Curling Steal Efficiency
We previously learned that teams may steal ends from each other over the course of a game. However, the hammer and force efficiencies do not account for the ends you and your opponent stole during the course of each game. Thus, we rely on two different percentages to figure out whether a team is "steal efficient" or "steal defense efficient".
A stolen end is an end in which one team has the hammer, but their opponent (who does not have the hammer) scores instead.
In curling, there are two statistics related to steal efficiencies. These two statistics are:
- Steal Efficiency
- Steal Defense Efficiency
While both statistics contain similar formulas, it is best if we learn them separately so we do not confuse ourselves.
Just like hammer and force efficiencies, steal efficiency and steal defense efficiency are both percentages.
The steal efficiency statistic reveals the frequency in which your team steals an end from your opponent. This statistic is calculated by adding up the total amount of times your team stole an end, and then dividing that by the amount of times your opponent had the hammer. This includes the ends that your opponent had the hammer but a blank end occurred.
Over the course of a season or bonspiel, teams will steal some ends, but this statistic usually remains rather low. The higher your team's steal efficiency, the better.
Steal Defense Efficiency
The steal defense efficiency statistic reveals the frequency in which your opponent steals an end when your team has the hammer. This statistic is calculated by adding up the total amount of times your opponent stole an end, and then dividing that by the amount of times your team had the hammer. This includes the ends that your opponent had the hammer but a blank end occurred.
Over the course of a season or bonspiel, teams will steal some ends, but this statistic is usually low. The lower your team's steal efficiency, the better. Note that this is different from all the other efficiencies we have learned about.
Contextualizing Steal Efficiencies
As curling becomes more competitive, the chances that teams steal ends from each other becomes significantly less. However, this does not mean that teams never steal ends from each other.
When a team steals an end at such a competitive level, stealing an end can change the course of the game. Many teams are strategizing how to score, force, or steal during the end, but are also thinking about when they will have the hammer. By stealing an end, your team can affect which team has the hammer without blanking an end. When you steal an end, you allow your opponent to have the hammer for the next end. However, this applies pressure to the opponent to be "hammer efficient" because your team stole the end rather than allowing your opponent to blank the end.