Nov 27 2015 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:                                                                                       

    • As you may have read earlier, a moratorium has been put in place on the use of certain sweeping equipment for all USCA events for the 2015-16 season until further notice. We are in continual contact with the World Curling Federation (WCF) seeking additional information and direction for communicating the terms of what is and is not allowable for the benefit of players and officials alike. There was a story in the New York Times on Nov. 19 with additional perspectives, and Stephen Colbert added his own earlier this week.
    • The WCF has just issued a list of brush heads considered to be in compliance with its current moratorium, based upon inspections conducted at the European Curling Championships just now concluding. This is not all inclusive, as there is almost certainly other equipment being used that was not presented for inspection there. I have circulated a draft of an update on the USCA’s moratorium and am seeking to have it finalized and out to the U.S. curling community before the end of this weekend. Curling Canada has also come out with its own moratorium (and you can read the list of WCF-approved equipment there).
    • USCA Director Hawley Maclean and I participated in meetings on Tuesday with executives of The Orleans Resort and Arena in Las Vegas to confirm sales and promotional plans for the Burned Stone Vodka and related merchandise. The Orleans is fully supportive of this revenue development effort for the USCA, and is going well above and beyond normal customer/client relations to help this project succeed.
    • The U.S. Olympic Committee has issued application information for the 2016 Challenge Grant program, and we have been invited to participate once again. The USOC will match $25,000 of new and upgraded cash philanthropic gifts. Applications are due by Dec. 21.
    • There has been a lot of activity over the last two weeks (and continuing through this weekend) putting the final touches on the staging of the Curling Night in America event, which will be held next week at Curl Mesabi in Eveleth, Minn. There has been terrific volunteer support from Curl Mesabi!
    • A USCA digital fundraising campaign was launched on Tuesday. Thank you to Russ Lemcke for providing his volunteer message and support for this effort.
    • Chairman Rich Lepping and Director Chris Sjue participated in recognition ceremonies for 2015 USA Curling Volunteer of the Year Darryl Horsman at Coyotes Curling Club in Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 14-15, and also played in the Fall Fiesta open bonspiel while there.
    • Michael Dellemann started his new position as USCA Deputy Manager Nov. 16, and has hit the ground running with involvement in event planning and logistics (Curling Night in America and 2016 Nationals in Jacksonville), and in many other areas.
    • Christy Hering and Mike Dellemann completed the 2016 Nike apparel forecast and submitted it by this week’s deadline. This forecast is for world team and other apparel needs as projected for the 2016-17 season.
    • The online volunteer registration site is active for the 2016 USA Curling Nationals in Jacksonville. The host committee is working on visitor packets for competitors and fans, which may include special offers for golf and other activities in the area.
    • A media event took place in Las Vegas Nov. 19 to promote the 2016 WFG Continental Cup, with North American Captain Ann Swisshelm and 2010 Olympic gold medalist John Morris participating.  This occasion was also used to officially announce USA’s teams (see below).
    • The points chase for teams interested in representing USA in the 2016 Continental Cup ended on Nov. 16, and invitations to the leaders were issued soon after. Both teams accepted, and USA will be represented by Erika Brown, Allison Pottinger, Nicole Joraanstad, Natalie Nicholson, John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner.
    • An international relations grant application for 2016 has been filed with the U.S. Olympic Committee, asking for $15,000 to provide more resources for direct interaction with leaders of the WCF and other member nations to be able to help influence world and Olympic championship qualifying, the strategic direction of the WCF, and opening avenues of influence to help bring the 2024 Olympics to Los Angeles.

    What’s up next week:

    • USOC call for parents of athletes competing in the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, Dec. 2.
    • USA Curling Mixed Doubles National Championship, Denver, Dec. 2-7. Web streaming is planned.
    • Curling Night in America event staged in Eveleth, Minn., Dec. 3-5. WCF will be represented by Andy Anderson and Graham Prouse. USOC will be represented by Brian Gordon.
    • End-of-year USOC Digital Media Agreement group meeting by teleconference, Dec. 4.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Dec. 6-12)

    • NGB Council meeting (by teleconference), Dec. 9.
    • NGB Tier Funding Working Group meeting, Dec. 9.
    • Boyd Gaming Hit & Stay contest entry deadline, Dec. 11 (fundraising event for USCA).

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