The 2015-2016 marked a controversial season regarding sweeping, equipment, defining fair play and the impact on the spirit of the game.  

The governing bodies of our beloved sport have been working with equipment manufacturers and the National Research Council of Canada to address the issues in an empirical manner. Following the recommendations by the governing bodies of our sport, the Board of Directors of the Oakville Curling Club has adopted the following stance on equipment and sweeping for the 2016-2017 season

Corn brooms and hair brooms:

  • Due to their abrasive nature and scoring of the ice, Corn brooms and hair brooms are not permitted for sweeping but can still be used during delivery
  • Skips may use hair brooms for calling the game
  • Skips may also use hair brooms for sweeping, however BEHIND THE T-LINE only

Plastic inserts:

  • Plastic inserts are to be removed from Hardline brooms

Broom heads:

  • WCF certified pads are NOT mandatory for league play at the Oakville Curling Club

 Curling Canada Sweeping Moratorium - PART TWO:

In addition, we will be supporting the position recommended by the World Curling Federation and detailed in PART TWO of the Curling Canada Sweeping Moratorium for governing play at the Club level:

PART TWO – Recreation & Club Play, Bonspiels, Funspiels, etc.

Surveys show almost 99% of all Canadian curlers are recreational players. We understand the reluctance of a weekly or casual player to discard a relatively new brush head, and we agree with the WCF statement (September 10, 2016): “The WCF recognises a great deal of previously compliant equipment, both new and slightly used, remains in the hands of manufacturers, retailers and individual curlers. It is neither reasonable or practical to expect this equipment should be immediately discarded in favour of equipment conforming to the pending specifications.”

Curling Canada played a major role with the World Curling Federation and Canada’s National Research Council in understanding, researching and creating new equipment guidelines to re-establish integrity in a fair playing field. As the world’s largest curling jurisdiction, we are confident that the great Canadians who play this game each and every day will continue to curl within the true spirit of the game we are noted for.

While the moratorium does not extend to recreation play, club play or bonspiels that are not part of the Canadian Team Ranking System, and while curling rinks in Canada have autonomy over their own fields of play, we suggest recreation players may use brush heads previously banned or built during the 2015-16 season (or earlier).

Additionally, we wholeheartedly support these WCF statements for your consideration at the club level:

“For leagues, competitions or events contested primarily for recreation or fun, or for competitions or events contested primarily by novice or inexperienced curlers, it may not be necessary to limit which sweeping equipment can be used as a condition of competition.” 

“For leagues, competitions or events where substantial prizes or awards are earned, it may be advisable to require sweeping equipment conforming to WCF specifications be used as a condition of competition.”

“In keeping with the ‘Spirit of Curling’, individuals who are elite competitors or very proficient sweepers should consider whether it is ‘fair’ that they use non-conforming equipment in a recreational competition even if the rules allow it.”

We would also encourage everyone however, to consider the true spirit of the sport of curling, and regardless of the brush head in use, all players should revert to the sweeping techniques / styles in play prior to the 2015-16 season. Most of the ‘unusual’ sweeping methods encountered last season have been dispelled as demonstrated / verified by the results of the Sweeping Summit and the executive summary of the NRC.

When using compliant material, the sweeping angle (90 degrees  north-to-south  45 degrees) was determined to be irrelevant in affecting the stone other than taking it farther or keeping it straighter. Or more simply put, sweeping east to west does not make a non-compliant brush head compliantConclusion: sweep in any direction you want, but do not leave debris in front of the stone and the last brush stroke should be away and to the side of the path of the stone.

When using compliant material, having two sweepers on a draw shot will carry a stone further than using one sweeper. Conclusion: return to form from the 2014-15 season with both sweepers brushing on either side or the same side of the delivered stone.

When using compliant material, sweeping take-outs with one sweeper to either keep it straight or to make it curl more, had little if any effect. Conclusion: using two sweepers for take-outs is better than one sweeper only.

To read the full Moratorium please click HERE.

For more Information please click on the links below for more information published by Curling governing bodies:

As more information becomes available and equipment continues to evolve, we will continue to evaluate the impact on Club members and support initiatives that align with the best interest of our Club members and the integrity of the game.

Questions or concerns can be addressed to the General Manager.

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