The Sun Life Classic, slated for next week in Brantford, Ont., is close to becoming the first significant curling event to try out the five-rock free-guard zone. Apparently organizers have contacted all the teams and if there's unanimous consent, they'll bring it in for next week's stop on the World Curling Tour.
The five-rock rule will be in play at the next Grand Slam event, the BDO Canadian Open in Kingston in December. But very few teams have actually played it and the Sun Life may be their first chance.
Speaking at an engagement at the Granite Club in Toronto, Kevin Martin, who will be in the field in Brantford, said he was looking forward to giving the rule a test. But he wasn't sure how it would turn out.
"We won't know if we don't give it a try," the skip told the audience at the club's 55th annual men's invitational bonspiel.
UPDATE: Apparently the organizers are now leaning towards not using the five-rock rule.