WCF President and athletes praise work achieved at Sweeping Summit 2016

  • Photo: © WCF / Hamish Irvine

The World Curling Federation (WCF) Sweeping Summit 2016 closed today (Friday 27 May) as the participants passed their findings to the WCF Competition and Rules and Athletes’ Commissions, who also received a preliminary report from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

The Summit organised by the WCF, with the support of Curling Canada, brought together top-level athletes and other curling experts to test brushes and sweeping techniques following the challenges that the sport has faced this past season. Various sweeping techniques and more than 50 different brush constructions were considered over three days of intensive testing near Ottawa. The testing was independently supervised by the NRC.

The WCF Commissions will now take the information from the Summit and formulate it into proposals for new rules and equipment standards, which will in turn be presented and voted on at the WCF members Congress and Annual General Assembly in Stockholm, Sweden, in September.

Canadian curler, and 2006 Olympic Gold medallist, Brad Gushue said: "I was very impressed with the collaboration of all the athletes, manufacturers, governing bodies, ice makers and observers. We feel the game is in a better position after this Summit. I'm looking forward to playing next season."

Swiss curler, and current World Women’s Curling champion, Christine Urech said: "All the players were absolutely motivated to find a solution to the sweeping problem. We tested different pads from different manufacturers looking at how to keep the stone straight, make it curl more, travel further or shorter distances. We looked at different materials with different textures and levels of waterproofing and what does and does not damage the ice. We are happy that we have found a great suggestion which will solve the problem and let us look forward to next season."

Representatives from all of the WCF’s Member Associations were invited to send their high performance experts to observe the testing and offer their input which along with that of the manufacturers helped influence the tests being conducted.

WCF President, Kate Caithness, congratulated all the participants for their efforts to help ensure a positive future for curling. She said: "It is wonderful to see the commitment and enthusiasm here at the Summit. Everyone who is present has come together to find a practical solution to one of the biggest challenges our sport has faced. The Spirit of Curling that has been on show this week reinforces my belief that we have so many great people in our sport who are willing to work long and hard to help positively develop the game."

Japanese curler, and Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015 Silver medallist, Kosuke Morozumi supported this by saying: "I feel happy to be here in Ottawa to work with the team for the sport I love. I am proud of what we did this week and believe the Summit is going to be something that helps the next step for curling."