The Evolution of Curling Analytics

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Abstract: Like innings in baseball, curling takes place over “ends” (8 or 10). Each end comprises of 16 shots, with each shot a decision point based on several factors that can be examined with numbers.

This paper reviews the datasets currently available for curling, what statistics and analysis has been implemented to date, and how they can be applied to scouting and in-game strategy. We consider how scoreboard differential impacts tactics and can influence the probability for scoring outcomes in each end. Win Probability and Efficiency Statistics are explained, with comparisons of top ranked teams from the past season. We provide examples of common game situations and demonstrate how teams can make better decisions using analytics. We share sample scouting reports and explain how to evaluate a team’s performance and assess their style of play. We conclude with considerations on possible next stages for curling analytics and what is needed to achieve these goals.

Analytics within curling has taken time to gain acceptance, but players and coaches have begun to understand and are starting to push for more data and information. The window for the adoption of analytics in curling is just starting to open, but in a sport compared to chess, as teams improve, and the level of skill equalizes, using analytics will become an essential piece for success in the future.

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