Optimist U-18

Brush Head Moratorium  

Moratorium on Brush Head Technology (updated February 17, 2016 by Curling Canada)  

Given that events have caused the need for clarification regarding brushing instruments, the Steering Committee has modified the Curling Canada statement (below) for application during the 2016 Optimist U18 International Curling Championships

The purpose of the moratorium is to remove the uncertainty that hangs over the field of play by ensuring a level playing field while protecting the integrity of the sport and the spirit of fair play. This will require voluntary player compliance without the intervention of officials. 


  • Only brushes and brush heads available for sale to the public at retail outlets will be allowed on the field of play. 
  • 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 nor does it apply to compliant brush heads that have been re-conditioned or recovered for retail sale. 
  • Brush head fabric that have been embossed / sealed / textured / modified from its original woven form will not be allowed on the field of play. 
  • 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 of the fabric. 
  • 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. 
  • All hair or hog hair brushes are now included in the Moratorium and deemed non-compliant. Hair or hog hair brushes may be used by the skip or vice skip in the house at the playing end. But their sweeping with a hair hog or hair brush can only be done behind the tee-line or for the tick shot. Hair or hog hair brushes may also be used as part of the delivery. Combination hair/fabric brushes are also considered non-compliant. 


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

  • If applicable, reversing the brush head fabric to place the fibre weave on the exterior [in contact with the ice]; or, 
  • Utilizing alternate brush head fabric comprised of fibre weaves that are visible to the “naked eye”; or, 
  • If applicable, removing any “hardening or “stiffening” inserts from between the fabric and cushioning material, or using an alternative brush. 


  • Players and coaches will be responsible for ensuring any brush brought on to the field of play is compliant with the moratorium. 
  • 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. 
  • Replacement of a brush head or brush head fabric would only occur in extreme circumstances to be determined by the umpire. As described, the circumstance must be extreme in nature, and not as a result of intentional damage to the brush by the player. If the damage is as a result of intentional damage by the player, the umpire will decide what sweeping broom will be allowed. A ‘wet’ broom is not considered an extreme circumstance. 
  • Players may exchange brushes between themselves with the exception of exchanging with the skip (person in charge of play for the team). 
  • If a player intends to bring into the field of play a delivery device to be utilized as a delivery device only, and that has the ability to be switched to a sweeping device, then the declared delivery device shall be marked in such a manner that it would be visible to an umpire if the device was used as a sweeping device. (Possible markings: bright duct tape, survey tape). 
  • Penalty for sweeping with a throwing broom: the delivered stone shall be removed from play and all affected stones shall be replaced to their original position. The throwing broom shall be returned to play as a throwing broom. 
  • 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. 

As Curling Canada progressed through the implementation of the Moratorium, They have observed the processes, listened to concerns of players, and have further developed how to approach the Moratorium in the field of play. 

Pre-game practice – The pre-game practice, as stated is not part of the game. As such any compliant brush may be used including throwing brooms. 

Last Stone Draw – The Last Stone Draw is considered part of the game and as such the Moratorium is in force. 

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. 


  • The Chief Umpire is authorized to administer this Moratorium and may assign other umpires to perform various duties, as required. 
  • The Chief Umpire is authorized to make decisions regarding this Moratorium not specifically covered in this protocol. 
  • All decisions of the Chief Umpire regarding this Moratorium are final. 

Curling Canada’s list of compliant brush heads by brand name  

  • (1) Asham TX 
  • (2) Balance Plus EQ 
  • (3) Balance Plus – “older models” 
  • (4) Goldline Norway Pad 
  • (5) Hammer 
  • (6) Hardline IcePad – fabric inverted without plastic insert 
  • (7) Hardline Tour Elite without plastic insert 
  • (8) Olson Opti 
  • (9) Performance TX 
  • (10) Performance – “older models” 
  • (11) Warthog – woven side