There are three instances when measuring rocks may be necessary: At the start of an end to determine if a rock is in the free guard zone or biting the house, during the end to determine if a rock has exited the back of the house and when attempting to determine the score after all rocks have been thrown. In order to help with measuring biters and for points, a few instructional videos have been created.
The Granite Curling Club has two measuring devices. One is kept at either end of the arena along the east wall. A picture of the devices and the proper location to store them is shown below (note the biter bar is on the left and the rock measuring device is on the right). The measuring devices should be returned to these locations when they are not in use. People sometimes mistakenly attempt to store the rock measuring device under the platform, but it does not fit in this location, nor is it secure. Attempting to store it under the platform will result in damage to the device!
With all things, there's a correct way to measure. This document attempts to help inform people of the process. With all of the measures that will be described below, the following actions are necessary and proper.
- 1. After obtaining the biter bar or measuring device, place it on the ice behind the hack and allow it to cool down. Gently move it around -- you may observe that it is leaving runs in the ice prior to it cooling down.
- 2. Lift the device with two hands. The right hand holds the device near the pin.
- 3. Approach the house from the hack (back). Avoid walking near or over any rocks in play.
- 4. Set the device down in the house away from the rocks (90 degrees away if possible). Lower the right hand last and set the point outside of the pin.
- 5. Gently slide the device towards the pin. Allow the point to slide into the pin and come to a resting point.
- 6. Move the device clockwise with a single finger. Never press down on the bar as this may deflect the device and change the measure.
- 7. Never pass back over a rock. Never swing the device counter clock wise. Each pass along a rock has the potential to move the rock.
Free Guard Zone Measure
The following video shows how a free guard zone measure is done. This type of measure can be done following the first, second or third rock of an end. It may also be used to determine points after all rocks have been thrown (assuming all the rocks are of the same color and at least one appears to be biting the house).
When using this device, be careful not to move the rocks. If the bar comes in contact with a rock, it may inadvertently deflect the rock to a slightly different location. To this end, approach the rock slowly -- never swing the device -- and carefully inspect the measure. The biter bar may come very close to touching the rock without touching, so be mindful of any amount of gap between the rock and the bar.
Do not move the rocks after a free guard zone measure is complete.
Two and Three Rock Measures
When measuring for points, there are two basic considerations to account for. Are there no more than two rocks to measure? If the answer is yes, then follow the "Two Rock Measure" process to measure. If no, then follow the "Three Rock Measure" process. The later describes a scenario where there are at least three rocks to measure and one of the rocks (obviously) is an alternate color.
Two Rock Measure
The two rock measure is the simplest type of point measure. Be sure to follow the steps in the guidelines provided above. The video provided below will show you how this process is done.
Three Rock Measure
When three or more rocks are too close to call visually, this process will help to determine the score. Be sure to follow the steps in the guidelines provided above and perform the process shown in the video. In this type of measure, it's important to start with the odd colored rock. As the video shows, there are two blue rocks to measure and one red. Thus, the red rock is used as the basis. It will score a point if and only if all blue rocks are further away.
By following the steps provided in this document and shown on the video, measuring rocks will be easy and straight forward. To get the best measure possible, be exact with the devices available. For example, when setting the arm to measure rocks for points, lock the mechanism in place as close to the rock as you can get it. The dial should only move a tiny amount when passing the first rock. This is helpful for two important reasons. The most beneficial is that if the arm set very close to the first rock, when the second rock is measured, the arm will either not touch the rock or move a great distance. This technique will make the measure obvious even to bystanders and leave little question as to the effectiveness of the measure. The second reason for closely setting the armature is that you never want the dial to lap over itself. For example, a poor setup may cause the hand on the dial to spin around more than once. This becomes ambiguous and opens a series of problems and questions about the effectiveness of the measure.
More details on performing a measure can be found in the USCA handbook. Additionally, the Granite Curling Club provides training for Officials (people interested in helping with competitions such as a National level event). If you have any questions on the topics discussed here, please see one of the club's officials: Joe Roberts (Level 3 Apprentice), Joel Russ (Level 3 Apprentice), Jeremy Dinsel (Level 3 Apprentice), etc.