Now that we have finished learning about the upweight shots that can be thrown in a game of curling, we will now learn about a lighter weight shot that can be thrown: the freeze. A freeze shot is when a delivered stone stops right before touching another stone, or just touches the other stone. Thus, it is “frozen” on to the other stone, which is why it is called a freeze.
Purpose of Freezes
Freeze shots are used as defensive shots, and are excellent in forcing an opponent to score 1 point with the hammer. Usually freezes are played when the vice or skip is delivering their stones. This is because the end is coming to a completion, and the team without hammer is trying their best to force their opponent to 1 point.
Most of the time, freezes are thrown near the 4 Foot or Button, but freezes can occur anywhere on the sheet. For example, if the shot rock is on the outer edge of the 8 Foot, the team without hammer will freeze to the shot stone, even though it is on the outer edge of the 8 Foot. By freezing to the opponent's stone, your stone will be the shot rock, and you can force your opponent to 1 point.
There are two types of freezes we will learn about. They are:
- Nose Freezes
- Corner Freezes
A nose freeze is a freeze shot in which the stone thrown is frozen on to the center (or nose) of the opponent's stone. This type of freeze is used when the shot rock is in the back 4 Foot or Button. By nose freezing to the stone, your team is covering the majority of the Button, and will force your opponent to 1 point, or you will steal the end.
A corner freeze is a freeze shot in which the stone thrown is frozen on to one of the corners of the opponent's stone. This type of freeze is used when the shot rock is beyond the outer edge of the 4 Foot. By corner freezing to the stone, your team is out-counting the opponent's stone, and will force them to 1 point.
Freeze Split Times
Regardless of the freeze your team throws, you will need it to reach the tee line, or a little bit farther back. For all freezes, a split time from the backline to the hog line should be about 3.25 seconds. An appropriate split time between the two hog lines is about 15 to 15.5 seconds. Even though the distance may vary a bit, your sweepers can sweep for weight to make sure that the stone will reach its desired destination. After all, it is better to be a little light on a freeze than it is to be heavy.