I’m sure many of you fantasy junkies are trying to get by with NFL playoff games, hockey, or basketball- or even starting to brush up on your SABERmetrics. But the hardcore of you know it’s never enough; we all need more reasons to talk smack to our buddies and waste time at work. Well what if I told you I had another option for you during the fantasy nuclear holocaust that is the winter and it involved the greatest sport that can be watched at any bar? That’s right, Fantasy Olympic Curling can and will exist on this great planet of ours.
Some background on curling1: Two teams alternate curling stones towards the other end of an ice sheet. Teams win when they have the most points after 10 ends, or win in extra ends [much like extra innings in baseball], or the other team forfeits. The team throwing second in the end is said to have the ‘hammer,’ and is typically most likely to win the end and earn points. ‘Stealing an End’ happens when the team going first scores in the end. The game is best enjoyed with a BAC above 0.10 at the bar2.
The mechanics of it are pretty simple albeit different from normal fantasy games. As many of you curling enthusiasts know, there are no individual stats in curling. So here’s how it breaks down for February’s Curling in Sochi:
There are 10 teams for each gender, making a total of 20 teams. After relearning how to add and multiply, I found the best way to do a fantasy league (really more like mini-game) was to allow a maximum of 10 teams in a league with each team picking two teams from either gender. Teams are drafted one at a time in a serpentine draft order (or for people who really don’t care, randomly). And if you can keep track of the following numbers, I found this was the best way to ensure a fair league no matter the draft spot3.
Scoring is a bit more interesting. Without individual stats, all points are based on team performance. I personally use the stats of: Wins (3 points), Extra Ends Loss (1 point) [equivalent to an OT loss in hockey], Points (1 point per point), Stolen Ends (1 point per stolen end), and Forced Forfeit Ends (1 point per end forfeited by opposing team. ex: team A forfeits after 8 ends to team B. Team B’s owner earns 2 points). You sum the points from both your teams in the Olympics up until the medal rounds. Tiebreaker is average shooting percentage of both your teams.4.
Another kicker to the league is in the olympics curling is played in draws of 8 teams per gender, with multiple draws played per day. So head-to-head is out. But I think that’s a good thing in this case; the league lasts all of a week, so a Roto league works pretty well with still tons of chances to yell at your buddies while falling out of a bar stool.
If you followed all that (or didn’t) here’s a summary:
-Maximum of 10 people per league, each gets two teams, picked in a serpentine draft or randomly.
-Roto league with 3 points per Win, 1 point per Extra Ends Loss, 1 point per Point scored, 1 point per Stolen End, 1 point per Forced Forfeit Ends. Points summed for both teams.
-Tiebreaker is average shooting percentage for both teams.
And the best part of all this: I have a pre-built Excel sheet here for anyone to use to keep track of it all and modify for curling or other sports. All you have to do is enter the numbers in. Or you could be lazy and check in on our site for my daily point updates per team and just remember what Far North teams are yours5.