15 August 2018

US star backs rule changes at Curling World Cup

WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Geving gives backing to new rule changes

Team Roth second Aileen Geving has given her backing to rule changes at the Curling World Cup, which are set to bring a new dimension to action on the ice.

Geving will represent United States in the women's competition in the first of the four-leg international series in Suzhou, China, in September and – like all curling fans - can't wait to see what impact the format changes will have.

One key alteration will see coaches positioned at ice level during matches, allowing them to interact with the athletes between ends. It's something the 31-year-old from Minnesota views as a positive innovation.

"I think it will be helpful to keep the teams on track with their goals and strategy as the game goes on," she said. "It is a reminder of what needs to be done without letting the emotions on the ice cloud any judgement. It should help the teams make smart decisions about their shot selection."

In another key rule change, teams in the women's and men's competitions will have four minutes' allocated think time for each end from ends 1-4 and four minutes 15 seconds from ends 5-8. In mixed doubles there will be two minutes 50 seconds and three minutes respectively.

Geving, twice a former USA national junior champion, calls the extra time in the crucial latter ends "valuable".

She said: "At any point in the game a poor decision could cost you a win. However, in the beginning you might have time to make up for those mistakes; nearing the end you don’t have that time, so the extra think time is really valuable and may allow for some more rocks and play and complicated ends to form."

Geving is interested to see the impact of the one-shot shoot-out that will decide tied games, rather than the traditional extra end.

She commented: "I think it is great for viewers, everything coming down to one shot. As players, though, it is hard to swallow sometimes. With long games, it seems so short to have one shot determine a game."

The inaugural Curling World Cup begins on September 12 in Suzhou, before the series progresses to Omaha, United States, in December and Jonkoping, Sweden, in January 2019, with the Grand Final taking place in Beijing, China, next May.

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