Rumours have been flying around since last night’s incident with the fans, about the possibility that the CCA may have invoked Section 8, Item 6 of the Rules of Curling.
What’s that you say? Well, here’s the way it appears in the rule book:
If an extreme circumstance occurs during the delivery that distracts the thrower to a significant degree, the stone may be redelivered prior to the opposition delivering their next stone.
So in essence, what was reportedly being discussed last night was the possibility that if Jeff Stoughton had missed his final shot, the CCA would have awarded him a second chance due to the crowd’s nasty chanting.
Thankfully, Stoughton made the shot and that was the end of the matter.
Now I don’t know how serious the talk was but it’s come from several very good sources who stand behind what they heard. There was a further rumour that if Stoughton had been given a second chance, he would have turned it down.
But if curling needed another black eye, that would have been it. Imagine: Stoughton misses his shot and Alberta gets in to the playoffs, only to have an umpire come out and say, “Wait a minute boys, we’re going to give Jeff a second chance to make that shot.”
It would have been bedlam.
I think it’s also fair to say that making that call probably would have been an improper interpretation of the rule. In my humble opinion, the rule is there in case of something a little more drastic such as say, a light falling onto the ice or someone throwing something onto the playing surface. Or your lead breaking his leg or something.
On the other hand, I think Stoughton’s comments to Bryan Mudryk that if they were making $3 million a year, you could boo all you want. But this is the Brier, with regular guys with day jobs.
However, you make curling a big league sport, play in the biggest arenas and add lots of beer to the equation, you have to expect something like this.
But I still don’t think you want to be giving people second chances at such an important shot.