First it was the three-rock rule, then the four-rock and now, apparently it’s going to be the five-rock rule.
The Grand Slam of Curling will be the first significant organization to experiment with a five-rock free guard zone. The organization will use it at the BDO Canadian Open in Kingston, Ont., in December.
Pierre Charette, president of the World Curling Players Association, reportedly polled all the skips this week and received unanimous support for putting it in play.
The five-rock rule has only recently been debated as a possible system and a way to add even more offense to the game. The reason some are anxious to try it is that it would give the advantage back to the team with the last rock, much as the three-rock rule did when it was used during its brief life span.
I can’t really see a downside except if it creates a race to the centre of the sheet in every end. Give the Slams credit for again taking the lead in innovation and trial. It's done the eight-end change, the thinking-time clock, and on and on. Will this be another coup for the players?