Update: Moratorium set regarding sweeping equipment for USCA events

Nov. 30, 2015, 8:15 a.m. (ET)

Dec. 15, 2015 update:

This communication serves as an update to the USCA's broom moratorium as issued on Nov. 29, 2015.

Since the World Curling Federation’s initial moratorium was established on Nov. 6, 2015, the WCF has inspected many brush heads and began to compile a list of equipment deemed to have been in compliance with the moratorium.  The WCF recently provided an updated list of brushes that are deemed compliant with its moratorium, and the USCA accepts these additions to the previously circulated list:

  • Hardline IcePad – “Tour Elite” cover without plastic insert 
  • Olson Opti
  • Performance TX

This list will be amended and kept current as additional products are inspected.

Note: It is very important to understand that although the listed equipment has been deemed compliant this compliance relates to the equipment being presented in its commercially available form and not having been visibly modified from that form or been subjected to visible post-manufacturing, external waterproofing processes.

The complete list of brush heads deemed compliant as of Dec. 15, 2015, is as follows:

  • Asham TX
  • Balance Plus EQ
  • Balance Plus – “older models”
  • Goldline Norway Pad
  • Hardline IcePad – fabric inverted without plastic insert
  • Hardline IcePad – “Tour Elite” cover without plastic insert
  • Olson Opti
  • Performance TX
  • Performance – “older models”
  • Warthog – woven side
  • Hair brushes – various brands


Nov. 30

Here is an update to the below announcement, which was posted on Nov. 17 is available here in PDF format. 


Moratorium set regarding sweeping equipment for USCA events

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – In light of the ongoing review and testing of sweeping equipment by the World Curling Federation, the U.S. Curling Association (USCA) is placing a moratorium on the use of specific broom/brush head technology in all events leading to and including USCA National Championships or World Team Qualifying events for the 2015-16 season until further notice.

The broom/brush head technology that this applies to includes:

  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 fibers which may have had a waterproofing process applied to the fibers 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 of November 17, 2015, will be permitted within the boundaries of the field of play. No modified, custom made or home-made sweeping equipment will be allowed.

This moratorium includes state/regional playdowns leading to USCA qualifying events, national championships, and World Team Trials, including all USCA events that may or may not lead to a World Curling Championship. In the spirit of curling, this is also meant to include club playdowns that qualify teams for state/regional or national events leading to USCA events.

This action is in line with a moratorium put in place Nov. 18, 2015, by the World Curling Federation (WCF) that pertains to all WCF events for the 2015-16 season, until further notice.

The terms of the USCA moratorium will follow those put forth by the WCF on Nov. 18, 2015, (as attached below) including for compliance, enforcement, penalties and authority. For purposes of clarity, “training day” as referenced in the WCF documents can be interpreted as being the same as practice day/sessions for USCA events.

Curling is a sport deeply rooted in traditions of sportsmanship, fair play and camaraderie. This is nowhere more evident than in the recent actions taken by many of the world’s elite curlers who imposed a self-suspension of using certain broom heads in competitive curling, while encouraging the sport’s governing bodies to thoroughly assess this equipment and all aspects of sweeping to ensure that the spirit of curling is being maintained. As noted previously, that assessment is ongoing.

While the USCA is not involved directly in the testing of competition equipment and establishment of such standards, we are committed to upholding the ethics of fair play and maintaining the athleticism of curling. During this moratorium, we will continue to collaborate with the WCF and other key stakeholders, including elite athletes, curling equipment manufacturers and other WCF Member Associations, as they work to establish a well-defined equipment policy.

The following are the Terms of the Moratorium to be followed by the USCA (as established by the World Curling Federation for all WCF events)

Moratorium on textured sweeping fabric

For WCF Curling Championships as from 18 November 2015:

Compliance, Enforcement and Penalty Protocol

Terms of moratorium

  1. Only brushing 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
  2. No modified, custom made or home-made sweeping equipment will be allowed within the boundaries of the field of play
  3. Brush head fabric which has been textured, sealed or modified from its original woven form will not be permitted for use. This includes fabric which has a woven appearance but which has 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.
  4. Sweeping devices constructed with brush head fabric in its woven form is permitted for use
  5. Brush head fabrics which may have had a waterproofing process applied to the fibers before being woven are acceptable.
  6. Brush head containing “Hardening” or ‘Stiffening” inserts located between the outer fabric and the internal cushioning material of the brush head are not permitted for use.

Compliance

Teams currently using sweeping equipment constructed from brush head fabric which has been textured, sealed or modified from its original woven form may comply with the moratorium by:

  1. if applicable, reversing the brush materials to place the fiber weave on the exterior, and / or
  2. If applicable, removing any “Hardening” or “Stiffening” inserts from between the fabric and cushioning material, or
  3. using alternate brush materials composed of fiber weaves, or
  4. using a hair brush.

Enforcement

  1. All inspections will be carried out during the training day, players will be responsible for ensuring that all relevant equipment is presented for inspection at the identified zone
  2. All sweeping equipment entering the boundaries of the field of play must have been inspected and approved by during the training day inspections prior to it entering this area. Once a player has selected an approved sweeping device for that game, no exchange or replacement of that device shall be made without the approval of the assigned umpire
  3. Any exchange or replacement of a sweeping device must take place under the supervision of the assigned umpire and the device being exchanged or replaced shall not be brought back on to the field of play during that game
  4. Random inspections of equipment will be carried out during the event
  5. If a sweeping device is the type which allows the brush head fabric to be used on either side and is easily removed from the brush head assembly, any exchange, replacement or realignment must be approved by the assigned umpire and take place under their supervision.

Penalties

1.  If a player is found to be using a sweeping device which is not allowed under this moratorium, is using a device (whether in compliance or not) which has not been approved by the assigned umpire or has modified an approved sweeping device in such a way that it does not comply with this moratorium, the offending team will forfeit that game.

Authority

  1. The Chief Umpire is authorized to administer this moratorium and may assign other umpires to perform various duties, as required.
  2. The Chief Umpire is authorized to take decisions regarding this moratorium but which are not specifically covered in this protocol.
  3. All decisions of the Chief Umpire regarding this moratorium are final.