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November | 2015 | CurlingZone
 Monthly Archives: November 2015

Curling Canada issues statement today following the World Curling Federation on their moratorium on brush-head technology. Details below:


For all Provincial/Territorial competitions leading to Curling Canada and World Curling Federation Championships.

Given that the 2015-2016 championship season is part of the 2018 Olympic Qualification Process, Curling Canada is aligning with the World Curling Federation’s (WCF) Brushing Moratorium Statement.

Additionally, Curling Canada provides the following supporting statement for the 2015-2016 Canadian Provincial/Territorial Playdown process leading to 2016 Canadian and ultimately 2016 World Curling Championships (note: this position may be updated without notice):

(1) Only brushes and brush heads available for sale to the public at retail outlets will be allowed on the field of play.
(2) No modified, custom-made or homemade brushing equipment will be allowed on the field of play. This does not apply to branding / cosmetic related modifications.
(3) Brush-head fabric that has been embossed / sealed / textured / modified from its original woven form will not be allowed on the field of play. The process of embossing is often undertaken for the purpose of waterproofing the fabric by making use of coatings like polyurethane, acrylic, PVC etc. and produces a “plasticized” look.
(4) For brush head fabric to be allowed on the field of play, the fabric must have a woven appearance that is visible to the “naked eye”. The intent is to ensure the fabric makes contact with the ice as opposed to the embossed / sealed coating used to waterproof the fabric.
(5) Brush heads containing “hardening” or “stiffening” materials inserted between the outer fabric and the internal cushioning material of the brush head, are not allowed on the field of play. These materials may include but are not limited to: plastic, fibreglass, wood, and Teflon. In addition, brush heads that are constructed in a manner that greatly reduces the “normal” amount of compression may not be allowed on the field of play as determined by the Chief Umpire.

Teams currently using brush-head technology not in compliance with the above moratorium may comply by:

(1) If applicable, reversing the brush-head fabric to place the fibre weave on the exterior [in contact with the ice]; or
(2) Utilizing alternate brush-head fabric comprised of fibre weaves that are visible to the
“naked eye”; or
(3) Using a hairbrush.
(4) If applicable, removing any “Hardening or “Stiffening” inserts from between the fabric and cushioning material, or using an alternative brush.

Note – A Provincial / Territorial Member Association may choose not to address the aspect of the moratorium that deals with hard inserts and brush-head compression if the competition in question does not have access to an appropriately trained umpire. Curling Canada will continue to work with the World Curling Federation and the Players Association to establish an evidence-based, well-defined equipment approval policy.

(1) Players and coaches will be responsible for ensuring any brush brought on to the field of play is compliant with the moratorium.
(2) Once a player has selected one approved brush for that game, no replacement of that brush, brush head or brush-head fabric shall be made without the approval of the assigned umpire.
(3) Players may exchange brushes between themselves with the exception of exchanging with the skip (person in charge of play for the team).
(4) Random inspections of equipment by an umpire may be carried out during the event and during a game. Players may request an umpire inspect a brush prior to or during a game.

Penalties – 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.

(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. The World Curling Federation has issued a list of currently approved brush heads. That list includes, but is not limited to, the following brands (If you have any questions about other brush heads, please contact Curling Canada at
(1) Asham TX
(2) Balance Plus EQ
(3) Balance Plus – “older models”
(4) Goldline Norway Pad
(5) Hardline IcePad – fabric inverted without plastic insert
(6) Performance – “older models”
(7) Warthog – woven side
(8) Hair brushes – various brands


TORONTO (November 26, 2015) – Headlined by defending PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME champions Team Jacobs and Team Homan, TSN today confirmed the lineup of elite curlers competing at the PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME, airing Jan. 8-10, 2016 in Banff, Alta.

The following men’s and women’s teams will take centre stage on TSN for the PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME, with each side competing for $100,000 in cash (see below for complete broadcast schedule):

Men’s Competition
Team Gushue
Team Jacobs
Team McEwen
Team Simmons

Women’s Competition
Team Homan
Team Jones
Team Rocque
Team Sweeting

Once again, the event will take place against the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies, with the world-class Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre hosting the competition for a third straight year.

“Pinty’s, TSN, and world-class sports entertainment go hand-in-hand,” said Anthony Spiteri, Vice-President, Pinty’s. “It’s an exciting new era in the sport, and supporting this premier event as curling continues to evolve and grow its audience is a natural fit for Pinty’s.”

“We’re excited to return to Banff following the fantastic competition and record ratings of last year’s PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME,” said Shawn Redmond, Vice-President, Programming, TSN. “We’re looking forward to partnering with Pinty’s for another great year of hosting Canada’s top curlers at this fan-favourite event.”

Complete event information for the PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME is available on the event’s dedicated microsite,, which launches today.

Broadcast Schedule

The draws and broadcast schedule* for the PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME are as follows:

Friday, Jan. 8

8 p.m. ET on TSN – Team Homan vs. Team Sweeting

Saturday, Jan. 9

11 a.m. ET on TSN – Team Gushue vs. Team Simmons

4 p.m. ET on TSN – Team Jones vs. Team Rocque

9 p.m. ET on TSN – Team Jacobs vs. Team McEwen

Sunday, Jan. 10

1 p.m. ET on TSN1, TSN4, and TSN5 – Women’s Final

8 p.m. ET on TSN – Men’s Final

Record Ratings

Earlier this year, TSN introduced an expanded curling skins game format that generated record ratings:

TSN’s annual curling skins game earned an average audience of 461,000 – the highest ever for the event
Audiences were up 40% compared to last year
The Team Jones vs. Team Carey semifinal and the women’s and men’s finals became the only TSN skins game telecasts to ever achieve average audiences of more than 500,000 viewers
Ticket and Accommodation Packages

Exclusive accommodation and ticket packages for the PINTY’S ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME are now available. Fans can visit or call 1-888-RIMROCK for information on the hotel’s various packages.

Men’s and Women’s All Draw packages are available now for purchase through The Banff Centre. Fans can call 1-800-413-8368 for more information. Individual Draws will go on sale Thursday, Dec. 10 at 12 noon MT.

Curling on TSN

As the official broadcaster of the Canadian Curling Association, TSN broadcasts close to 300 hours of live Season of Champions curling each year, including the TIM HORTONS BRIER and SCOTTIES TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS, along with the WORLD MEN’S CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP, FORD WORLD WOMEN’S CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP, HOME HARDWARE CANADA CUP, WFG CONTINENTAL CUP, and CANADIAN JUNIORS.

Source: Numeris (formerly BBM Canada)

*Schedule subject to change


Press Release out of the USCA Offices as Las Vegas gets major curling event:

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The World Men’s Curling Championship will be held in the United States for the first time in a decade when it heads to Las Vegas in March 2018.

It is the first time a World Curling Federation (WCF) world championship has been held in the ‘live entertainment capital of the world,’ however, the city took notice of the sport when 51,215 spectators turned out for the World Financial Group (WFG) Continental Cup, which made its debut there in 2014.

The World Men’s Curling Championship will be held between March 31-April 8, 2018, following the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The 8,000-seat Orleans Arena, which is near the famous Las Vegas strip, will be the venue for the event. The WFG Continental Cup will be held there, once again, in January 2016.

“We’re delighted to be taking the World Men’s Curling Championship to one of the most recognized cities in the world, in 2018, and back to America for the first time since 2008,” said Kate Caithness, World Curling Federation president.

“The WFG Continental Cup in 2014 was a great success and has helped lay the foundations for this event,” Caithness said. “I look forward to working with the local organizing committee, USA Curling, our sponsors and partners in the coming years, as we seek to capitalize on the growing interest in curling, in Las Vegas, and put on a first-class world championship.”

The World Men’s Curling Championship is held annually in March/April and is the pinnacle of the men’s curling season. Each year 12 teams have the chance to compete for the title – eight from the European Zone, two from the Americas Zone and two from the Pacific-Asia Zone. In 2018, the U.S., part of the Americas Zone, will automatically qualify as host.

This will be the eighth time USA Curling have held the World Men’s Curling Championship since 1970 (1970, 1976, 1984, 1987, 1989, 2002, 2006, 2008). However, this will be the first time it has been held on the west coast.

The bid for this event is part of a drive to bring more elite sporting competitions and events to the state of Nevada.

“Nevada is quickly becoming a ‘must attend’ destination for the sport of curling,” said Jon Killoran, Local Organizing Committee chairman. “We are honored to be chosen to host a prestigious World Men’s Curling Championship on the heels of hosting two WFG Continental Cups in Las Vegas, as well as the 2015 World Curling Congress in Reno-Tahoe.”

To date, the U.S. has won 14 World Men’s Curling Championship medals (seven bronze, four silver and three gold). Their most recent medal, bronze, was won at the 2007 World Championship in Edmonton, Canada, by Todd Birr’s team. The U.S. last won gold in 1978.

“Just three years ago we were announcing the first major curling event coming to Las Vegas, and now we have the distinct pleasure of partnering again with the World Curling Federation and our friends in Nevada to bring this superb championship to one of the liveliest cities in the world,” said Rick Patzke, USA Curling’s chief executive officer. “Sandstone may be the official rock of Nevada, but I think the curling stone could soon be in the running for some sort of high-roller status. Yet it’s the athletes working their magic with those stones, and the passionate fans who follow the sport around the globe, who will make this a can’t-miss show in Las Vegas in 2018.”

Sweden is the current world men’s curling champions, winning gold at the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Halifax, Canada, in April. Before the championship in Las Vegas, the 2016 edition of the event will be held in Basel, Switzerland, April 2-10. Canada will hold the 2017 event, with the exact venue still to be confirmed.

Las Vegas is a city filled with exciting mega resorts and unparalleled live entertainment. It boasts more than 150,000 hotel rooms and plays hosts to millions of visitors every year.

Notes to Editors:

World Curling Championships in America

* World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships 2011: St Paul, Minn.
* World Senior Curling Championships 2011: St Paul, Minn.
* World Men’s Curling Championship 2008: Grand Forks, N.D.
* World Junior Curling Championships 2007: Eveleth, Minn.
* World Men’s Curling Championship 2006: Lowell, Mass.
* Ford World Curling Championships 2002: Bismarck, N.D.
* World Senior Curling Championships 2002: Bismarck, N.D.
* World Junior Curling Championships 2001: Ogden, Utah
* World Curling Championships 1989: Milwaukee, Wis.
* World Curling Championships 1987: Chicago, Ill.
* Air Canada Silver Broom 1984: Duluth, Minn.
* Air Canada Silver Broom 1976: Duluth, Minn.
* Air Canada Silver Broom 1970: Utica, N.Y.

About the WCF:

The World Curling Federation (WCF) is the international sport federation governing the Olympic winter sport of curling and the Paralympic winter sport of wheelchair curling. The WCF is one of seven International Sports Federations currently part of the Winter Olympic programme. It represents 54 Member Associations and is generally acknowledged to direct one of the fastest-growing international winter sports.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus,, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

See you in 2018 Vegas!



Gerry Geurts – CurlingZone

It’s been an interesting month since the directional fabric and sweeping debate heated up to a point where it’s been all we’ve been talking about within our sport. Brad Gushue and his team started with using one sweeper, exposing the strength of the Hardline icePad, though likely more, showing what teams can do when they vary their sweeping techniques. Next it was the BalancePlus Blackhead, put into play to make a point but took the effectiveness of the fabric to a whole new level in Toronto at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard.

Many of the top teams banded together and agreed that directional fabric should not be part of the game, but it certainly hasn’t been the solution to all of our problems. There have been arguments amongst teams at all levels over how rocks are swept, and the resulting effect it has on stones in play, leading to confusion and tension between these teams.


11. Sweeping
(8a) Given that the intent of sweeping is to keep the path of the stone clean and to take a stone farther, there must be brush head movement in the sweeping motion.
(8b) The sweeping motion shall not leave any debris in front of a moving stone.
(8c) The final sweeping motion shall finish outside the path of the stone.

When reading these rules, the interpretation is that corner sweeping, snow-ploughing and sweeping to make a rock curl by finishing it in a specific direction are all legal under the loosened Canadian rules on sweeping. Essentially the rules suggest you can do pretty much anything you want as long as you’re not burning the rock or finishing your dumping debris in front of the stone.

On Wednesday evening at the Grand Slam Masters of Curling in Truro, Nova Scotia, the brush debate came to head with several teams feeling like the inverted icePad was still superior to the existing brush pads on the ice. It got so bad that several teams were openly calling out others over the results they were getting on the ice.

What followed was a week of tension between the players, until a breakthrough was had on Saturday evening at when two teams involved in Wednesday’s accusations over cheating came together and tested each other’s and other brushes. These two teams tested the Norway Pad, the EQ and the inverted icePad on a variation of hit weight shots.

By the end of it, the two teams had come together and agreed that all three brush pads were showing similar results, to a point where “I’ll shut my mouth now”, was uttered by one of the players on the team laying accusations of cheating against the others and both teams came together a sorted out their differences on the ice.

Many of the top teams have run tests and witnessed the comparisons between the three top level pads that we can safely say that until rules and guidelines on fabric are in place that the inverted icePad is an acceptable product that performs close to BalancePlus’ EQ pad and Goldline’s Norway pad.

For one, something the brush pad debate has made many realize is that with ANY high quality brush pad, players can affect how much a rock curls. By sweeping on the inside players can hold a rock straight and by sweeping the outside they can make rocks curl.

Even on hits. As these two teams (along with yours truly) witnessed, by as much as a full rock width on down weight hits.

It’s a paradigm shift in our sport that shows how big of a difference sweeping technique can make. As a sport, the switch technique has been used for many years, but until now many did not know how effective it really is.

Curling Canada while investigating restrictions on fabrics is reportedly not interested in tightening these sweeping rules at this point, as it would mean bringing more official interventions into the game, something we can all agree is not ideal. This means that whether we like it or not, this is the new reality within the sport and teams must adapt to remain competitive.

We hope this lays the debate to rest in the short term and ends to accusations being levied on teams at all levels.

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