Nov 18, 2019
Norway forfeits game at European Championships due to broom rule
It's safe to say this is a new one in the world of curling. After beating England in a round robin match at the European Curling Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden on Sunday, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud was forced to forfeit due to a controversial rule concerning broom heads.
It's safe to say this is a new one in the world of curling.
After beating England in a round robin match at the European Curling Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden on Sunday, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud was forced to forfeit due to a controversial rule concerning broom heads.
Alternate Magnus Nedregotten was subbed into the game in the sixth end as Norway held a comfortable 8-3 lead. Nedregotten used his own broom for a handful of shots before he was told by the official that he should be using the broom of the player he was replacing. Nedregotten changed to the correct sweeping device and the two sides finished the game with England conceding in the 8th end.
After leaving the ice, officials told Norway that they had to forfeit the game because Nedregotten did not use the broom of the curler that he replaced.
"In the men’s round-robin session three on Sunday, November 17, England was awarded a win over Norway, who contravened the Rules of Curling rule C3 (g) relating to the use of a brush by a substitute, resulting in Norway forfeiting the game," the World Curling Federation said in a statement:
Rule "C3 (g)" says: “If an alternate player comes into a game, that player must use the brush head of the player being replaced. Penalty: If a new brush head is brought into the game, the team will forfeit the game.”
Norway's Steffen Walstad took to FaceBook to voice his displeasure with the ruling.
"Curling is a most wonderful game, in large part because it's built on mutual respect and an understanding that most players act with good intention," the 30-year-old wrote. "These values however seem forgotten to the umpires of our biggest championships. The last [few] years I've thought too much about how the umpires in large part seem to hinder than enable players to showcase our sport."
Walstad also wondered if curling would be better off if the players officiated themselves.
"Makes me wonder if curling championships would be better off with the players themselves applying the rules? The umpires seem only to undermine what values our sport is built on."
Canadian curlers were quick to react on Twitter, with Ben Hebert saying "Jesus Christ....This is embarrassing but I’m not surprised coming from @worldcurling. They like to pretend like there more important than the game and the players! What a joke."
Brent Laing shared a similar opinion.
"Did this really happen? Tell me this is a joke of some kind that I don’t understand? And I know it’s not England’s fault, but how do they accept this win? This needs fixed ASAP. Our sport and our athletes deserve much much better than this," said Laing.
Norway held a 2-3 record through Monday's play.
You can watch action from the European Curling Championships all week on TSN with the men's and women's final set for Saturday.