What happened in the previous two weeks:
- USA Curling is ordering a new batch of pamphlets to help meet club requests. To request these materials, which are distributed at no charge to member clubs, please use the link to the online form: https://usacurling.wufoo.com/forms/membership-materials-request-form/
- A Business of Curling Symposium is being planned at the Milwaukee Curling Club on June 4-5, 2016. Look for more details about this program – which is a collaboration between the World Curling Federation and USA Curling – after the turn of the year.
- Dec. 11 was the entry deadline for the Boyd Gaming Hit & Stay contest at the 2016 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas, and the final amount of donations received for USA Curling was $3,695.
- USCA sponsor Life Wear Technologies will have several executives and employees participating in a learn-to-curl session at the Panthers Curling Club in Coral Springs, Fla., Jan. 6th, and I will be joining them there to meet our newest sponsors in person for the first time.
- The World Curling Federation made an update to the approved sweeping equipment list related to the moratorium on certain types of broom heads, and we have followed suit to update the USCA moratorium.
- Partnership discussions are in progress with Jet Ice.
- USA Curling Head Athletic Trainer Brian McWilliams and I continue discussions with Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine on both a sponsorship and separate, formal medical services arrangement for the National Team Program. The latter is proceeding now, while conversations continue regarding sponsorship.
- An update about the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and selection process was sent on Thursday to all Directors and committee members, state/region officer, club presidents, and an extensive list of registered competitors.
- I have signed an extension to the U.S. Olympic Committee Digital Media Agreement (DMA) through Dec. 31, 2020. The original five-year agreement was set to expire at the end of 2016. The USOC Board of Directors just approved continuation of the program earlier this week. The extension terms were shared with Chairman Rich Lepping and Organizational Development co-chairman Leland Rich for their review and input before I acted on the offer. The DMA annual benefits to the USCA include the web site hosting, design and technical support; web stream platform; broad cross promotion with the 23 other NGBs on the platform; additional TV and web streaming production support (we received over $340,000 in this area in the first four years of the agreement), and a digital rights fee of $50,000 annually (increased to $75,000 in the Olympic year).
- The HPP women’s White team (Jamie Sinclair, Tabitha Peterson, Becca Hamilton and Jenna Haag) finished second in the Yichun International Open in Beijing.
- The HPP teams led by John Shuster and Craig Brown emerged as the top two Order of Merit teams to qualify directly to the 2016 USA Curling National Championships in Jacksonville following the Curl Mesabi Classiclast weekend in Eveleth, Minn. Shuster’s team won the men’s event. The HPP team led by Pete Fenson reached the semifinals, while Brown’s team made it to the quarterfinals. The Fenson and Brown teams advance to the Nationals as two discretionary selections by the HPP Director.
- The HPP team led by Cory Christensen finished second in the Curl Mesabi Classic to the Krista McCarville rink from Ontario. With the withdrawal of one of the women’s teams that had registered for the National Championships, there will now be either 7 or 8 women’s teams.
- The competition schedule has been finalized for the National Championships and will be posted online very soon. The women’s final is set for Friday night, Feb. 12, and the men’s final will be at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 13.
- The registration is complete for teams vying to compete in the 2016 USA Curling Junior Nationals in Willmar, Minn. In all, 30 men’s teams entered (same as last year) and 21 women’s teams entered (down from 25 last year).
- Chairman Rich Lepping and Directors Beau Welling and Hawley MacLean and I are working on a potential fundraising event to be held in Jacksonville during the National Championships. Another call to determine the direction this may take is scheduled for next Monday.
- The Officiating Committee in collaboration with Kim Nawyn has produced a Chief Umpires Manual designed to serve as a resource for umpires overseeing USA Curling events. It is still being finalized but will be shared with this season’s chief umpires as a working draft.
- The U.S. Olympic Committee has awarded the USCA a special high performance program grant providing $11,000 for support of Mixed Doubles programs and $10,000 for sports psychology services. This is in addition to the annual HPP resource allocation.
- We have begun working on the FY17 USCA budget. An Advisory Group meeting will be scheduled for the second weekend of June.
What’s up next week:
- Several Junior Championship playdowns take place during the Christmas break.
What’s coming two weeks from now (Jan. 3-9, 2016)
- NGB Tier Working Group meeting, Jan. 6.
- NGB Council webinar reviewing USOC 2017-20 quad planning and budgeting, Jan. 6.