Curling Canada bans broom heads with 'directional fabric'
Canada's skip Pat Simmons calls to his sweepers during morning draw action against the Czech Republic at the Ford Men's World Curling Championship in Halifax, Monday, March 30, 2015. (Michael Burns /The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 27, 2015 5:43PM EST
OTTAWA -- Curling Canada has followed the lead of the World Curling Federation in banning controversial broom heads for the 2015-16 season.
Olympic gold medallists Brad Jacobs, Brad Gushue, Jennifer Jones and former world champion Glenn Howard were among 50 Canadian and international teams who signed a statement in October, saying their teams will not sweep with broom heads that have "directional fabric."
Coarse material on the broom heads creates a sandpaper effect on the ice, and with it sweepers have been able to manipulate the rock's trajectory in ways they never could before.
Fearing that throwing accuracy and athleticism would be diminished, the curlers said they want to protect "the integrity of the game" in refusing to use the brush heads.
The athletes' decision to police themselves had the sport's governing bodies scrambling to come up with policies and guidelines for brush head technology.
The WCF instituted an interim moratorium on the broom heads at the Pacific-Asia Championships earlier this month and then extended the ban to all events this season.
Curling Canada followed suit by announcing Friday the same ban at domestic curling championships, including the Canada Cup of Curling which opens Wednesday in Grand Prairie, Alta.
Only brushes and brush heads sold retail to the public will be allowed on the ice and they can't be modified by the curler.
Brush head fabric embossed, sealed, textured or modified from its original woven form is not allowed, and neither is plastic, fibreglass, wood or Teflon inserts between the outer fabric and internal cushioning in the broom head.
"If a player is found to be using a brush that is not allowed on the field of play under this moratorium, the offending team will forfeit that game," Curling Canada said in statement Friday.
Curling Canada won't require enforcement on inserts at provincial and territorial playdowns "if the competition in question does not have access to an appropriately trained umpire."