The secret of good sweeping

Check out these great blog posts by Scott Arnold on sweeping secrets and the heat generated by your broom – with infrared video! – and sweeping fabrics and how they can improve your game.

Researchers at the University of Western of Ontario have been studying sweeping and trying to determine exactly what it does to the path of a curling stone.

Key findings:

  • A mathematical formula was created to predict where the stone would stop based on its velocity and rotation as it crossed the hogline. It was found that top sweepers could extend the path of the stone by 6 to 7 feet over the final 1/3 of the sheet.
  • With the help of the infrared camera, it was determined that an “old school” type angle of brushing [45-90 degrees] created a more even heating pattern which will ultimately have a greater effect on the path of the stone.
  • If any sweepers are beyond three feet in front of the stone, the effects of heating are minimized or lost. As well, there is no increase in ice temperature in front of the stone with a third sweeper.
  • Canada’s top teams on tour will change their broom heads 2-4 times per game. Club curlers should know that they need to purchase a couple of replacement broom heads each season. After a game or two, take off one head and replace it with the other. Take the used head home and clean it with a scrub brush, soap and water. Rinse thoroughly. Let it air dry for a couple of days and it will be ready to be rotated with the head on the broom.