What happened in the previous two weeks:
- Tonight brings a double feature of Curling Night in America on NBCSN, with the U.S. men vs. Scotland, and USA’s mixed doubles team taking on China. Ratings have been very good for the first three episodes to air, and NBCSN has also re-aired each show multiple times.
- The next edition of the U.S. Curling News should start reaching mailboxes early next week.
- Preparations for everything from the ice to web streaming are nearly complete for the staging of the 2016 USA Curling Men’s and Women’s Nationals at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Thirty local media representatives turned out for “Media Day” this afternoon, which included interaction with some of the competing athletes and an on-ice experience. There will be a reception for the teams and other visitors this evening, and Opening Ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, followed by the first draw at 4:30 p.m. Read a championship preview in The Florida Times-Union.
- The USCA Arena Championships Committee has begun reaching out to all arena-based clubs seeking three more women’s team entries for the 2016 championships. We have proposed expanding the field to 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams this year to facilitate growing interest. The pre-registration period resulted in 24 men’s and 17 women’s teams registering.
- The USCA membership deadline for reporting rosters and submitting dues for 2016 was extended to Monday, Feb. 1, as Jan. 31 fell on a Sunday. Clubs must have reported rosters and submitted their dues payment (postmarked by Feb. 1) in order to be eligible to vote on USCA business at the annual Members’ Meeting.
- The field has been finalized for the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Team Trials, which will take place Feb. 25-28 at the U.S. Olympic Training Site for curling in Blaine, Minn.
- The World Curling Federation moved the 2016 World Junior Curling Championships from Erzurum, Turkey, to Copenhagen, Denmark, in response to concerns raised by several member nations about safety in the region around Erzurum. We had several good discussions with WCF leadership about this issue while in Las Vegas for the Continental Cup. USCA and WCF sponsor AtomOS (Dan Field) is providing title sponsorship through another company of his (VOIP Defender) to help cover the lodging costs in Copenhagen for all of the competing athletes and coaches (normally a host site expense), among other things.
- Calls were held this week to answer questions from two cities (Spokane, Wash., and Philadelphia) interested in bidding to host the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for curling.
- The U.S. Olympic Committee awarded the USCA a $4,000 international relations grant for 2016.
- The HPP men’s Red Team (led by John Shuster) reached the quarterfinals of the Ed Werenich Golden Wrench Classic, losing to eventual champion Pat Simmons. This event was held at Coyotes Curling Club in Tempe, Ariz.
- HPP teams led by Cory Christensen and Korey Dropkin won the USA Curling Junior National Championships, and will next be competing in the men’s and women’s National Championships in Jacksonville as part of their preparation for the World Junior Championships, March 5-13.
- The Norma O’Leary won the USCA Senior Women’s National Championship in Columbus, Ohio, and the Geoff Goodland team won the USCA Senior Men’s National Championship in Medford, Wis.
- USCA Director Hawley MacLean and I had a call with some people connected with Wall Street to discuss early ideas for staging a promotional curling event in New York’s financial district leading up to the 2018 Olympics.
What’s up next week:
- USCA Board of Directors meeting (by teleconference), Feb. 11.
- 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games begin in Lillehammer, Norway, Feb. 12
What’s coming two weeks from now (Feb. 7 - 13, 2016)
- USCA Operations Group meeting (by teleconference), Feb. 16.
- NGB Diversity Champions quarterly meeting, Feb. 16.
- NGB Tier Working Group meeting, Feb. 16.