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5 Rock Rule

The OCC is implementing the World Curling Federation and Curling Canada five-rock free guard zone, which started officially this season.


The following explanation of this rule appeared September 19, 2017 on the Grand Slam of Curling website.

The “five-rock free guard zone” is simply an alteration to the previous “four-rock free guard zone” rule.

The free guard zone is relatively new in curling. Back in the day, teams could take out guard rocks as soon as they were placed. This led to a clutter-free game, but also low-scoring, predictable outcomes that weren’t very interesting for spectators.

In the 1980s, Russ Howard came up with the “Howard Rule” based on a practice drill his team used where the first four rocks in play could not be removed at any point during an end regardless of where they were placed. This kept more rocks in play and made for a more interesting game. It was used at an event in Moncton, which is why it’s also referred to as the “Moncton Rule”, and was a hit with the players.

A modified version of this was adopted as the four-rock free guard zone by the World Curling Federation for the 1991-92 season. In this rule, a takeout cannot be played on any stone sitting outside the house from the tee line up to the nearest hog line (the “free guard zone”) until four rocks have been played.

Canada adopted a three-rock rule before moving to four in 2002.

However, teams began to find ways to work around the four-rock rule by “ticking” guards aside, which pushed them out of the way but didn’t actually eliminate them.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling was the first major organization to experiment with a five-rock free guard zone in December 2011 at the Canadian Open. An extra guard in play can lead to more aggressive play and give more control to the team holding the hammer as now the sixth rock in play can dictate the flow of the end.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling implemented the five-rock rule for all of its events following a players’ summit in the summer of 2014. The World Curling Federation followed suit ahead of the 2018-19 season.

​Anne Collins

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wes brennan

Wes Brennan Construction was founded in 1986 and incorporated in 1997. Wes started small and over the years the company has expanded to 24 employees including management.

Previously to starting his business Wes worked for his father Elwood O Brennan; Electrical Contractors in the electrical business for 10 years.  This is where he gained valuable experience as a Master electrician and honing in on his skills.  Wes’ father owned several homes in the Orillia area so when electrical was not as busy, they could shift over to renovating to stay busy.

In Wes’s 37 years in the business Wes and his team have built more than 80 custom homes in the Orillia area. While also keeping themselves busy with renovations, kitchen, bathrooms. No job is too small as Wes remembers his roots, started out doing small jobs before expanding. Never having to travel very far for work and being able to stay local to his hometown of Orillia.

Wes was involved in many sports in the Orillia area where he made lots of contacts.  There is nothing more important than friendships and the contacts that were made at the Orillia curling club. The Wes Brennan Construction banner is displayed on the side wall, and Wes is very proud of it. Wes Brennan Construction has been Sponsoring or Co -sponsoring many bonspiels at the club for over 10 years.

In March of 2020 Wes was very happy to see his son, Jack and daughter-in-law Jenni take over the business.  This makes Wes very proud to see that the business will continue to operate and carry on in the same name. The business could not be in better hands.

Wes would like to thank Orillia and area for supporting his business in the past, present, and future. Many thanks to the Orillia Curling Club and the past and present executive for an enjoyable experience. Wes would recommend curling to anyone as a recreational sport or on a competitive level.

Thanks from Wes, Bev, Jenni and Jack Brennan

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Founded in 1873, the Orillia Curling Club  includes six sheets of professionally maintained ice, a full service lounge with viewing area, change rooms with locker space and shower facilities. We welcome all skill levels to come out and enjoy curling.