With the skill set today, they can get at almost any rock. I don't have the stats, but I would say the team with hammer in 10 wins the vast majority of games.

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03-08-21 02:13PM
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FollowingAlong
Swing Artist

 

Registered: Mar 2006
Location:
Posts: 459

quote:
Originally posted by Bmalky
I believe the biggest point is the team with the hammer in 10 has an even bigger advantage now. With the tick shot now the norm, how many teams steal the 10th for a tie or win? The team with hammer can put up two guards safely With the skill set today, they can get at almost any rock. I don't have the stats, but I would say the team with hammer in 10 wins the vast majority of games.


The constant demand/requirement for more curl in the ice has taken away the art of actually drawing behind a guard. Throw it out there so it misses the guard by a foot, but still buries is all that is necessary. That very fact makes a single guard a near-useless obstacle as anything buried behind a single guard can be nose hit with board weight. So now, two, three, four guards are required if you want to try to generate a steal opportunity.

I realize that sweeping is a part of the game, but the shotmaking itself should be more important than the ability to carve it over when the shooter has missed the broom by a foot.

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03-14-21 10:57AM
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Icebound
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
Posts: 35

quote:
Originally posted by Bmalky
I believe the biggest point is the team with the hammer in 10 has an even bigger advantage now. With the tick shot now the norm, how many teams steal the 10th for a tie or win? The team with hammer can put up two guards safely With the skill set today, they can get at almost any rock. I don't have the stats, but I would say the team with hammer in 10 wins the vast majority of games.


That is definitely shown in the 5-rock stats. Before 5-rock, the argument about 1-down-with, 1-up-without, favored the 1-up-without about 60-40. But in the 3-years of 5-FGZ, that has turned around to favoring 1-down-with by 66-44. In the mens game, anyway.

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03-15-21 09:49PM
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Icebound
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
Posts: 35

quote:
Originally posted by Bmalky
I believe the biggest point is the team with the hammer in 10 has an even bigger advantage now. With the tick shot now the norm, how many teams steal the 10th for a tie or win? The team with hammer can put up two guards safely With the skill set today, they can get at almost any rock. I don't have the stats, but I would say the team with hammer in 10 wins the vast majority of games.


This is borne out after the Brier.

It was NOT true In 4FGZ days. It was 61% in favor of the team UP-without hammer.

But in the 3 years of 5FGZ, it has turned around completely to 67% favouring the DOWN-WITH team.
Even more spectacular... if you take the 2021 brier ALONE, it was 82% !! 9 wins out of 11 such tries (admittedly a small sample)

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03-15-21 10:50PM
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Hack Weight
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Dec 2014
Location: Alberta
Posts: 34

Interesting numbers, though I don’t believe 70% to be the true win percentage of having hammer in end 1. As others have mentioned, better teams win the hammer more often, which skews the stats. If we took say only Canada Cup, Roar, Championship Pool games, and playoffs at Worlds, that might reflect more evenly skilled teams. I would say though that you don’t want the true advantage of LSFE between two even teams to be 70/30. That’s too big a disparity based on one draw to the button that isn’t even televised.

Are we headed eventually to a 6FGZ? I’m open to listening. I find that stealing ends is too difficult. It shouldn’t be easy, but you also shouldn’t feel like you have a 1/10 chance or less of winning a tied game without hammer. Also, the more you “devalue” hammer, the less blanking ends matter.

The shotmaking and sweeping and ice quality has so dramatically improved over the years. The benefit is we are treated to many good shots. The downside is there is less unpredictability. Bury a rock behind a guard? The other team will just run back the guard or throw back line and tap it out or draw the four foot with little trouble.

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03-16-21 03:33PM
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Icebound
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
Posts: 35

quote:
Originally posted by Hack Weight
Interesting numbers, though I don’t believe 70% to be the true win percentage of having hammer in end 1. As others have mentioned, better teams win the hammer more often, which skews the stats. If we took say only Canada Cup, Roar, Championship Pool games, and playoffs at Worlds, that might reflect more evenly skilled teams. I would say though that you don’t want the true advantage of LSFE between two even teams to be 70/30. That’s too big a disparity based on one draw to the button that isn’t even televised.

Are we headed eventually to a 6FGZ? I’m open to listening. I find that stealing ends is too difficult. It shouldn’t be easy, but you also shouldn’t feel like you have a 1/10 chance or less of winning a tied game without hammer. Also, the more you “devalue” hammer, the less blanking ends matter.

The shotmaking and sweeping and ice quality has so dramatically improved over the years. The benefit is we are treated to many good shots. The downside is there is less unpredictability. Bury a rock behind a guard? The other team will just run back the guard or throw back line and tap it out or draw the four foot with little trouble.

\

We can argue whether 70% or 65% (or whatever) is a good or bad number for hammer advantage. But MY point is that the 5-FGZ rule has made that worse compared to 4-FGZ.

One other thing that the 5-rock rule has done unintentionally.. is made it harder to come back.

In the 3 years prior to implementation of 5FGZ (2016-2018), 30% of Brier games that were down 2 after 4 ends, came back to win.

In last 3 years (5-FGZ), it is only 13%.

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03-16-21 06:47PM
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Icebound
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2004
Location:
Posts: 35

quote:
Originally posted by Hack Weight
Interesting numbers, though I don’t believe 70% to be the true win percentage of having hammer in end 1. As others have mentioned, better teams win the hammer more often, which skews the stats. .



I will give you that.

So I threw out all of the games involving "weak" teams... teams that did not make the top 8 in each year.

Doing that DOES balance the stats somewhat, leaving the hammer importance at about 60-40 without much difference between 4 or 5-FGZ

However, the "comebacks" issue shows up even worse:

In last 3 years, down 2 after three ends: 22% came back.
Previous 3 years: 33%

Down 2 after 6: only 5% of games came back.
Previous 3 years: 22%

And the biggie at the with-or-without in the 10th: In last 3 years, 77% won when down 1 with.
In previous 3 years, only 12% won down 1 with. Up 1 without was favored.

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03-16-21 10:27PM
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Hack Weight
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Dec 2014
Location: Alberta
Posts: 34

quote:
Originally posted by Icebound



I will give you that.

So I threw out all of the games involving "weak" teams... teams that did not make the top 8 in each year.

Doing that DOES balance the stats somewhat, leaving the hammer importance at about 60-40 without much difference between 4 or 5-FGZ

However, the "comebacks" issue shows up even worse:

In last 3 years, down 2 after three ends: 22% came back.
Previous 3 years: 33%

Down 2 after 6: only 5% of games came back.
Previous 3 years: 22%

And the biggie at the with-or-without in the 10th: In last 3 years, 77% won when down 1 with.
In previous 3 years, only 12% won down 1 with. Up 1 without was favored.



Good work. I can live with 60/40 for the team with LSFE, though that is still a big disparity that I’d prefer to be smaller.

The comeback stats have to be a red herring. I can’t think of a good reason why 5FGZ makes it more difficult to come back than 4FGZ. The team without hammer can still throw two guards. It’s easier to generate more points with hammer with the 5FGZ. If those numbers maintain for a few more years, that’s an issue. You want comebacks and unpredictability to keep viewers entertained.

The 1 down with stats make good sense. Easier to score two with hammer with the 5FGZ.

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