New resolutions regulating the use of sweeping and brushes in elite curling have been approved by all 54 members of the World Curling Federation (WCF) at the organisation's Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Stockholm.
This approval gives the WCF the authority to set rules, specifications and policies for sweeping techniques and brush technology - the first time this has been done in the sport.
Five new or adapted sweeping and equipment rules were accepted, regulating both the way in which sweeping is conducted and how the equipment is used.
It was also announced that brushes will now be made from a single fabric, which is from a single source.
These are yet to be determined, but must have "one standard composition, weave, coating and colour" and must "be made widely available for purchase".
These new standardised brushes will first be used at the World Mixed Curling Championship 2016 in Kazan, Russia, next month.
“I’m also pleased that we have reached, what I believe are, clear and lasting solutions to the challenges we have faced with brushes and sweeping over the past 12 months," said WCF President Kate Caithness.
This comes after brushes made out of hair became the latest to be banned by the WCF for the remainder of the 2015-16 season as the governing body continued to address concerns with certain sweeping devices within the sport.
Last October a number of teams on the Canadian circuit decided to stop using brushes which contained modified fabric following fears over the impact the technology has on the field of play as well as the influence on the path of the stone.
Full guidelines now adopted have been summarised below:
- Sweeping Rules R7 (a): The sweeping motion can be in any direction (it need not cover the entire width of the stone), deposits no debris in front of a moving stone, and finishes to either side of the stone.
- Uniform / Equipment C3 (e): Each player must declare his or her approved sweeping device at the start of a game, and only that player can use that sweeping device for sweeping during the game.
- Uniform / Equipment C3 (f): A player may not change their brush head during a game, unless the Chief Umpire grants special permission.
- Uniform / Equipment C3 (g): If an alternate player comes into a game, they must use the brush head of the player they are replacing.
- Rule C3(h): All Field of Play equipment used at WCF competitions must meet WCF Equipment Standards as defined and published on the WCF website. Reasons for equipment being considered non-approved include, but not restricted to: damage to the ice surface, non-conformance with existing rules or standards (i.e. – electronic communication devices), performance testing results that give an unfair advantage, failing to register equipment with the WCF office by the deadline date.
- Rule C3 (i): The penalty for using equipment in WCF competitions which does not conform to standards for Competition Equipment established by the WCF: (i) First team offence during a competition – the player is disqualified from the competition and the team forfeits the game. (ii) Second team offence during a competition – the team is disqualified from the competition and all players are not permitted to play in WCF competitions for a 12-month period.