WCF Communication (brush head technology season 2015/16)

A moratorium on the use of brush heads constructed in the following manner will be enforced for Word Curling Federation events during the 2015/16 season, beginning with the 2015 European Curling Championships in Esbjerg, Denmark 19-28 November 2015 and until further notice:

1 Fabric which has been textured, sealed or modified from its original woven form. This includes fabric which has a woven appearance but which has had a PVC (or similar chemical) waterproofing treatment applied over the woven surface, effectively sealing the outer side of the fabric in contact with the ice. (Brush heads constructed of fibres which may have had a waterproofing process applied to the fibres before being woven are acceptable.)

2 “Hardening” or “Stiffening” inserts located between the outer fabric and internal cushioning material of the brush head.

Also, only sweeping equipment available for sale to the public at retail outlets as at 17 November 2015 will be permitted within the boundaries of the field of play. No modified, custom made or home-made sweeping equipment will be allowed.

A compliance protocol will be well-communicated to the athletes at the Team Meeting, prior to each WCF competition.

WCF Member Associations whose teams are competing in Esbjerg were advised on 17 November 2015 this type of measure could be taken and we anticipate they have prepared for such an event.

This is a decision of the WCF Board and applicable for the remainder of the 2015/16 season or until such time as the WCF Board determines otherwise.

The information used to take this course of action is related to the performance of elite athletes in premier competitions under championship conditions and this moratorium applies to WCF World Championships and qualifying events, beginning with the 2015 European Curling Championships

The primary objective of this moratorium is to ensure a fair and level playing field and to respect the principle that any technological advancements or innovations have a positive impact on the sport and its traditions, and that athletic performance and mental skill are the dominant elements for success.

The decision to enact this moratorium was not taken lightly and is based on athlete observation and testimony, video evidence and further supported by analysis, under competition conditions, of various brush head fabrics, types of construction and their potential to negatively impact the ice surface.

The World Curling Federation acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation of curling equipment manufactures in reaching this decision and will continue to work with that group, along with WCF Athlete Commission, WCF Member Associations and other stakeholders to establish a well-defined equipment policy.

Enquiries regarding this moratorium may be addressed to WCF Secretary General Colin Grahamslaw at colin.grahamslaw@worldcurling.org