Response to WCF Moratorium for remainder of 2015/16 Season
Regarding the moratorium being imposed by the World Curling Federation for all WCF events for the remainder of the 2015/16 season, Hardline Curling disagrees with this decision. We have asked the WCF to see the reports that have led to this decision. We were promised transparency in all testing, and this was assured to us from day one. We have not yet received any test results or how tests were administered, or what pads were tested. We feel this decision has been hastily reached without sufficient and proper independent testing.
Foremost, it must be made clear that this decision reached by the WCF does not affect recreational or house league club play, or recreational open bonspiels. It is only for World Curling Federation events. Recreational and club players, and non-WCF events including open and fun bonspiels, are still permitted to play with the Hardline icePad in its current form with the Pro cover and plastic insert, and we encourage all our supporters to continue playing with the best curling brush ever designed in your club leagues, recreational play, and fun bonspiels.
In fact, we encourage all our Hardline Curling and icePad supporters to write the World Curling Federation and show your support of the icePad and oppose this decision.
Our professional Hardline Curling teams and players have been subject to non-stop bullying and accusations of cheating in recent weeks from their opponents, when our teams have done everything to conform to player agreements and the WCF interim decision of November 6th, 2015. Hardline Curling feels this is bullying at its ugliest form, and goes against the ideals of curling sportsmanship, and it has to stop.
This targeting of the Hardline icePad and its teams has been way overblown by a small but vocal minority of teams and our competitors. First, we were accused of having "directional fabric", which has been since proven we do not. Our teams inverted the icePad cover which was agreed upon as an acceptable solution. Our teams continued to perform well and win events. Then the treated finish of the icePad cover was brought into question, and when players realized it is not the fabric, a decision is now being made to remove the plastic insert, which by the way was also utilized by other suppliers in their brush heads. The truth is it is none of these factors. What will be attacked next? When will our accusers understand that it is talent, good shot-making, and effective sweeping techniques that help them win games and events? Testing has confirmed that all brushes with proper sweeping techniques can achieve the same so-called disputed results. If this is the case, then why is the icePad still being targeted?
To our detractors who say we are not co-operating, Hardline Curling has had discussions with the WCF and provided them with several options for an equitable standard for elite level competition, including removing all inserts – plastic inserts, foil, foam ridges – and just have an accepted fabric against a cushion or foam. It is unfortunate that none of these solutions have been adopted, because we feel that it would provide the proper standard and equal playing field that is being requested, which is what everyone is striving for.
Hardline Curling intends to continue to pursue all options available to us to have the icePad reinstated without exception, through proper independent testing. We will do what is necessary to protect the intellectual property of the icePad and have it approved for play, all the while continuing to provide our elite teams with the equipment necessary that conforms to the ever-changing regulations to help them perform at their best.
We thank all of our supporters during this time for your continued support. Your emails, phone calls, and social media messages provide us the strength to continue moving forward. We continue to be hopeful for a fair and equitable resolution in the near future.